Why do supermarket basil plants always dry up when we bring them home?

Basil is one of the most widely used aromatic plants in the kitchen. A fundamental ingredient in our culinary tradition, it gives a touch of flavor and aroma to so many different dishes. It may happen that we buy a basil seedling at the supermarket, and it starts to dry out once we bring it home.

The seedlings we buy at the supermarket are “designed” to last a short time, so that we have to buy another one after a short time. But recovering store-bought basil and making it last a long time is not impossible, and below we explain how to do it.

Basil is not a seedling that requires special care: it is very hardy and adapts well to many different climatic conditions, as long as they are not extreme and it is not subjected to too abrupt changes.

Environmental and heat shock

It is likely that the supermarket basil seedling has spent many days in artificial light and a controlled temperature, then switched to natural light as soon as we bring it home.

Take this into account when choosing where to put the seedling. Our advice is to keep it indoors for a few days, perhaps near a window, to allow the seedling to readjust to natural light without running into a “shock” that could permanently damage it.

Incorrect watering

The basil seedling loves moisture, and must remain constantly hydrated. It is possible that seedlings displayed at the supermarket received less water than they should.

As soon as you get it home, water it frequently, but avoid putting in too much water all at once. If the potting soil is too dry, it is good to rehydrate it a little at a time.

Choosing the right potting soil

If you decide to transplant supermarket basil, it is important to choose a potting soil that is fertile enough. Don’t compact it too much and don’t weigh it down.

To fertilize basil, choose a product that is liquid and rich in nitrogen.

Other tips for increasing the survival of supermarket basil

Eliminate the white-colored inflorescences that appear during the warm months. Eliminating the flowers will give the plant more energy to survive.

Do not expose the basil seedling to direct sunlight to prevent the latter from burning the leaves.

Moisten the basil leaves when it gets too hot. […]