Rooting Grocery Store Herbs – Learn About Rooting Herb Cuttings From The Store

Four Indoor Potted Herbs
fresh herbs
(Image credit: tashka2000)

Buying herbs in the grocery store is easy, but it’s also pricey and the leaves go bad quickly. What if you could take those grocery store herbs and turn them into container plants for a home herb garden? You would get an endless and less expensive supply.

Can You Grow Grocery Store Herbs?

There are a few types of herbs you’ll see at the grocery store: fresh cuttings with no roots, small bundles of herbs with some roots still attached, and small potted herbs. With the right strategy, you can potentially take any one of these and turn them into a new plant for your home herb garden, but the simplest to grow are the potted herbs from the grocery store.

Planting Fresh Herbs from Pots

When you buy the small pot of herbs from the produce section, you may find that they don’t last as long as you would like. A lot of that has to do with the fact that these are fast-growing, short-lived plants. Mint varieties are the ones that are most likely to last. You can extend the lives of any of these plants, though, by repotting them or putting them straight in garden beds with rich soil and giving them plenty of space, sunlight, and water.

Rooting Grocery Store Herbs

If you find the herbs that are not in soil but have roots attached, there is a good chance they were grown hydroponically. The best way to continue growing these is to use that practice. Putting them into soil may produce disappointing results because that is not how they have been used to growing. Keep your hydroponic, rooted herbs in well water or distilled water, not city water. Keep the plant above the water line and the roots submerged and use a liquid hydroponic food or liquid kelp to provide nutrients. For cut herbs from the grocery store, it may be possible to get them to develop roots. Rooting herb cuttings can be done easily with softwood herbs like basil, oregano, or mint. With woodier herbs like rosemary, take a cutting from the newer, greener growth. Make a fresh, angled cut on your grocery store herb stems and remove the lower leaves. Put the cutting in water with the remaining leaves above the water line. Give it warmth and indirect light and change the water every couple of days. You can keep growing them hydroponically with added food or you can transplant the cuttings once they grow roots and start growing them in soil. Snip leaves as you need them and keep your plants cared for as you would any herb.

Mary Ellen Ellis

Mary Ellen Ellis has been gardening for over 20 years. With degrees in Chemistry and Biology, Mary Ellen's specialties are flowers, native plants, and herbs.