Growing basil from cuttings

Contents

Tips For Propagating Basil

There are plenty of herbs that you can plant in your herb garden, but the easiest herb to grow, tastiest and most popular has to be basil. There are a couple of ways for propagating basil plants and both of them are quite simple. Let’s look at how to propagate basil.

Planting Basil Seeds

When it comes to planting basil seeds, make sure you’re planting basil seeds in an area where they will get six to eight hours of sunshine daily.

The soil should have a neutral pH so that they have the best chance of growing. Simply plant the seeds in a row and cover with about 1/4-inch of soil. Once the plants grow to a few inches in height, thin them out to 6 to 12 inches apart.

Planting Basil Seeds Indoors

You can plant your basil indoors as well. Be sure the pot is placed in an area where it will get daily sunshine and water your basil every seven to 10 days.

How to Propagate Basil from Cuttings

Basil propagation from cuttings is quite simple. In fact, propagating basil is one way to share your basil with your friends. All you need to do is take a 4-inch basil cutting right below a leaf node. Remove the leaves off the basil cutting about 2 inches from the end. Make sure the basil cutting is a piece that has not yet flowered.

Your basil cutting can then be placed in a glass of water on the windowsill where it can get good sunlight. Use a clear glass so you can watch your basil propagation grow roots. Change the water every few days until you see root growth, then leave your basil propagation roots to grow to about 2 inches or so. This can take two to four weeks.

Once the roots on your basil cutting are 2 inches or longer, you can plant the cutting in a pot indoors. Put the planter in a place where the plant will get direct sunlight.

Basil propagation is a great way to share your basil. Now that you know how to propagate basil, you can take new plantings and give them as gifts to friends or offer them to new neighbors as housewarming gifts.

I’m so excited about this tip, I decided it deserved its own blog post, rather than just a footnote in another post (which I had originally planned to do).

I buy basil often at the farmers market. When I get it home, I store the bunches in jars of water to keep them fresh. It works well. One of the vendors told me that if I trim the ends off of the bunches, they will sprout roots.

:O

So I tried it.

Farmers market haul with lots of basil

We ate most of the basil pictured above. I reserved a small amount in one of the jars of water. After about a week, I noticed roots sprouting! How exciting. By the way, when I store basil in water like this, I change the water about once a week or every ten days.

Basil sprouting roots in water

I then searched for a pot to plant my basil. That took a few weeks (life gets busy…). By the time I pulled my basil out of the water, the roots had gone wild.

Cut basil with roots

I potted the basil in a pot filled with dirt and some of my lazy compost mixed in. (Here’s how to compost the lazy way.) I really should have divided this basil among a few pots. It’s a bit crowded below.

Freshly planted basil cuttings Pot of basil

As the basil sat in the water and later grew in the pot above, it started to flower in several spots. Just pinch these off as soon as you see them—ideally when tiny, tightly closed up and green but if you miss those, pinch off when open and white. I keep my plant in a sunny kitchen greenhouse window but due to glare there, took the pic outside. I made homemade pasta this week (post to come eventually) and topped it with pesto made with most of this basil. I did leave several leaves though and will trim a bit to propagate more for another pot. The pesto tasted delicious.

I tried this same trick with a green onion. After I had cut off and eaten the green part, I put the white part—the bottom of which I hadn’t trimmed—in a jar of water. It has been regrowing for over a month in my window and seems to have slowed down a bit.

Green onion regrowing in a jar of water Green onion roots

I bought celery this week at the farmers market. I’ll try that next.

Buy 1 Basil Plant, Grow 10 Free!

Learn how to grow basil from cuttings through propagation.

I love cooking with fresh herbs, but I hate how they charge like $4 for one of those tiny plastic containers at the grocery store.

Fortunately, you can spend the same amount of money on a live plant that will give you fresh herbs all season long! I’ve used this technique for years, and now that we have a yard to plant #alltheplants, I thought it was high time to share my personal tips with you.

P.S. You might also like to learn how to grow tomatoes in containers!

It probably sounds too good to be true; or you might think you need a green thumb; but I swear anybody can do this!

I’ve seen a few different tutorials or advice posts for propagating herbs this way, but if you want to know how to grow basil from cuttings without getting too technical, read on for the easy way I do it — without any unnecessary steps!

Instructions for How to Grow Basil from Cuttings

1. Start with a big, bushy basil plant. Get one straight from the store — no need to nurture it ahead of time!

2. Snip a cutting a few inches below its top set of leaves, above a lower set of leaves.

Tip: Cut at an angle. This gives the cutting more surface area to take in water later.

3. If you have an extra set of leaves in the middle of your cutting, pinch (or snip) them off. Yout want a good few inches of bare stem.

