It is common to find on supermarket shelves a section of aromatic plants in small pots. Among them you can also find the basil plant, which is used most at this time. Basil is a delicate fresh herb that adds a very distinctive aroma and flavor to dishes. Whether you grow it yourself, or buy the aromatic plant already potted at the supermarket, you should know that you can preserve it much longer with a few simple tricks.
Basil, how to make it last longer at home. The trick no nursery will ever tell you!
If you usually buy basil seedlings at the supermarket, hoping to always have fresh leaves available throughout the season in your kitchen, you should definitely avoid this very common mistake. In fact, the thing that frequently happens as early as a few days after purchase is that the plant starts to wilt, the leaves turn black or yellow, and the plant dies. Even if we transplanted the plant to a larger pot. Well, why these plants indoors do not last longer than about 15 days is explained to us by British botanist James Wong in his new book “Grow to taste,” a work full of good ideas for horticulture and gardening enthusiasts.
According to Wong, when we buy a pot with an aromatic plant such as basil, we think we are only taking home one plant. However, this is not true, as each pot contains up to 20 small, dense seedlings that are forced to grow in artificial light and with reduced space. So, it also results in a reduced amount of nutrients. Nurseries thus obtain an “adult” plant in less time and with very little care. When you come home with a plant, for example basil, these seedlings inside the pot begin to compete with each other for space and nutrients, and so it is easy for them to become diseased and the plant to wilt and die.
The solution for supermarket herbs to last us much longer is not to move them to a larger pot as most people do. What needs to be done instead is to remove all the seedlings carefully from their original pot and transplant each one separately. With this trick, the plants will live longer, have the right amount of nutrients, and we will have many hardier plants that will last longer.
Basil: if you keep it this way you will have it strong, healthy and lush
After doing this, you should also pay special attention to the following factors:
Basil needs a lot of light. For this reason, a basil plant can grow well in a garden, on a terrace or in a room in the house that has sufficient natural light. Likewise, the plant tolerates a semi-shaded area well, especially in very hot climates, where it can suffer greatly if exposed to the sun during the hottest hours of the day.
It suffers in wind and cold. Therefore, drafts and, especially, frosts should be avoided.
It requires humus-rich soil that remains constantly moist. The key to a healthy basil plant is to keep it moist at all times, but avoid water stagnation. In this sense, the ideal is to water it daily (even a couple of times a day, with little water) and facilitate its drainage by creating a small hole in the bottom of the pot.
So, if we want an aromatic plant that will last us for a while, we should get one from a nursery or specialized plant store and transplant the pot seedlings separately at home. In addition, we must then try to keep them in their optimal growing conditions. Only then will you have strong, healthy and lush basil plants!