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Gardening expert shares easy trick to grow fresh herbs from single store-bought plant: 'An endless supply of basil all summer long'

This is a super affordable way to have fresh herbs all season long.

This is a super affordable way to have fresh herbs all season long.

Photo Credit: TikTok

If you've ever bought a basil plant from the store and carefully tended to it just to watch it die a week later, this hack is for you. 

TikToker In The Cottage Garden (@InTheCottageGarden) posted a video demonstrating how to keep your basil thriving.

@inthecottagegarden Grow unlimited pesto 🌱 My top tips on keeping your basil plants alive! #gardening #growyourownfood #gardeningtips ♬ original sound - In The Cottage Garden 🌻

The scoop

"Let's talk about why the basil plants you buy from the shop always die," she begins in her video. "Basil needs rich, fertile soil to grow, and this," she says, pulling the dried clump from the plastic seedling pot, "is definitely not that. If you want your basil to keep growing, it needs space, and all these plants being crammed into a tiny little pot is leading to its slow inevitable death."

She continues, "If you want an endless supply of basil all summer long, split your basil into individual plants then put each one into its own pot of compost."

She also demonstrates how to multiply your seedlings by pruning them. Just make sure to "cut just below the point where leaves come out," she shows, snipping one of the cuttings. "Remove the lower leaves, then put it into compost or a glass of water." 

And when it comes time to harvest, she advises to "cut just above a leaf node to make it grow big and bushy."

How it's helping

Considering that a basil plant from the store costs about $5, this is a super affordable way to have fresh herbs all season long. In fact, growing your own food can save you upwards of $600 per year. 

Not only that, but the food you grow at home is better for you. Mass-produced and globally shipped food loses nutritional value in transit and often contains traces of dangerous chemicals. Add in the fact that studies have found that people who garden are generally healthier and less stressed, and there's every motivation to start planting.

Even if you don't have a particularly green thumb, this method couldn't be easier. Propagating a single plant can help create an unlimited supply of everything from lemongrass to garlic, oregano, and even strawberries. And the more you grow, the more compost you'll generate, which will help your next plants grow bigger and stronger.

🗣️ Would you buy juice or yogurt made with bruised or misshapen fruit?

🔘 If I couldn't tell the difference 🤔

🔘 If it were cheaper 💰

🔘 If it were healthier 🍎

🔘 I'd never buy it 🚫

🗳️ Click your choice to see results and speak your mind

And if you end up with too many fresh herbs? Just freeze them, or, as one ingenious TikToker suggested, you can even turn them into ready-to-use flavoring cubes for cooking.

What everyone's saying

Viewers were eager to try their hand at growing basil — and other herbs too. 

"Can we do the same with coriander?" one person asked, while another inquired about rosemary. (The answer to both: Yes!) "Leaving mint from the supermarket in a glass of water to grow roots and replant is a great hack too," another person chimed in.

"Omg, thank you so much," one person wrote. "My basil always dies, will defo do this."

"Great advice," another said. "I already planted loads of seeds for my tomatoes."

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