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How do I keep my indoor herbs alive?

I've just joined this site, I wouldn't call myself a gardener exactly as I don't have a garden but I've just bought 4 herb plants (mint, chives, parsley, basil) for my kitchen windowsill. They looked great in the shop, where they were indoors, but after having them at home for just one day the parsley had wilted right over and now the basil is wilting too. So I was wondering if anyone could tell me what I'm doing wrong???

They get quite a few hours of direct sunlight a day, and I've kept the soil damp but not wet as the instructions said. Do I need to actually open the window, or give them plant food (and if so how often)?

Thanks image


  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 27,145

    Are these supermarket herbs from the veg counter?

    They will never have been exposed to the real world. They're designed to be bought and used.

    If I want to grow any  on I either leave them in the plastic bags to support them till they get some strength in the stems or cut them back, use the tops and leave the rest to grow again.

    Except the basil, cutting that always seems to be the end. It is only an annual.


    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 21,658

    Mint will normally be too big for a windowsill, chives really prefer living outside, so does mint. Basil I usually find OK from a supermarket, I nip off the tops of the shoots to use and they grow sideshoots. Parsley can be funny, it may recover, or you could cut it up and freeze it in a plastic bag to use when you want. Don't overwater but keep damp. For the first days don't put them in direct sunlight, it may be too strong through a window, do it gently. As Nutcutlet says, they are grown to be used.

    Dordogne and Norfolk. Clay in Dordogne, sandy in Norfolk.
  • Yeah, they're potted plants but sold by the veggies. I thought it would be cheaper to keep these plants and use as needed than buying the herbs pre-cut which go soggy after 2 days in my fridge (I don't like dried herbs). I'm using them every day but they're all pretty big plants, there's only so much basil I can garnish each meal with image Thanks for the tips though, shall attempt to keep them alive and if all else fails I'll freeze what I can!
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