How to divide supermarket herbs

How to divide supermarket herbs

We show you how to get extra herbs for free by splitting up pots of supermarket herbs.

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
To do
To do

Do not To do in January

Do not To do in February

Do To do in March

Do To do in April

Do To do in May

Do To do in June

Do To do in July

Do To do in August

Do To do in September

Do not To do in October

Do not To do in November

Do not To do in December

You can get extra herb plants for free by dividing up pots of supermarket herbs and growing them on.

These are mostly raised from seed, with many young plants tightly packed together in each pot. These can be split into several smaller clumps and repotted at any time during the growing season.

Most need bright conditions, and basil in particular needs warmth. Evergreen shrubs like sage, rosemary and thyme can be divided in spring and grown on in separate pots, then planted outside in containers or borders.

Discover how to divide supermarket herbs, for tasty, free pickings.

You can get extra herb plants for free by dividing up pots of supermarket herbs.
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You Will Need

  • Multi-purpose, peat-free compost
  • Small pots
  • Herbs, e.g. basil, coriander, chives, rosemary, parsley

Total time:

Step 1

Water the plant well, then gently squeeze the pot to loosen the roots. Carefully slide the rootball out of the pot, supporting the plant with your other hand.

Removing the plant from the pot
Removing the plant from the pot

Step 2

Gently pull the rootball apart to make several small clumps, each with a good set of roots. Shrubby herbs can be split into single plants, or a group of two or three.

Pulling the rootball apart
Pulling the rootball apart

Step 3

Replant the herbs into individual pots, setting each clump centrally so it sits at the same level it was in the supermarket pot. Gently firm the plants in.

Repotting the herbs
Repotting the herbs

Step 4

Cut back most of the soft upper foliage to lower buds. Then place the newly divided plants in a bright, warm spot and they’ll produce new shoots for use all season.

Cutting back the upper foliage
Cutting back the upper foliage
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Supermarket herbs to divide