How to Plant "Living Herbs" from the Store in Your Garden

Planting a supermarket herb and giving it a second life is actually quite easy, but there are a few steps you should take to ensure success in the garden.

And these same tips work for other living herbs as well—such as rosemary, thyme, sage, and mint—as long as they came in a pot of soil or were hydroponically grown (where the cuttings still have roots attached).

So before you stick a supermarket herb in the soil, here are five things you should know.

Supermarket herbs should be transplanted soon after purchase.


It should be moved into a larger pot or into the ground the week it’s brought home.


Supermarket herbs won’t do well if you just take them out of the pot and put them straight in the ground (or into a larger container). You need to divide them first.

Supermarket herbs are planted intensively.


To keep your plants healthy, gently prod the root ball apart with your hands or cut them with a clean pair of shears.

Supermarket herbs should be divided before transplanting.


Remove any tiny seedlings by snipping them off at the base of the stems. But don’t throw them out—use them in a salad as microgreens!

Thin the divisions as needed.


Bury the stems of basil seedlings and water well.

Keep the basil well-watered (but not water-logged) to reduce the effects of transplant shock.

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