4. Place your newly-naked stem into a jar, glass, or vase.

Tip: Use a clear container (rather than something opaque like a coffee mug or can) so you can see when the roots begin to grow or when it’s time to change the water.

5. Once you’ve clipped and prepared all your cuttings and stuck them in a container, fill it up with water.

6. Place your basil babies near a natural light source, but don’t leave them in direct, strong sunlight, or they can scorch and die.

7. Change the water daily (or when it becomes cloudy or stinky) by pouring it out and adding new room-temperature water.

After approximately a week, you’ll start to see tiny white, hair-like roots sneaking out from the stem. As you can see in the photo above, they’ll grow out of anywhere along the stem given the opportunity, just like these guys!

8. Once the roots have gotten thicker and a little more sturdy, you can plant the basil in a pot or directly into the ground!

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Basil is just one of several herbs that you can propagate, whether you want to transplant the cuttings into the garden or grow in pots on your windowsill. When you learn how to propagate basil, you’ll be able to enjoy a constant supply of this fragrant herb all year round.

How to propagate basil. It’s simple and can be done in just a few steps. Start with just one healthy basil plant from which you can get several cuttings. You then have the option of propagating cuttings in water or in a potting medium. After two to three weeks, your cuttings will be ready for planting indoors in pots or out in your garden.

It’s really that simple. Here’s everything you need to know about propagating basil, including how to propagate in water or soil, how to plant basil from seeds, and how to safely transplant your new cuttings.

The Wonders of Basil

Basil is one of the easiest herbs to grow on your windowsill. It’s also one of the tastiest and versatile, adding flavor to a wide variety of foods. But buying fresh basil is expensive, particularly during the winter months. One way to have basil handy year-round and adorn your kitchen with greenery is to propagate the herb from cuttings. This way one plant can turn into a constant source of basil.

Propagating basil in water or soil is also much faster than growing the plant from seeds. It can take a few weeks for basil grown from seeds to be ready for use. Rooting basil from cuttings and then transplanting each “new” basil plant into the garden or into a pot lets you start enjoying this delicious herb that much sooner.

How To Propagate Basil From Cuttings

Propagation is all about getting new plants from different sources. There are three ways that you can propagate herbs: by rooting cuttings in water, planting cuttings into a growing medium, and growing basil from seeds.

The best time to propagate basil by taking cuttings is during the growing season, which is usually during spring, summer, and fall. Take cuttings from plants that aren’t flowering – flowering plants are nearing the end of their growing cycle.

Benefits of Propagating and Growing Your Own Basil

You probably don’t need much convincing that growing your own basil is a good idea, but here are just a few of the reasons why you’ll want this aromatic herb in your home:

  • Basil is an amazing culinary herb that pairs well with a variety of other foods, particularly with tomatoes. Or make your own pesto to use in pasta recipes.
  • Basil is a medicinal herb that can be used for numerous health conditions includinginflammation and swelling, stomach spasms, fluid retention, intestinal gas, and treating colds.
  • Basil is rich in calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and vitamins A, K, and C.
  • Basil has a pleasant aromatic scent.
  • Basil flowers attract bees.
  • Basil can help to repel fruit flies.

How To Propagate Basil In Water

Ready to propagate my basil plant

You won’t need much to propagate basil from cuttings. All you need to get started is one large, full basil plant, either a plant of your own ora plant from the nursery. Or ask your neighbors and friends for a plant from their garden. The other items you’ll need are small glass containers, a sharp knife or kitchen scissors, and fresh water. Optional are small pebbles and rooting powder. Then follow these steps:

1. Create Cuttings

Start by cleaning and sanitizing the knife or scissors. Clean in soapy water and wipe along the blade with rubbing alcohol. Then, using the sharp knife or scissors, cut below a leaf node to create cuttings that are about 4 to 5-inches long. A leaf node is where the leaf is connected to the main stem.

15 cuttings from my single basil plant

2. Prepare The Cuttings

Remove leaves from each of the cuttings so that the lower 2-inches are bare. If there are any tiny leaves just beginning, you can leave these attached if you like. I tend to remove them, particularly for water propagation. Don’t forget to put the removed basil leaves in a container and store in the fridge to use later!

A close up of my prepared basil cuttings

3. Place Cuttings Into Jars Or Glasses

Carefully put the cuttings into glass jars, filling with water so that the lower 2-inches of the cutting are submerged. You can fit about three to four cuttings into each jar. I usually have 5 jars, with 4 cuttings in each. Place jars on a windowsill that gets plenty of light.

