Basil is one of the most commonly used aromatic herbs in the kitchen. A fundamental ingredient in our culinary tradition, it adds flavor and aroma to a variety of dishes. It’s not uncommon to buy a basil plant from the supermarket only to find it wilting soon after bringing it home.

The plants we purchase at the supermarket are “designed” to last a short time, encouraging us to buy another shortly. However, reviving supermarket-bought basil and making it last longer is not impossible. Here’s how you can do it:

Basil Care Basics:

Basil doesn’t require special care; it’s highly resilient and adapts well to various climatic conditions, as long as they aren’t extreme and don’t involve sudden changes.

Environmental and Thermal Shock:

The supermarket-bought basil may have spent many days under artificial light and controlled temperatures before transitioning to natural light when we bring it home. Consider this when deciding where to place the plant. It’s advisable to keep it indoors for a few days, perhaps near a window, to allow the plant to readjust to natural light without encountering a potentially damaging “shock.”

Proper Watering:

Basil loves humidity and needs to stay consistently hydrated. It’s possible that the plants displayed at the supermarket received less water than necessary. Once you bring it home, water it regularly, avoiding excessive watering at once. If the soil is too dry, rehydrate it gradually.

Choosing the Right Soil:

If you decide to transplant supermarket-bought basil, choose soil that is fertile but not overly compact or heavy. For fertilizing basil, opt for a liquid product rich in nitrogen.

Additional Tips for Basil Survival:

  1. Remove white-colored inflorescences that appear during the warm months. Removing flowers allows the plant to redirect more energy towards survival.
  2. Avoid exposing the basil plant to direct sunlight to prevent leaf burn.
  3. Mist the basil leaves when it gets too hot. This simple trick helps the basil stay cooler and withstand heat better.

By following these straightforward tips, you can increase the longevity of your supermarket-bought basil, ensuring a fresh and flavorful addition to your culinary ventures.