Tricks to Keep Herbs Fresh For as Long as Possible

Fresh Herbs

Around here, herbs are a favorite accessory for recipes, bouquets, and décor. Whether you have harvested a bunch of mint for a tea party, parsley for a Mediterranean dinner with friends, or basil for a sweetly-scented bouquet, you want to keep your fresh harvest in good health for as long as possible.

Here are a few tricks to keep herbs fresh for as long as possible.

Harvest Correctly

The first trick to keeping herbs fresh for longer is to harvest them correctly. When harvesting, cut the stems at an angle. This will allow for better water intake and will help your harvest live a little longer. Then, after harvest, be sure to re-trim your bouquet of herbs once every few days and change the water out.

Harvesting Fresh Herbs

Pay Attention to Variety

Herbs fall into two categories depending on their stems and leaves: soft herbs and hard herbs. Soft herbs include basil, cilantro, mint, and parsley. They all have tender stems and leaves. Hard herbs, like rosemary, thyme and sage, have harder stems and firmer leaves.

These differences have an impact on how you’ll keep herbs fresh.
Soft herbs love to spend time as a bouquet in fresh, cool water. Hard herbs will do better wrapped in a cool damp paper towel.

So first, notice your herb variety and care accordingly! Here’s a quick list of popular hard and soft herbs to help you out.

Common Hard Herbs:

  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Chives
  • Sage
  • Oregano

Common Soft Herbs:

  • Parsley
  • Cilantro
  • Dill
  • Basil
  • Mint
  • Tarragon

Give Your Harvest H20!

Keep Herbs Fresh In Water

Get your herbs hydrated immediately after harvest, as herbs will wilt without water. For soft herbs, fill a jar with room temperature water and set in a cool place. For hard herbs, wrap your harvest in a cool damp paper towel and store in a resealable bag in the fridge. The paper towel keeps the herbs just moist enough, so they won’t dry out.

Light Matters (even after harvest)

You will keep herbs fresh longer in a room with cool temperatures. Avoid displaying your harvest in direct sunlight or near appliances that generate heat. You also should try to avoid keeping herbs near fruit. Ripening fruits release tiny amounts of ethylene gas which can reduce the longevity of your fresh herbs.

Whatever the case and however you get your harvests to last, enjoy your herbs! If you want to spice up your cocktails, adding herbs is a great way to improve the flavor profile – Here are some of our favorites!

Psst, if you want to learn more about flavor profiles check out our complete guide on the topic!

Let us know if you have any questions or concerns about your harvest, we’d be happy to help.

Herb Garden Kit