Avoid direct sunlight or your little cuttings may burn in the heat. Cuttings may wilt a bit for the first day but should recover. If one or two cuttings don’t recover, you’ll still have plenty of others.

4. Optional: Pebbles

I like to put a layer of pebbles into the bottom of each jar. It adds a bit of appeal to the jars as they’re sitting on my windowsill for a few weeks.

5. Keep Water Fresh

You’ll want to keep a close eye on the water level in each jar. Add fresh water to keep the stems fully immersed in water. You’ll also need to change the water each day to keep it fresh and to prevent algae from growing. Use lukewarm tap water, rather than cold, as basil plants don’t do well in cold conditions. If you forget to change the water it will only take a day or two for the water to decay, which can cause the roots to rot and die.

6. Growing Roots

In about 5 to 7 days you should start to see tiny roots forming on the stem of the cuttings. Let the little white roots grow until they’re about 2-inches in length. The entire growing process will take about 14 to 21 days.

Basil cuttings after 12 days of water propagation

7. Planting Your Cuttings

Once roots are 2-inches, you can plant your cuttings either indoors in pots or outdoors in a sunny area that has good drainage. Pamper the planted cuttings for the first few days, keeping them protected from direct sunlight.

My basil plants are ready to be planted in pots

How To Propagate Basil In Soil

Another way that you can propagate basil is by planting the cuttings directly into a potting medium. With this propagation process, you’ll be bypassing the process of letting cuttings root in water. Here’s what you’ll need for this method:

  • One large, healthy basil plant
  • Sharp knife or kitchen scissors
  • Small pots for planting
  • Soilless potting mix, perlite, or vermiculite
  • Optional: rooting hormone powder

1. Prepare The Soil

Fill the planting pots with the soilless potting mix, perlite, or vermiculite. Place the pots in a tray of lukewarm fresh water so that the mix can moisten from the bottom to the top. Don’t let the mixture get too wet, otherwise the roots of the cutting may rot when placed into the pot. You can buy soilless potting mix at any nursery. The mix allows ample air flow for the root structure of each basil cutting to develop and grow.

My three pots awaiting their basil cuttings

2. Take Your Cuttings

While the pots are soaking, take a 4 to 6-inch cutting from the basil plant. Choose a healthy stem and using the knife, cut the stem cleanly just below a leaf node at a 45° angle.

3. Prepare The Stems

Pinch off the lower leaves from the cutting so that the lower 2-inches are bare. It’s this section of the cutting that you’re going to be planting in the potting medium. Leave at least two to three basil leaves attached to the top section.

4. Rooting Hormone (Optional)

Rooting hormone is a powdered substance that can help cuttings take root faster. The active ingredient in rooting powder is Indole-3-butyric acid, a chemical otherwise known as chemical auxins.

Sprinkle a bit of the powder onto a piece of newspaper. Then just dip the end of the cutting into the rooting powder before planting into the pots.

5. Make Holes For The Cuttings

Using a pencil, poke a small hole into the potting mix. The hole should be deep enough to hold the lower third of the basil cutting. Gently tap soil around the cutting.

Holes prepared for my basil cuttings

6. Position Your Basil Cuttings

Using fresh, lukewarm water, mist the pot to just moisten the top of the soil. Place the pots in a sunny location – facing east or west is ideal. A south facing window may provide too much direct sunlight which can easily burn the cuttings and cause excessive wilting.

As the cuttings root, you should also see a new growth of basil leaves. As well, the attached leaves will start to grow bigger. Don’t be tempted to start using basil now – doing so may cause the cutting to go into shock.

7. Optimize Conditions

You may be able to get the cuttings to root quicker by adding some humidity. To achieve this, you can make your own little mini-greenhouse. Place the pot into a clear plastic bag. Poke a wooden stick or pencil into the soil to drape the plastic over so it doesn’t touch the cutting. Remove the plastic after the cuttings have taken root.

My basil cuttings planted in soil

8. Caring For Your Basil Cuttings

Water once or twice each day to keep the cutting moist but not over-saturated with water. Otherwise mold may develop which can quickly kill the cutting.

It will take about two to three weeks for the cuttings to root. Let them root a bit longer in the pot, up to about four weeks to be sure the root system is well established. After this time your new basil plants are ready for planting indoors or out.

Transplanting the Cuttings Indoors

Whether you’ve propagated basil in water or used a soilless potting medium, once basil cuttings have taken root it’s time to transplant them. You can plant them indoors in pots, keeping them on sunny windowsills. Or put the pots on countertopsin a bright kitchen to use in cooking or just to add a cheery greenness to the room.

