Best Ways To Save Dead Herbs

How to Rescue Wilted Herb Plants

Dying plant in a bucket
Image Source / Getty Images

Indoor plants not only liven up your living space but they can be very beneficial for your health as well. In fact, studies show that plants can purify the air that we breathe within our homes. Some of the best plants for this include a variety of palm trees (maybe they will also fool us into thinking we are on some exotic island..oo la la). 

Clearly, I prefer a different kind of benefit from my indoor plants- food source. This is why I have a window sill pot filled with my favorite herbs. My absolute favorite being Basil, then Chives, Rosemary, and then Mint. Although these are not the only herbs you can have in your kitchen garden, they are a great start!

illustration with tips for growing herbs
Illustration: Kaley McKean. © The Spruce, 2019

Indoor Herbs and Sunlight

While many herbs tend to be fairly sensitive to sunlight, perhaps the indoor plant is "under the weather" due to the lack of. Make sure you do a quick evaluation of where the plant is located and if it is in a location that pick up some rays. Depending on the herb, they can require upwards of 6 hours of direct sunlight each day.

So, keeping your kitchen garden away from the window may not provide you with a thriving herb plant.

Outdoor Herbs and Water

Herbs are among the easiest plants to grow, and are often very forgiving of neglect, poor soil conditions, and strange weather. But if you happen to find your beautiful basil looks horribly droopy, with shriveled leaves and wilted stems, don't despair, and don't run for the shovel to dig the plants up.

There's a decent chance that all your herbs need are a long, deep drink of water. Before you take drastic measures to rescue your herbs, simply water them generously. Don't overdo it as you don't want to drowned the roots.

You can easily monitor your amount of water by taking subtle cues from the soil -- as long as it's quickly drinking up the water, you should be in good shape. You may even see what had looked like dying herbs perk up and unfurl their leaves within a couple of hours.

Water can also be a factor in the wilting of your indoor herbs. The rule of thumb is to make sure herb soil is damp to the touch. Soil feel dry? It needs water, no matter if it is indoors or outdoors.

Article Sources
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  1. Claudio L. Planting healthier indoor air. Environ Health Perspect. 2011;119(10):A426-7.  doi:10.1289/ehp.119-a426