growing herbs from supermarket herbs

How to grow herbs from supermarket herbs

Have you ever spent money on fresh supermarket herbs?  Do you buy a large package when you only need a teaspoon?  Learn how to grow herbs from supermarket herbs.

growing herbs from supermarket herbs

What to do with the leftover fresh herbs from the supermarket?

It is easy to root new plants from supermarket fresh herbs. You can grow just about any kind of herb. The key is to start with the freshest herbs possible.  If there is a date on the package, grab the latest one.

There are not typically growth inhibitors sprayed on fresh herbs. However, even if your supermarket does sell herbs that have been sprayed with growth inhibitors you can still use them.  The only extra step is to make sure that you give them a good rinsing before you start.

Do I need to buy organic herbs?

It is sometimes difficult to find organic fresh herb cuttings at the supermarket. The most common herbs in my market are not organic. I tend not to worry too much about starting with organic or not.  Since I grow organically the original cutting being organic seems less important.

grow herbs from supermarket herbs

How to grow herbs from supermarket herbs

  • Remove the leaves from about the bottom 3-4″
  • Put the stem in water and place it on a windowsill.
  • Keep the water to a level that keeps about half the length of the stem submerged
  • In about 2 weeks you will see new roots (some herbs like rosemary can take a bit longer)

Have patience!  It might not seem like the herbs will root but as long as the leaves are still fresh looking the process is working!

Warning:  Keep an eye on the stem.  If the stem starts to turn black it means that your stem is rotting.  If you catch it quick enough you can still save the plant.  Change the water right away.  Cut off any bad areas if you can.  Keep the water fresh until the roots start to appear.

After the roots develop

You can grow herbs in a mason jar on the windowsill.  This is a very popular method however I find it to be a really short-term way of growing herbs.  Soil planted herbs or true hydroponic herbs do much better than Mason jar growing.

If you choose to plant the herb in soil, simply plant the stem in the proper type of soil. See the guide below. Then place your plant in a sunny spot.

Depending on the plant, you will start harvesting your fresh herbs in a couple of weeks. Follow in general guidelines below to get started with your new herbs.

Here is a list of easy to grow herbs from supermarket herbs

Rosemary

Start: easy from cuttings, difficult from seeds, easy to find full plants

Best soil: sandy and dry

Sun: full

Rosemary comes from the arid area of the Mediterranean. It grows best in less rich soil. Be careful not to overwater.

These can be more prone to roots rotting.  Keep a good eye on it until it starts to root.  Change the water often to avoid problems.

Basil

Start: easy from cuttings, easy from seeds, easy to find full plants

Best soil: rich organic, moist

Sun: full

Basil loves natural sunlight.  They tend to do well under grow lights that are in the “daylight” range of 6500k.

Thyme

Start: easy from cuttings, moderate from seeds, easy to find full plants

Best soil: sandy and dry

Sun: full

Thyme is a great herb to dry and save. It will hold the same flavor after drying. When you use dried vs fresh thyme in recipes use just a 1/3 of the amount of dried compared to fresh.

Parsley

Start: easy from seeds, easy to find full plants, not the best from cuttings

Best soil: moderate

Sun: shade

Parsley doesn’t take as easily to water footing as some herbs. It will root however make sure to have more cuttings than you need. The success rate is low.

Sage

Start: easy from cuttings, moderate from seeds, easy to find full plants

Best soil: sandy and dry

Sun: full

I love to root Sage. It is super easy. After you plant your cuttings keep an eye on growth. Sage can get leggy. Trim back often to grow a nice bush.

Dill

Start: easy from seeds, easy to find full plants

Best soil: sandy and dry

Sun: shade/some sun

Dill is a little less successful growing from cuttings but worth the effort

Tarragon

Start: moderate from seeds, easy to find full plants

Best soil: moderate

Sun: full

Super easy to root. Tarragon does well as a mason jar plant. Planting tarragon in the soil will grow a fragrant bush.

Marjoram

Start: easy from seeds, easy to find full plants

Best soil: moderate

Sun: full

Marjoram is part of the mint family. Like other mints, marjoram grows fast and has a nice fragrance.

Lemon Balm

Start: easy from seeds, easy from cutting, easy to find full plants

Best soil: sandy

Sun: full or shade

Another member of the mint family with a great fresh fragrance.

Chives

Start: easy from seeds, easy to find full plants

Best soil: rich well-drained

Sun: full or shade

Chives are super easy to grow from supermarket chives. Use the greens then put the white ends in water. The chives will quickly regrow

Mint

Start: easy from seeds, easy from cutting, easy to find full plants

Best soil: any

Sun: full or shade

Oregano

Start: easy from seeds, easy from cutting, easy to find full plants

Best soil: any

Sun: full

Next time you need to buy herbs from the market, grab fresh ones. You can grow your new plants now that you know how to grow herbs from supermarket herbs.

Please let me know if you have any questions or comments.  Thanks!

Don’t forget to check out “What is Well drained potting soil”

 

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