To plant indoors choose pots that have holes for drainage, so the soil doesn’t become soaked. Use organic, nutrient-rich soil. Plant your cuttings about 2-inches deep, just enough to cover the roots. Water until moist and place in a sunny location. The key to successfully growing basil indoors is to provide it with enough light. Provide at least four hours of full sun per day.

Water regularly to keep moist. I place my basil pots in a tray of pebbles to add even more drainage. Basil thrives with a bit of humidity, so use one of these methods to increase humidity for your basil plants.

Another tip to growing basil indoors is to keep the plant in temperatures of between 65˚F (18˚C) and 75˚F (23˚C). Cold temperatures will damage the leaves.

If your indoor basil plants are slow growing, you can fertilize them once every two weeks. If you’re using the basil to flavor food, you’ll need to use an organic fertilizer that’s safe to use.

Two healthy basil plants a few weeks after soil propagation

Planting Propagated Basil In Your Garden

If you’re going to transplant your propagated basil directly into the garden be sure to wait until after the last date for frost in your region. Basil is very sensitive to the cold and frost is going to quickly damage fragile new basil plants and they may not recover.

Choose an area of your garden that gets full sunlight. The soil should allow for ample drainage, so the roots don’t sit in water. I spread about 1 to 2-inches of compost into the soil to keep the roots well aerated. Water when dry, keeping the soil moist at all times.

Another note on the soil: if you’re going to be using basil in your kitchen, plant in clean soil that’s insecticide-free.

Plant the cuttings about 8 to 10-inches part, about ¼-inch deep into the soil. If the conditions are right, you can expect outdoor basil to grow to about 12 to 20-inches tall.

You can also transplant your basil cuttings into a large outdoor garden container filled with other herbs, creating a small herb garden. The pot should have several holes for drainage and be placed in full sun.

How To Propagate Basil From Seeds

A third way to propagate basil is to start it from seed. One of the most important requirements for growing basil from seeds is sunlight. Basil seeds need to have at least 6 to 8 hours of sunshine each day – so plan on starting your basil during the late spring or early summer.

Alternatively, you can use a smart herb garden to grow basil plants with little input required. I’ve used and Aerogarden to grow a range of herbs for the last few years with great success and entertainment.

Here’s how to propagate basil seeds:

  • Moisten organic potting soil mix and lightly pack into 4 to 6-inch sized pots.
  • Sprinkle the surface of the soil with a few basil seeds.
  • Cover up the seeds with a ¼-inch layer of soil, pressing gently.
  • Use a mister to water, taking care not to leave any standing water on top of the soil.
  • Place the pots near a sunny window where they’re getting enough indirect sunlight.
  • Avoid placing the pots in a drafty area or in a room where the temperature drops to below 53˚F (12˚C) at night.
  • When the seedlings start to grow, turn the pots to prevent the basil shoots from growing in one direction towards the light.
  • If the basil seedlings start to overcrowd the pot, thin them out – use the clippings in a salad!
  • After six to eight weeks your basil plant should be ready to use, with the leaves being large enough to harvest.

When To Harvest Basil

One of the tricks to growing basil is to harvest the plant often. The more you harvest, the fuller the plant will grow. To harvest, pinch the stem directly above where two or more leaves are growing. This way more stems will begin to grow and flourish.

To keep basil leaves tasting their best, remove flowers as soon as they start to grow. Otherwise the leaves will start to taste bitter. It may be tempting to let these pretty flowers grow, but once you do the basil plant will stop growing.

In the fall, as soon as there’s a risk of frost, consider harvesting all your basil to avoid losing it all to cold temperatures. Store in the fridge if you’re going to use in a few days. Or package the leaves, chopped or whole, in tightly sealed bags in the freezer. Another storage method is to dry the basil.

FAQ

Your basil plants will wilt for the first few days after propagating. This is normal. Most will recover and begin to thrive.

My basil cuttings seem to wilt and droop overnight, taking a while the next day to recover. I’m worried they won’t survive. What am I doing wrong?

If you’ve placed your cuttings in a jar or pot on the windowsill, check the nighttime temperature.If it’s below 40˚F (4˚C) at night, you’ll need to move the cuttings to a warmer location in your home overnight, returning them to the windowsill during the day.

I’ve propagated basil cuttings and planted indoors, but my plants are growing slowly, and the stems are spindly. How can I promote more growth?

Your basil plant may benefit from fertilizing once every two weeks. Fertilizer can also help to maintain the pH level of the soil which can encourage the plant to grow. Use organic fertilizer if you’re using the basil in cooking.

I propagated basil cuttings in water but after two weeks there is still no root growth. The top of the cutting is green and growing but the ends of the bottom stem in water have turned brown. Can I still get them to root?

