Wednesday, July 3, 2013

How To: Grow & Propagate Basil From Cuttings

Basil is one of the easiest and fastest plants for propagation and summer is the perfect time to experiment in your own garden. Propagating basil cuttings is a great way to keep your basil supply going strong all season long, and a fun way to create new starter plants that make great hostess or parting gifts for all those summer get togethers. We've been trying it ourselves over the past couple of weeks and are already seeing success!

To propagate basil, cut about a 3-4 inch stem of new growth just above two leaf nodes:



Give the cut base plant a good watering so it can start to regenerate itself.

Prepare your cutting by gently removing the lower leaves on the stem, leaving the two smallest at the top:


Then place in a dish of fresh water by the windowsill to sit. Over the next several days, keep the water in the dish fresh and covering the stem of the cutting.


After a week in the water (right around 7-8 days), we began to see our stem already sprouting new roots:


They just sprung right out from the base of the stem:


It's now been 2 weeks since we took the cutting and the roots have continued to grow. We'll continue to let them grow and establish longer and thicker roots before planting it in soil, but this is where we are today:


Pretty amazing, right?

Here's how the mother basil plant is fairing since the cut we made:


As you can see, since we cut just above two leaf nodes, the small plant generated two new stems with leaves, creating a bushier plant:


As each of these stems continue to grow longer and stronger, we'll be able to take new cuttings from each. This will allow us to get more basil started, while keeping the mother plant full and bushy instead of tall sparse. This cycle can go on and on, providing you with lasting basil all season long.

We'll keep you posted with how it goes for us. Have you had success regenerating basil or other plants — what methods seem fail proof for you?

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24 comments:

  1. Loved this post, have been meaning to propagate more basil given that my plant went through a decent beating the past few months! Fingers crossed the little one propagates!

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    1. I am sure you will do just fine. This really is easy!

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    2. I tried this b4 following these instructions, but, since I'm in Florida, I think the sun magnified through the window & fried my basil sprout. So, I'm trying it again, but I'm keeping it outside in moderate shade & hoping it'll grow.

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  2. Oh my goodness! You just saved my plant! We are newbies at growing our own food and this was perfect!!

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    1. So happy to hear! You can check out all of our gardening tips here

      http://www.17apart.com/p/gardening.html

      Thanks for following along!

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    2. Hey! I am kinda desperate with my basil and no one here knows a thing about it. If I sent pictures of mine to you could you help me with them?

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    3. Hey! I am having some trouble with my basil, and no one here knows a thing about it. I know you already give tips about it, but if I send pictures of mine, would you help me?

      Will risk and try your advice now.

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  3. Keep it up and help us to know more about gardening thank you

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  4. Thank you for the very detailed post and lots of pictures. Very helpful :)

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  5. You can do the same thing with mint and rosemary and I think tomato. I am current testing the tomato. I want to learn all the plants that can be cloned like this.

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    1. Mint will multiply on its own....stems will spread on the ground and root. Just cut off that part and you will have a new plant. Mints are best kept confined in a pot or corner as they spread so fast that they will take over everything before you know it !!!!

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  6. Thanks so much! My neighbor has bountiful basil growing and offered me some cuttings to start my own. Just what I needed. Love the photos and the directions. I can't wait! Bless

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  7. You all are great! Seriously. Basil is my favorite. Thanks for the tips.

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  8. New reader here. Basil is one of my fave herbs. I'm learning a lot from your regrowing practices (celery, onion, etc.). I plan to do the same soon, for sustainable living, of course. Thanks a bunch! :)

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    1. We are happy you found us! Please stay in touch.

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  9. Does this concept of a bushy plant applies to mints as well? Or other herbs?

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    1. For the most part yes it does! Good luck!

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  10. I am a newbie at growing my own food. I really thank you for this. I helps me out a lot with my basil plant. If i take a cut from my rosemary, parsley, and mint and do the same thing you did here will i get the same results from the these other herb plants as well?

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    1. Thanks so much for giving it a try and yes those will work. If you go to the bottom of this post you will see a link for rosemary mint and other herbs we have been successful with! Happy growing!

      Best, Tim and Mary

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  11. Great! I have two extremely tall, sparse and leggy basil plants that aren't producing much foliage, so with these tips I should be able to lop the tops off and start anew. Will keep on top of the pruning this time to get bushier plants!

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  12. great! I have two extremely tall, sparse basil plants with few branches that are struggling to produce enough foliage- with these tips I should be able to lop the tops off and give them a second chance. Perhaps I'll keep on top of the pruning this time round!

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  13. Thank you so much for this post. I was able to grow roots in six days! https://instagram.com/p/2pErRGn7By/
    I'll propagate my basil using this method. Starting with seeds is taking longer time now. However, I'm still waiting for roots to grow in my mint cuttings. Thanks again! ������

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