Basil in the winter

June to December I have all the basil I could want, planted in pots in the back yard. When that dies from the cold, I buy bunches for a buck or $1.20 for organic and wash and trim the stems a 1/2 inch and put in a glass with water. If reasonably fresh when bought the basil keeps in the kitchen for weeks, maybe over a month if I don't use a whole lot of it. However, the basil starts to look not so hardy after a couple of weeks. The leaves shrink. Is there something I can do to keep it happier? Maybe add something to the water? Obviously, I don't want anything drawn up into the leaves that I don't want to ingest.
Dan
PS When it's warm enough in the kitchen, the store bought basil sends out roots and I have more than once successfully planted these in my backyard pots. More often, I start the outside plants from seeds.
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On Jan 18, 1:40 pm, Dan Musicant ( snipped-for-privacy@privacy.net) wrote:

You might try a couple of things: a pinch or two of sugar in the water; letting it sit out on the counter or window sill on a sunny afternoon. Can't guarantee that either would work but that's what comes to mind..... -aem
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In article

Why? Color me Curious. -Barb
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On Sun, 18 Jan 2009 19:08:14 -0600, Melba's Jammin'
:In article
: :> You might try a couple of things: a pinch or two of sugar in the :> water; letting it sit out on the counter or window sill on a sunny :> afternoon. Can't guarantee that either would work but that's what :> comes to mind..... -aem : :Why? Color me Curious. :-Barb
The things I have been doing, or have done occasionally:
Putting the bunch in the sun when it's not so warm as to stress the stems.
I generally put the glass containing the water and stems at the bottom of a stainless steel bowl and put water in the bowl. The evaporating water in the bowl keeps the air surrounding the leaves at a higher humidity than the room at large and helps prevent the leaves from drying excessively.
Occasionally, I spray the leaves with a fine mist of water.
I HAVE on occasion retrimmed the stems. On recommendation in this thread I'll do that more frequently.
Dan
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wrote:

Because, just like in the threads about keeping ginger, no one pays heed to the correct answer, which is Use More! The whole notion of not being able to use a finger of ginger or a bunch of basil before it goes bad is baffling. -aem
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Might I suggest changing the water every couple of days? Once a week or so, I trim the stems. Also, keeping it in the fridge will retard decomposition, so I'd stick it in there when it starts to get 'ugly'.
I wish basil plants liked me . . .
Joy
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Dan Musicant ( snipped-for-privacy@privacy.net) wrote:

Keep the tip of the bases of the stems trimmed every few days. Seems to help with fresh flowers...
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