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I am trying to get some fresh herbs (Parsley and Dill for example) to stay fresh for some time. I have tried the water jar method which is just trimming ends of stems and putting the bunch in a jar of water. Parsley seems to survive this perfectly for over a week. But for some reason Dill gets ilted after couple days.

My concerns are: 1) What is causing wilting here? 2) If I added some fertilizer to the water inside the jar, would that keep the herb alive?

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3 Answers 3

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Assuming the jar is in the fridge?

Fridge is very drying and the small amount of water sucked up from stems (that leave the water to be cut) isn't enough in your case. Cutting while remaining underwater sometimes makes a difference.

I have better luck wrapping herbs loosely in very damp papertowel and storing in tupperware in fridge. After 2 weeks even fragile cilantro lasted with only a daily picking-off of a dark leaf or 2.

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  • No, in my case parsley was outside the fridge with a plastic bag over it and for 1 week, it stayed perfectly green, crisp and non-wilted. Dill stayed for 3 days before started getting wilted My goal is keeping the plant alive, would fertilizer work in this case? Thanks again
    – Joshua
    Mar 26, 2015 at 21:06
  • @Joshua Fertilizer will NOT help. This is simply that the cut stem cannot supply enough fluid to the foliage. In the fridge might be better (while it can be drying, you could mitigate that with a plastic bag, and being colder will slow down water loss somewhat.) But your best bet for dill is to plant some in a pot, and have it alive with roots.
    – Ecnerwal
    Mar 26, 2015 at 21:13
  • Well, assuming I planted dill in a pot, when I have to take some out, I just cut it from the stem and it will grow back right? Approximately how long would that take?
    – Joshua
    Mar 27, 2015 at 10:13
  • I found some freeze-dried Dill and Chives in my local grocery market. I still prefer fresh, but for occasional or impromptu use, freeze-dried is amazing. You can rehydrate it first, or I just toss it in and let it soak up the goodness of whatever I am making.
    – JSM
    Mar 27, 2015 at 20:12
  • I'm aware of that, but that does not answer the questions in my last comment :)
    – Joshua
    Mar 28, 2015 at 12:52
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A better option is to chop the herb, pack into ice cube trays, cover with oil and freeze (http://www.seriouseats.com/2015/03/how-to-freeze-herbs-for-long-term-storage.html). Alternatively, you can dry your herbs in the microwave for longer storage (http://www.seriouseats.com/2015/03/use-the-microwave-to-dry-your-herbs-for-long-lasting-intense-flavor.html).

Parsley has a thicker stem with more channels for water absorption than dill. That's why the parsley lasted longer - it was able to draw up more water as it lost water to evaporation from the leaves.

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Flash freeze your herbs.

Divide your stuff into small bags of 100-200 grams and freeze them. When you need the herbs take them out and apply as needed. My dad does this with one big bag for each of chives, dill, parsley once per moth. I have had frozen herbs in the freezer for up to 6 months. It still works great in terms of preserving taste.

In Germany, you can even buy small boxes of herbs 90-150 grams that have been preserved this way. For practical purposes, this beats the fresh variety. I think it even comes out cheaper.

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