It sounds like the stems have rotted in the water – it’s unlikely that you can get them to root now. I would cut off the rotted end and plant the cutting into a pot filled with potting soil to encourage root growth.

Final Words on How To Propagate Basil

Now that you know how easy it is to propagate basil and have a year-round supply, you may want to do the same with other herbs. Rooting cuttings in water works well for different herbs, particularly those that are soft-stemmed like basil. Give propagation a go with lemon balm, mint, and oregano.

How to clone your basil (it’s super easy). Basil mania at home!

I turned one plant into 20 in just a few couple of weeks. With this super simple method to clone your basil you can have homemade pesto for dinner every day if you like!

All you need is:

  • One plant of basil, like a regular cheap one from the supermarket.
  • A sharp knife.
  • Soil and some pots or hydroponic vessels if you like.

Step 1: Cutting

Take your plant, the sharp knife and a glass of water. Pick a spot (or several) where the stem splits, this is the growth zones. Remove (eat) the pair of leaves just above the spot to give some extra power to the plant and to get a longer stem without leaves. Cut the stem just above the spot and put the cutting directly in a glass of water.

Step 2: Planting

Put the glass in a place with light (sun or LED) and wait for a couple of days. Then you will see some fresh roots (this can also be a nice decoration). Wait for about 2 weeks. Prepare a pot with soil. Take the plant and put it carefully in the soil. Put some soil on top of the roots and water it. You can also move it to a hydroponic vessel without soil.

Make sure that the plant never get dry. Wait and see the baby basil plant become a huge bush. The bigger pot the bigger plant. You will have more basil than you can eat!

All the basil above is cloned from just one plant

Good luck and please ask if you have any questions!

Best, Moa <3

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Plant Cloning is fun. People have done this for thousands of years. Any seasoned, as well as new gardeners, should always at least clone plants once.

While new growers may find it confusing, but the process is really simple within a few steps.

What is plant cloning?

Plant cloning is the act of producing identical genetical plants from an original plant.

Simply put, cloning is just to take the cutting/clipping of a plant and grow it elsewhere on its own. After 1-3 weeks, the roots will form from the cutting, and a new life of a clone begins.

Why clone plants?

There are several reasons why as a gardener you should propagate plants.

– Cloning is a quick easy and cost-saving method of making new plants.

– Cloning is an efficient way to keep the best genes as the new plants will inherit the same qualities and characteristics of the mother plants.

– Instead of the germination step when starting to grow a plant, making a clone is another widely used method of producing a new plant. Also, when the cuttings of the plants are inherently mature, they can also flower fast after rooting.
Cloning does not really affect the mother plant’s health. You can clone as many cuttings as you want as long as the original plants still have lots of branches.

But that doesn’t mean you can do ten clonings and all of them successfully root. It’s not uncommon to see some of your clones die before rooting. Expect that and don’t get discouraged.
There are several ways to propagate. In this post, I will cover the four primary effective methods to clone, which have been proven and used globally.

  • Clone with rockwool
  • Clone with soils
  • Clone with water
  • Clone with machines

Part 1 – Preliminary steps

1. Preparing

1.1 Tools needed

– A healthy and vibrant plant
– Sterilized sharp scissors or knife
– Rooting powder/liquid/gel (optional)
– Plastic/humor dome to cover the cloner. (optional)
– Rockwool cubes/Soils/a cup of water/cloning machine (depending on the method you use for cloning)

1.2 Rooting hormones or not?

By nature, plants can produce the rooting hormones themselves after a short span of time. They have the auxins hormones themselves, which aid in the initial root creation. Some plants like tomatoes are easy to clone because they possess lots of natural auxins hormones while others are challenging to do without using an added hormone.

The rooting hormones help stir the plant cell growth and establish roots faster. Rooting hormones can be organic (honey, willow extract) or synthetic in the powder, liquid or gel form.

It may boil down to preferences if you want to use the rooting hormones or not. Some prefer to let plants grow naturally and do not like to use synthetic hormones that may contain chemicals. But you can only clone easily for some crops like tomatoes, mint, basil, rosemary, peppers without using rooting hormones. Other types such as large fruiting or single harvest crops are hard to clone without applying that stimulant.

Personally, I use the hormones because it speeds up the rooting process. Using it doesn’t decrease the cloning rate, but only to increase it. So why not?

2. Select

Select a healthy well-established plant, which does not indicate any sign of diseases for weeks.
Identify a vigorous branch that comes off from the main stem. You often see this as a “v” form, where you will see the new growth – new branch regrows after the cutting.

