How to Dry Fresh Basil

15 July
Have you ever tried drying your own herbs?

I have basil planted in my Upcycled Horse Trough Raised Garden. Just one plant but it is growing so fast I cannot keep up with it! So I thought it would be fun to try drying some of it so it doesn't go to waste.

How to dry fresh basil

Here's my little basil plant reaching for the sun!

Basil plant

If you have basil planted in your garden do NOT let it bloom! If it blooms then the plant thinks it is done because it has now produced seed and it stops growing. 😥 So, if you see a bloom, pinch it off!

I want my plant to keep producing yummy basil even if I can't keep up with it!


So back to the drying process... harvest your basil by clipping it near a junction where there are more branches growing. This will make your plant grow bushier and fuller too!

You will need a rubber band (twine would also work) and a paper bag (the paper bag I have pictured here was not large enough so I ended up just using a paper grocery bag.

harvested basil

Rinse off your basil stems and gently pat dry between two paper towels, then gather all the stems together and tie together with a rubber band or twine.

basil for drying

Cut holes in the paper bag to allow air to circulate around the plants, poke the stems through a hole in the bottom of the bag, tape or staple the bottom of the bag closed, and hang it in a dry, warm, dark area. 

I hung mine up in my shed. Write the date on the bag so you'll remember how long it has been drying.

drying basil

Mine dried for two weeks.

dried basil

Use your fingers to crumble the leaves off the stems. It still smells SO GOOD!

drying fresh basil

Those cute little cherry tomatoes are from my garden too! 😄

dried basil plants

Store it in an airtight container.

how to dry your own basil

how to dry fresh basil
Drying your own herbs is a great idea for many reasons!
  1. It's easy
  2. It's cheaper than buying them in the store
  3. They taste better than store-bought
  4. There are no pesticides or chemicals involved
  5. They make great gifts
It would be fun to use some cute spice jars and labels (especially when using as a gift!)
And here are some great books about drying your own herbs!

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