When you use basil as much as I do and have to pay upwards of $3 for a teeny tiny package of it, it really adds up quick. Not to mention, it doesn’t really last all that long in the fridge.
I once tried to grow some basil from cute tiny little seeds, I have no idea what happened to that basil, I think I put it outside in the wonderful Phoenix sun and it died. That or I went on vacation and forgot to tell BF to water it while I was away… I don’t recall. It’s also possible I just got tired of waiting for it to grow and forgot about it. My mom has a green thumb. She can grow anything anywhere, and has a house full of, and surrounded by, plants.
Not me, I have what we call a “black thumb”- I’ve killed all kinds of plants: basil, rosemary, peace lilies, orchids… If you want a plant to die- go ahead and give it to me. Heck, I have a lemon tree out back dying right now. I was so excited to get my meyer lemon tree and then we just have been so busy with the kitchen remodel BF and I haven’t had time to plant it… poor little guy. I hope he makes it…
Back to the basil… So one day I decided I would take the basil I purchased at the store, ya know, the kind that comes in that tiny plastic container- and I would put it into a glass of water on the counter. I was hoping it would keep it fresh longer, and I was right. It worked! So after a couple weeks I could not believe that stuff was still alive, so I had a closer look- it had begun to grow roots! Right into my glass of water!
Continuing to wait a week or two more, it began to actually grow. It grew and blossomed and grew and blossomed (I read somewhere you’re supposed to cut off those flowers, so I would pinch them off whenever I saw them). Eventually, once I thought it was sturdy enough, I transferred my baby basil into a pot, and it continued to flourish.
Now I’ve also read that basil is best when it is young. That it is an annual plant, and once it starts to harden into woody sticks it is pretty much useless, and it becomes much less flavorful. So stick to the young leaves, snip off the flowers when they bloom (and believe me, your basil wants to bloom). It’ll get a bunch of little leaves, and a bunch of flowers on top, just snip off those flowery tops and your lower leaves will get bigger, and the stem will grow more flowery tops.
What you need :
- 1 pkg store-bought basil
- 1 glass of water
- 1 sunny windowsill
Put the basil in the water, put the water on the windowsill, and wait! Be sure to refill and change the water to keep it fresh. Once your basil has enough roots, go ahead and transfer to a well-drained pot (unlike mine, which is not well-drained… but my basil isn’t dead -yet)
*Basil needs lots of sun!
*You can freeze or dry your basil leaves
*Be careful not to over-water your basil once you’ve potted it