3. Cut

As new cuttings are very sensitive to microorganisms, bacteria, etc., be sure to clean and sterilize the scissors/knife /razor before doing.
Take a cutting at a 45-degree angle close to (not into) the main stem as this helps to increase the surface area, making it easy for the roots to sprout.
Then place your cutting into a glass of water immediately. Doing this helps prevent oxygen exposure because the new cutting is somewhat sensitive.

Tips:
Choose the branches near the bottom of the plant, which possesses a higher rate of root production as they contain more natural rooting hormones.

The cutting should be at least 4 – 8 inches long.

Then remove all branches and leaves on the cutting’ sides, except for the top not to waste energy on photosynthesis, and let the cutting just focus on rooting.

If the top leaves are too long, you can cut and reduce them to prevent evaporation.

Part 2 – Cloning methods

1. Rockwool method

As rockwool naturally has a high pH level, you need to soak the rockwool cubes in neutral water overnight (or several hours) to bring their pH down.

Then, dip your cutting into a rooting hormone for 15 – 30 seconds. If the hormone is in the powder form, make sure the cutting’ s end gets a little wet before applying. You don’t need to dip the whole cutting into the hormone. Just cover it on the bottom part of the cutting.

Now time to place the stem into the rockwool and ensure that the stem end must come into contact with the rockwool cubes.

Mist it daily to moist the growing environment.

Place the cloner under normal daylight. If your place doesn’t have lights, you need to provide some grow lights like CFLs or T5 tubes (not something that is too intense like the HPs)

2. Potting Soil Method

Traditional cloning with soils is an easy yet efficient method.
Unlike rockwool, you don’t need to soak soils overnight. Just get the soils saturated enough.

Dip your cutting into the rooting hormones for 15 – 30 seconds, then place it into the potting soil

3. Water Cloning Technique

First, fill the cup/plastic bottle with 3/4 of tap/distilled water.
Prepare the water 15-20 minutes before starting to get the water in the cup close to the water of the room temperature.

Check to ensure the pH level of your water is at between 5.5 to 6.0.

Cut a piece of cling-wrap or plastic to cover and wrap over the top of the cup

Use a tip of a pen, or scissors to poke a hole in the cling-wrap or plastic. Make sure the hole size is smaller than the cutting stem to keep it tight into the pot.

Now, put the cutting into the pot, keeping its end at least 5 cm under the water. Place the cloning pot under the indirect sunlight, or low grow lights.

4. Cloning Machine Technique

Cloning machines seem to be the most efficient and quickest way to propagate plants.
It is effective for some reasons. First, your cutting is not immersed in water but is constantly misted with low-pressure water, which avoids diseases for the fragile roots. Second, there’s plenty of oxygen for the roots. Third, you can do multiple clones at one time.
The most important thing you is to get a cloning machine. And all the steps are very easy to do as follows.

Set up the cloning machine as per the manual.

Fill with the water at the indicated level.

Again, dip your cutting into the rooting hormones, then placed it into the neotypes.

After that, run the cloning machines, and voila.

For details about choosing and how to use the cloning machines, you can read our past post.

How to care for Your new Clones

Humidity Dome

If your cloning environment is right, you don’t need it. If not, you should. The humidity dome does help keep the moisture and humidity for your clones. This is very helpful when you don’t want to mist your cloners regularly and want to spend less checking and maintenance of it.

Temperature

Cutting does poorly in cold places, so keep it in warm areas. The perfect temperature is at about 70 – 75oF (20-24oc). If the surrounding environment place is low in temperature, you can use a heater or a heating mat to keep the temperature in place.

Lights

If you cannot provide the cloners with enough daylight, you need to give it some grow lights. Since new cloners are weak, they don’t need full sunlight or intense grow lights. That’s why weak CFL bulbs or fluorescent T5 tubes work great.

The cloners don’t really need any light for the first 1-2 days, but some growers still put the clones under some soft lights for the first few days, and it is still fine.

After that, you can turn the lights on 18/24h a day. The rest 6 hours of darkness is essential because it is mostly the time when the roots form.

Misting

If you grow with rockwool, and soils, you need to mist them daily. For water cloning method, be sure to check the water too if it is drained, contaminated and needs replacing.
For cloning with machines, the misting is done automatically. If the system gets too hot, you can get a timer and set misting intervals.

Transplantation

In about 7 – 10 days, you can see the rooting. But other plants can take longer time, up to 3 weeks.
If by this time your cutting’s roots still don’t form, they will never show up. You should trash it, and do another cloning.

When you see that the root systems have shown up enough, time to do the transplantation.

If making the clones in the rockwool cubes or cloning machines, you can immediately see the roots sprouting.
But it gets a little harder when cloning with the soils because you cannot see inside of the pot.
No problems. You can check inside the soils after ten days or two weeks. A little trick is to let the soils dry a bit for easy checking and extraction into the new growing environment.
Another tip is to use a transparent pot with the soil or cloning method. You will see what happens inside it.

