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I want to have a pot of fresh basil and also fresh sage handy in my kitchen for over the Christmas period. Is it any use buying the supermarket pots of these you find in the vegetable aisle and potting them on with a bit more room and compost to keep them going? Or am I wasting my time?
Hi Honeysuckle. I'm not sure what the official answer is but I've got a basil plant that my partner brought from Tescos in March / April time that is still going strong (in fact at one point during the summer it went a little too strong and I've now a freezer bag full of basil leaves). All that has happened to it is that once we had exhausted its supply we potted it up into a larger pot and left it into the greenhouse to recover.
If you're only wanting it to last through the Christmas period I can't see what harm it would be to give them a bit more compost and a pretty pot. My main concern would be whether your kitchen gets enough daylight to keep the plant happy?
The supermarket basil in pots will last on your windowsill until after the Christmas period as long as it'd doesn't get too cold. I've not seen sage in pots in the supermarket, but that's probably because I don't look for it as I've got loads in the garden. If there isn't any potted sage, I would buy some sprigs of cut sage and put them in a jug of water on the windowsill, it'll keep at least a fortnight.
HRose, I've had supermarket herbs also last for months; only once has one failed when I potted it on. I find they do best near an East facing window; they get a bit scorched on the South facing one. Baby Bio now do an indoor herb plant food I believe, but I just give them original BabyBio.
Basil - yes absolutely, I have some in my kitchen now that's been grwoing for a couple of months since I bought it at a supermarket.
Sage is not generally sold in supermarkets as it's too big and leggy, but if you can get some established out of doors, it's hardy and you can use it in the winter. Or if you get a sprig or two, you can dry or freeze the leaves.
I've had Basil from the supermarket keep on the west facing kitchen windowsill for weeks. About 6 weeks ago I took three sprigs and put them in a glass of water. A week or two later they grew roots and I potted them on, the old one that was root bound went on the compost.
Swiss Sue; that is a really good tip