I have a hard time keeping basil.

When I buy it from a local grocery store, it is perfectly fresh, but when I take it home it withers in a couple of days.

I have tried keeping it in fresh water and trimming the stems, but that only extends its life about 48 hours. My current record is 3 days before it goes bad, and I only got that by trimming and replacing water every 16 hours.

What is the secret here? How can I keep the basil alive?


2 Answers 2


Don't try and keep it alive. Wrap it in plastic wrap and freeze it. It will thaw in seconds under running water. Freezing will do little harm to the flavour.


I have had more success with basil that has the roots intact, placed in a tall vase and completely changing the water every 2-3 days, and lasting as long as two weeks. When that's not available, I can make it last 4-5 days by separating the bunch, trimming much of the stem, and spreading it on a long sheet of dry paper towel, rolling loosely, placing in a plastic bag and keeping in the frig. Mind you, the second method is not always successful. If I'm planning to cook with it, I run it through the food processor with just olive oil and keep it in a container in the frig, drizzling a bit of oil on top to prevent darkening.

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