Saving Supermarket Herbs

How To Keep Supermarket Herbs Alive Forever

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Keeping supermarket herbs alive can be challenging; they are not kept in the best conditions. Many people buy herbs from the supermarket with the intention of growing them on at home, only to find that their plants wilt and die within a few days.

Fortunately, there are some simple steps you can take to keep your supermarket herbs alive and thriving.

One of the most important things you can do to keep your supermarket herbs alive is to choose the right plants. Look for herbs that are healthy and free from blemishes, with vibrant green leaves.

Once you’ve brought your herbs home, it’s important to repot them with fresh potting mix and larger pots, as this will give them the space and nutrients they need to grow.

Additionally, it’s important to water your herbs regularly and harvest them correctly to ensure they continue to thrive.

Repotting Herbs

One of the key steps to keeping supermarket herbs alive is repotting them. When you buy herbs from a supermarket, they are often already overcrowded in their small pots and may not have the best soil. Repotting them into larger pots with fresh, fertile soil can help them thrive.

Supermarket Coriander
Supermarket Coriander

To repot your herbs, gently remove them from their current pot and loosen the soil around the roots. If the roots are tightly packed, you may need to gently tease them apart.

Rootbound
Rootbound

Place the herb in a larger pot with fresh potting mix, making sure to cover the roots with soil.

Moved into a new jar
Moved into a new jar

I moved my herbs into a jar as I didn’t have any pots with saucers available. I don’t recommend this as without proper drainage you need to be really careful with overwatering.

The soil I used was coco coir with added nutrients. I like to use this for indoor plants as you won’t get any fungus gnats which often come with compost.

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03/01/2024 02:28 pm GMT

It’s important to choose the right size pot for your herbs. They should have enough room to grow but not so much that the soil stays wet for too long.

A good rule of thumb is to choose a pot that is 1-2 inches larger in diameter than the current pot.

Removing Excess Plants

Your pot will undoubtedly have far too many plants in it for the size of it.

Supermarkets do this to pack the plants in so you get plenty of herbs. It works well if you buy and use the herbs quickly, it doesn’t work if you want to keep growing them.

So take out a lot of the plants in the pot, I took out roughly 50-60% of the plants.

Removed a lot of the plants
Removed a lot of the plants

Recovery

You will soon see new growth; this is a great sign and shows that your herbs are well on the road to recovery.

New Growth
New Growth

Watering

The simplest thing you need to do to keep your supermarket herbs alive is proper watering.

Overwatering can lead to root rot, while underwatering can cause the herbs to dry out and wither. Here are some tips for proper watering techniques:

  • Water when the soil feels dry: Before watering, check the soil by sticking your finger about an inch deep into the soil. If it feels dry, it’s time to water. If it still feels moist, wait a day or two before checking again.
  • Water from the bottom: Instead of watering from the top, which can lead to water sitting on the leaves and causing damage, water from the bottom by placing the pot in a saucer of water and allowing the plant to soak up the water from the bottom.
  • Use room temperature water: Cold water can shock the roots and hot water can scorch the leaves, so use room temperature water when watering your herbs.
  • Don’t let the herbs sit in water: After watering, make sure to pour out any excess water that has collected in the saucer. Leaving the herbs sitting in water can lead to root rot.

Feeding Herbs

Feeding your herbs is essential for their growth and survival. Supermarket herbs often come in small pots with limited soil and nutrients, so providing them with additional nourishment is important.

One option is to use a slow-release fertiliser, which can be added to the soil and will feed your plants for many months. Another option is to use a liquid fertiliser, which can be applied directly to the soil and will provide an instant rush of nutrients.

It’s important to follow the instructions on the fertiliser packaging and not to over-fertilise, as this can damage the plant’s roots and lead to nutrient burn. Generally, herbs require a balanced fertiliser with equal amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I make my indoor herb garden thrive?

To ensure the success of your indoor herb garden’s success, choose the right location, provide adequate light, and use high-quality soil.

It’s also important to ensure proper drainage and to avoid overcrowding your plants. Regular pruning and harvesting can also help your herbs thrive.

What are the best practices for watering potted herbs?

When watering your potted herbs, avoiding overwatering or underwatering is important. You should water your plants thoroughly but allow the soil to dry out slightly between waterings.

It’s also important to ensure proper drainage and to avoid getting water on the leaves, which can lead to disease.

Is it possible to revive a dying herb plant?

In some cases, reviving a dying herb plant may be possible by adjusting its growing conditions, such as providing more or less light, adjusting the temperature or humidity, or repotting in fresh soil.

However, acting quickly and addressing the underlying issue causing the plant to decline is important.

How do I prevent my herbs from getting too much or too little sunlight?

To prevent your herbs from getting too much or too little sunlight, it’s important to choose the right location for your plants based on their individual needs.

Most herbs require at least six hours of direct sunlight daily, but some varieties may prefer partial shade. You can also use shading or artificial lighting to adjust the light your plants receive.

What is the ideal temperature for growing herbs indoors?

Most herbs prefer temperatures between 18-24°C (65-75°F), but some varieties may tolerate slightly cooler or warmer temperatures.

It’s important to avoid exposing your plants to extreme temperature fluctuations or drafts, which can cause stress and damage.

What are some natural methods for keeping pests away from my herb plants?

There are several natural methods for keeping pests away from your herb plants, such as using companion planting, applying insecticidal soap or neem oil, or introducing beneficial insects like ladybugs or lacewings.

It’s also important to regularly inspect your plants for signs of pests and to address any issues promptly.

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