I tend to use a lot of fresh herbs for cooking so over time with trial and error I have come up with this:

It is possible to keep herbs fresh (Parsley and Dill mostly) for around a week or more but putting them on an EMPTY jar (without water) and spraying water on them, then a plastic bag would loosely cover it. Since I use herbs bit by bit every day so I re-spray water on them every other day or so. The herbs are almost entirely green and crispy, with virtually no difference from fresh.

If I mixed water with fertilizer and sprayed it on the plants would they keep alive indefinitely or long time?

EDIT: I know that once a vegetable is picked it will start metabolizing its own nutrients at certain rate before it goes bad.

Now if I place herbs' stem ends in a pot with soil (well-fertilized), will it stop it from metabolizing itself? Since it can get nutrients from soil?

  • 1
    questions about nutrition are off-topic, I've edited to delete that part of your question.
    – GdD
    May 22, 2015 at 15:04
  • 2
    Fertilizer is basically some animal's excrement. Are you sure you want to spray it on leaves you're then going to eat? (Well, OK, so artificial fertilizers exist that aren't made from poop, but those have the added feature of being very close to the same thing as explosives. Again, are you sure this is what you want to be eating?)
    – Marti
    May 22, 2015 at 17:24
  • Well, technically plants are meant to be fertilized from time to time if they are grown in pots, aren't they?
    – Joshua
    May 23, 2015 at 1:02
  • 1
    @Joshua plants are meant to grow in fertilized soil. The fertilizer does not get through the soil onto the leaves. The roots pick up some compounds from it and then use them for growth - transforming them into entirely different compounds.
    – rumtscho
    May 23, 2015 at 11:21
  • 1
    This is a duplicate of a question by the same user from some time ago: cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/56104/…
    – Ecnerwal
    May 24, 2015 at 3:18

1 Answer 1


Dousing your herbs with fertilizer is not going to preserve your herbs, and could make you sick as many fertilizers are toxic.

If you want really fresh herbs you can keep them in pots on a windowsill, otherwise your spraying water method is about as good as you are likely to get.

  • 1) I did not mean to directly spray the fertilizer, but mixing it in water and then spraying it, so it will be diluted, mostly water. If I keep them in water in a windowsill will they keep forever if I water it? I'm given to understand that herbs without roots will not really stay alive, that's why I had MUCH better results spraying water on them instead of just putting them on a jar with water in it. 2) Why would spraying the herb with a diluted fertilizer not work? Since the roots aren't that strong, it would help the herb stay alive right? Am I missing a point here?
    – Joshua
    May 22, 2015 at 16:43
  • 7
    @Joshua Fertilizer isn't meant to be absorbed through the leaves, and it doesn't miraculously make plants "healthy" or grow or stay alive. It's for enriching soil, which the plant can then take from as needed (I'm simplifying). Mixing plant food in water and putting the roots/bottom of the stems in it (not spraying) would work much better. May 22, 2015 at 16:49
  • Even then, plants require exposure to sunlight to photosynthesize and grow; fertilizer and soil provide other nutrients, but are not a complete solution. This is like providing an animal with plenty of air, water, and necessary vitamins, but depriving it of food. It might stay alive and look reasonably healthy for a while, but it won't last forever.
    – logophobe
    May 22, 2015 at 20:52
  • Well, does the plant have to be in direct sunlight? If yes I can provide that ;) If I mixed some fertilizer with water and put the bottom of the stems in it would it stay healthy without consuming its own nutrients? Assuming I put it in a place where it can get sunlight? My question is, WILl the plant stay alive without roots but just stems?
    – Joshua
    May 22, 2015 at 22:12
  • 4
    If you are going to to that why not just have a living potted plant? If you want fresh herbs on demand it's a much simpler solution than trying to keep cut herbs fresh for longer.
    – GdD
    May 23, 2015 at 6:35

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