And it’s advised that you transplant the new cloner into a correct size of the container. The new container size must not too big as the young clone will need to adapt to a new environment.

This infographic below will give you a visual way to how to clone plants.

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In just 60 days you can turn 1 basil plant from the supermarket into 12! Keep the process going to make unlimited basil and have pesto every single day! Buy basil in a plant with roots rather than cut basil to make this.

Basil is one of my favourite herbs and this is a great way to make sure you never run out of it. This growing process works well for normal sweet basil – Ocimum basilicum. As long as your house is constantly warm and above 20 degrees with sunlight, your basil should thrive. Basil does not do well in cold climates so do not try this if your house is cold.

Equipment needed:

  • 1 supermarket basil pot plant
  • 12 small pots with holes
  • potting compost
  • tray for pots
  • mugs

Step 1: Take Cuttings

Take a cutting of a basil stem just below the second node from a standard supermarket basil. This basil node is where a plant produces its hormones for created roots so cutting just below here is optimum to grow roots quickly.

Step 2: Remove Lower Leaves and Place In Water

Remove any of the lower leaves from the two nodes then place in mug 3/4 filled with water. Ideally, you should have four to six basil leaves at the top of the plant. Don’t use a glass as light on the roots can cause them to rot.

Enjoy the discarded mini basil leaves in a salad.

Step 3: Leave the Host Basil and Cuttings Somewhere Warm and with Indirect Sunlight To Grow

The basil cuttings can’t take much sunlight so move somewhere warm that gets indirect sunlight for 2 weeks. Change the water every week.

Step 4: Pot the Rooted Basil in Soil

The basil cuttings after two weeks should be a dark green and have a root structure of several inches.

Pot these into compost and place somewhere warm with direct sunlight. The plants can now take more sunlight now that they are in soil.

If they are not growing well try covering the basil plants with a clear bag to make a mini greenhouse.

Step 5: Cut the Basil Plant Tops To Encourage Growth

After three weeks of growing in soil, you should have basil plants with long stems.

Basil puts all of it’s effort into the top of the plant. You either want to harvest the top few inches to eat or use to make new plants using step 1.

Cut the top of the basil plant in half right next to the node to not leave behind a stem on the growing plant. This will encourage the plant to become a nice bushy basil and the bottom small basil leaves to grow.

Either enjoy all of the basil leaves cut or enjoy just the leaves harvested from the side while the tops and stems are used to repeat step 1 for more plants.

Step 6: Ready To Harvest and Repeat

Place the basil plants back somewhere sunny and warm for 2-3 weeks and water twice a week. After 60 days in total, you should have lots of strong basil plants.

Use the 60 day old basil plants to eat and repeat step 1 to make unlimited basil!

Some photos are from Gardening at 58 North, they use a grow light, heated grow mat and liquid fertiliser to grow basil. It does grow quicker with these but you can still be successful without a light and just using normal potting compost. However if you are in a cold climate you may want lamps and growth mat as basil does like it warm.

this one tired basil plant can be used to make unlimited basil, as long as it has some long stems and healthy leaves it can be used to grow basil

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How to Propagate Basil From Cuttings

Are you just starting to explore the world of plant propagation and maybe aren’t sure where to begin? I can empathize. It wasn’t until recently that I started down this path and now that I’ve had some success, I want to help you get started as well! I’m going to show you how to propagate basil from cuttings. Why basil? Because it re-roots easily and, who doesn’t love unlimited fresh basil?

Where to Get Your Basil Plants

Basil is very resilient and this makes it a great place to start when learning how to propagate. When you are searching for basil plants to propagate, you don’t need to waste your time and money going to a nursery. In fact, you can usually go right to the produce section of your grocery store to find them! I bought the plant in the green pot at a local farmers’ market and the two little black pots right at my grocery store.

Live basil plants to be pruned

I’ve even seen people cut basil in the store and successfully propagate it!

Pruning You Basil Plants

When pruning your basil plants, it’s important to leave at least one leaf node behind so the mother plant can continue to perform photosynthesis and produce leaves.

When to Prune Your Plants

Typically, you want to prune your basil plants when they begin to grow tall and leggy. You can see the plants in the black pots are tall, and there are large areas of stem without and leaves or nodes.

The green pot wasn’t as tall, though you can see a little bit of stem, but I probably could have left it a bit longer. For the sake of this project though, I decided to go ahead and prune it back.

Where to Cut

Take your pruning or kitchen sheers and cut the stem of the basil just above the bottom set of leaves.

