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When you buy a pot of basil, you are not buying one plant, but a tightly sown clump of more than 20 seedlings.

This gives the appearance of an extremely healthy, bushy plant, which looks great on the shelf. But the reality is that these seedlings soon start to compete with each other for space, causing the plants in the clump to succumb to lack nutrients.

To fix this, take the clump of plants and divide the root ball into quarters by gently tearing it apart with your fingers.

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@neauoire I literally just bought a basil plant today... will go do this :flan_garden:

@neauoire I didn't do that. The thing evolved into a big bush when we decided to make pesto. We reduced the whole beast to about 10-15 plants and reduced the height. Now it's still growing and also very high again, especially for a pot plant.

I have to add, my gf thought the thing is dead after two weeks when I brought it home. It's more than a year now...

@neauoire When I buy a basil plant I always take cuttings from the taller seedlings and put them in water for replication. That way we get a bunch of new plants every 2 months or so which look much healthier.

I will also try this with the remaining plant, thanks for the advice!

@neauoire I'm surprised by how many times I had to teach friends that grocery store herbs have to be repotted.
"They always die after two weeks"... yeah, duh. There's no nutrition in there. It's planned obsolescence.

@brisling @neauoire yes to both of those things. my storebought basil just reached its first cycle milestone, the seedlings from the first plant have begin to arise in the 5gal potter with the store bought in it. :-D its beautiful.

@neauoire At least that's honest. That's not how they're sold around here.

@neauoire Good advice that should definitely come on the label for those things!

I'd add that if you're buying supermarket Basil you should be aware that the plant is probably an F1 hybrid. While you may be able to maintain the plant or propagate it through cuttings, taking seeds from it will likely be problematic.

@neauoire
> But the reality is that these seedlings soon start to compete with each other for space, causing the plants in the clump to succumb to lack nutrients.

If I say β€œthey all solidarilly starve to dead out off lack of nutrients” can anybody prove me wrong?

It's a great advice. I'm just trying to erradicate human notion that plants are as selfish and stupid as rich people.

@neauoire whoa! Bookmarked! I stopped buying those plants after the third one died on me after 10 days or so despite careful watering

@neauoire

This is good to know. I've got an extra pot so I'm going to split my basil into it and get more this weekend.

At some point I should give in and build a raised planter.

@neauoire in the UK potted herbs are often full of fly eggs. Wouldn't recommend keeping around for any length of time, once they hatch they'll spread to all your other pots.

If you wanna keep herbs around, growing the from seed isn't that difficult. Would definitely recommend

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Merveilles

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