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Keep Your Shop Bought Herbs Growing Longer

Posted in Houseplant Advice on May 20, 2019

Longer Lasting Herbs 

If you have ever bought a live pot of herbs from the supermarket, you will have found that you must use all the herbs in a short period, as they often do not last very long sitting on the shelf in your kitchen. There are several reasons for this:

  • Such herbs are not intended to last more than 1-2 weeks.
  • You may notice that they are growing in a well-draining vermiculite-like mix. Watering the herbs keeps them for a week or two but they soon yellow and begin to look less inviting for your salad. This is because there is little nutrient in the potting mix used. The herbs have been grown in a hydroponic-like system where nutrients are continually provided in the water.
  • The herbs are also likely to be planted very densely in the pot; restricting root growth and nutrient uptake.
  • Herbs are generally outdoor plants and they do not always do well in indoor situations.

Here are some ways you can extend the life of shop-bought herbs.

  • Plant the herbs out in good nutrient-rich soil or media. The individual plants can be separated and given more space. Plant 3-4 herbs per pot. You can re-pot the herbs using Gro-Sure Houseplant Potting Mix for extending the life of your herbs.
  • If you don’t want to plant out the herbs but keep them longer in the original containers (long enough to get use of all the herbs for your cooking), you can feed the herbs with Gro-Sure Houseplant Pump’n’Feed and Mist’n’Feed. These will keep the plants vibrant green and tasteful until you have finished them.
  • You can grow most shop-bought herbs indoors but don’t put them in a very hot location. Find a bright location without full direct sunshine and check that they are watered and fed regularly but are not left standing in water. Placing herbs on a tray of drainage stones is a great way to ensure they drain out. The Gro-Sure Houseplant Watering Indicator will help you by telling you when to water (indicator red) and when not to water (indicator blue).

Specific Herbs


Thrives outdoors in summer but you should be able to get 2-3 months indoors.


Prefers more shaded locations indoors. Outdoors mint will grow rampantly and may become a weed if not restrained in a pot.


You may only get 1-2 months out of coriander.

Parsley (curly leaf and flat-leaf)

Looked after, this herb can give you a whole season, if you haven’t eaten it all.


Best re-potted and grown outdoors but you can keep them going indoors for a month or maybe more.


Likes a bright sunny location. Let it dry out between watering, but not for too long.

You will be able to keep your supermarket-bought pot herbs for 2-3 months or until you have used them all in the delicious recipes you are thinking of; from the pizza topping to fresh pesto.

David Brittain

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