By pruning them just above a lower leaf node, this will allow the plant to focus more energy on leaf production instead of just growing taller. This helps the plant to bush out instead of getting tall and leggy.

Cut just above a lower leaf node, leaving some leaves in place

Next, take your cutting and remove all of the leaves from the lower leaf nodes. Leave a few of the top leaves intact. The cutting will need these to continue to perform photosynthesis during the rooting process.

Bonus:

Use those excess leaves for something delicious! Learn how to make Homemade Pesto, right HERE!

leave at least one leaf node

You will also want to clip the excess stem off, about 1/4-inch below the lower node. The excess stem will make it more difficult to transplant. Leave at least 1 node intact because this is where a majority of new root production will occur.

Cut off the excess stem but leave at least 1 leaf node intact

How to Soak Your Basil Cuttings

Once you are finished taking your cuttings, submerge the stems in non-chlorinated water with the leaves resting above the rim. They still need to be able to absorb sunlight so spread them out the best you can.

I placed about 5 cuttings in each container which is about the max I would suggest, or else the leaves may be too crowded.

I love to use mason jars for soaking my cuttings. They work great, and you get to watch the roots as they develop!

Place them somewhere sunny. You can use a sunny windowsill or artificial light for this. I put them on my grow rack under LEDs.

Finally, just change the water about once a week, shuffle the leaves around every few days to ensure they can get light, and watch the magic to happen!

soak the stems in water and place under a good light source

Weekly Photo Progression of Root Production

1 Week

Roots are starting to emerge from the leaf node tissue and the cut on the bottom of the stem. It is always super exciting to see new roots!

1 week after soaking

2 Weeks

Many more roots have formed and smaller, more intricate root hairs have begun to develop.

2 weeks after soaking

3 Weeks

The roots are continuing to grow and get more intricate.

3 weeks after soaking

Week 4

The cuttings have developed very intricate root systems and are ready to be transplanted.

4 weeks after soaking

Transplanting Your Basil Cuttings

After examining all of my basil cuttings, it looks like about nine of them are about ready to transplant. I’m going to plant 4 of them in one pot and 5 in another.

Don’t take your cuttings out of water until immediately before transplanting

It’s important not to take the cuttings out of the water until you are ready to transplant quickly. Don’t let the root hairs dry out or they may not survive.

For this reason, you want to make sure your soil and pots are prepared and ready for transplanting beforehand.

Preparing Your Soil and Pots

You will want a medium size pot about 5 or 6 inches in diameter, with a drainage hole.

I recommend placing a coffee filter in the bottom of the pot to prevent soil from escaping and making a mess. The water will still be able to drain but the soil won’t.

Some people use larger pebbles in the bottom for this reason but I find coffee filters to be just as effective, if not more. Plus they’re lighter!

Make sure to wet the filter so it conforms to the pot nicely.

Place a coffee filter in the bottom of the pot before soil

Now take your potting mix of choice and fill the pot about half full.

I am using a homemade combo of sphagnum peat moss and organic gardening soil. (I didn’t have any perlite, or I would’ve used some.)

Fill the pot about half full with your potting mix

Potting the Rooted Basil Cuttings

Take your basil cutting and gently tease out the roots so they cover more surface area in the soil.

Gently tease out the roots of the basil cutting

Make sure the soil is nice and loose, and set the rooted cutting on top of it, gently working some of the roots into the soil.

DON’T FORCE THE CUTTING DOWN INTO THE SOIL OR YOU MAY KILL THE ROOTS.

Gently set the cutting on top of the soil , take care not to damage the roots

Repeat this process for the rest of the cuttings you plan to put in the pot.

Slowly fill in the pot, building up the soil around the roots of the cuttings. The cuttings may fall awkwardly at first but as you build the soil up you will give them enough support to stand on their own.

Build up potting mix around the cuttings

This is the finished product after transplanting 9 of my cuttings.

Water transplanted cuttings well

Once you have finished planting all your cuttings, give them a generous watering to jumpstart those roots into working and prevent them from drying out.

Finally, just find them a sunny windowsill or artificial light to bathe in and water them every couple days!

Basil transplants under grow lights

Conclusion

Basil is a super easy to propagate, especially for beginners. I just grabbed a few basil plants from the grocery store, took some cuttings, and made two brand new pots of basil for myself!

In another couple months, I’ll be able to repeat this whole process and keep increasing my basil production to my heart’s content. Say goodbye to paying for basil!

Hopefully this article took a little bit of the uncertainty about how to start propagating plants away, and gave you a little inspiration to experiment and try something new.

If you enjoyed this post, make sure to comment and subscribe below for more great content just like it!

Happy Propagating!

Cody

Thistle Downs Farm

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