Easy Tips for Storing Fresh Basil from Your Garden

The Importance of Storing Fresh Basil Properly

If you have ever grown your own basil, then you know the feeling of pride and satisfaction that comes with harvesting fresh leaves from your garden. However, if you want to enjoy the full flavor and aroma of fresh basil for more than a day or two, it is important to store it properly.

Harvesting Fresh Basil

Before we get into how to store fresh basil, let’s talk about when and how to harvest it. The best time to pick basil leaves is in the morning after the dew has dried but before it gets too hot outside. Gently pinch off the top few sets of leaves just above where two sets of leaves meet on each stem. This will encourage your plant to branch out and produce even more leaves.

Washing and Drying Fresh Basil

After harvesting your basil, give it a gentle rinse under cool running water to remove any dirt or debris. Then pat dry with paper towels or use a salad spinner if you have one. Be sure not to crush or bruise the delicate leaves as this can cause them to discolor and lose their flavor.

The Best Ways To Store Fresh Basil

Now that we’ve covered how and when to harvest fresh basil as well as washing and drying tips, let’s dive into some different storage methods!

In Water:

One popular way people like storing their fresh herbs is by placing them in water like flowers in a vase! Cut off about an inch from bottom stems at an angle & place them in a jar half-filled with clean water (room temperature). Keep away from direct sunlight & change every other day until ready for use (up 7-10 days).

In Airtight Container:

Another good method for storing freshly harvested herbs leaving air pockets trapped inside that can make them to spoil. Place the basil leaves in a clean, dry container and cover it with a damp paper towel or cloth, then seal the lid tightly. Keep in fridge & you can get 1-2 weeks out of your fresh basil!


If you have an abundance of fresh basil and want to preserve it for longer than two weeks, freezing is your best option! Wash and dry as mentioned earlier & place individual leaves on a tray lined with parchment paper. Pop into freezer until frozen solid then transfer to storage bags/containers.

The Bottom Line

Storing fresh basil from your garden correctly will help keep its flavor pristine for much longer than if you simply left it sitting out on the counter or stored improperly. Whether kept in water like flowers, sealed in an airtight container, or frozen so they last indefinitely – there’s no excuse not-to enjoy delicious homegrown ingredients all season long!

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