Loving fresh tomatoes as I do & having no green thumb whatsoever, I am constantly buying basil. We used to get hydroponic basil at the Corona del Mar Farmer's Market, but haven't seen it for awhile - you'd put in water & it's roots would grow & stay fresh until you use it all up - if you were lucky, more would grow from it.
Now, instead of buying those stupid little McCormick herb packages & if the store does not have basil by the bunch, I am a sucker over & over & buy those 'basil bouquets' in the little water container like single roses come in. the directions say keep replacing water & basil will stay fresh & alive. I keep replacing water & basil immediately wilts & dies. Am I doing something wrong (how hard is it?!) or has anyone else had this dissappointing basil experience?