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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Basil Propagation from Cuttings

At some point, I read about basil propagation from cuttings.  I admit, the last thing we need in our garden right now is more basil plants.  But in the interest of science and garden experiments, I had to try this out for myself.
Last week, I cut off different sizes of tops from a basil plant, and stuck them in small glasses of water.  I didn't take a picture then, but this is how they looked a week later.

After one week (Sunday, 9/5/10) I could see the beginnings of roots forming on the largest of the three cuttings.

Just 24 hours later (Monday, 9/6/10), the roots have already grown longer.  I'll probably wait another week or two and plant this one in a pot of soil to see how well it grows.

If this works out, it might be a good way to have "new" basil plants for the winter.  I'll just have to find some nice sunny spot indoors (easier said than done!) for my winter basil.

Have any of you propagated your basil or any other herbs from cuttings?  Did it work out well for you?

This post is linked to Tuesday Garden Party.

34 comments:

vrtlarica said...

I have propagated Coleus from cuttings and a big part of my hedge around the plot is all from cuttings. In both cases I didn't do the part with growing roots in water. I was just cutting them and sticking them into ground. Success rate with Coleus is about 100% and with hedge is around 70%.
I know that also roses can be propagated in the same way, but never tried it.

Diana (Di) said...

;), I did the same thing last week after I cut back and harvested most of our basil. Do you think we can keep it going through the winter? Happy gardening.

Melinda said...

I've never tried this with basil. I wonder what other herbs it would work with? I'd really love to overwinter some basil and other herbs this year.

Faith Kolean said...

I might just try this. We have plectranthus from cuttings but they aren't edible and delicious like basil.

I tried this with a tomato sucker. It worked too. They look wilted for a very long time then perk up all of a sudden.

Ginny said...

I have some basil in a glass with nice healthy roots right now - and I was thinking the same thing about trying to keep a pot going through the winter. I've propagated lemon balm this way, too.

zentmrs said...

Great idea! I will definitely do this - I almost never have enough basil (though finding a good spot for it may be my challenge as well!) Thanks for sharing!

Vanessa said...

Awww bummer I just cut and used most the my big basil leaves... I'll have to search around and see if I can find any... such a wonderful idea!!

thyme2garden said...

vrtlarica - 100% success rate sounds great! It's good to know that there are so many different kinds of plants that can be propagated from cuttings. I will definitely be experimenting more if this basil works out.

* * * * *
Diana - thanks for visiting my blog! I certainly hope we can keep our basils going through the winter. Please keep me posted of how yours is doing, and I'll do the same!

* * * * *
Melinda - this is my first time trying to propagate basil, but I have read that you can do the same with other herbs. Oregano, thyme, sage and mint come to mind, but I'm sure there are others, too. If I remember correctly, you don't even have to use the glass of water method with these four. I think you can just stick the cuttings in soil and they will most likely root and start growing right away.

* * * * *
Faith - then you can have delicious basil growing indoors all winter long! I've read the same thing about tomato suckers, but haven't tried it myself yet.

* * * * *
Ginny - glad to hear that the basil cutting are growing for you already!

* * * * *
zentmrs - you're welcome! I hope you can "clone" more needed basil this way!

* * * * *
Vanessa - that's too bad! But since basil plants grow so fast, I bet your plants will have grown enough in another few weeks for you to get some decent cuttings.

vickie said...

I have never propagated before these are great instructions.
vickie

Ribbit said...

Hey there! My girlfriend roots everything from cuttings. It's hard to go anywhere with her without a cup of water handy. The basil plant I have now is from one of her cuttings and it's doing fantastically! I don't know how long they can stay just in the water however. Seems like they'd lack some nutrients over time.

Ribbit said...

Hey there! My girlfriend roots everything from cuttings. It's hard to go anywhere with her without a cup of water handy. The basil plant I have now is from one of her cuttings and it's doing fantastically! I don't know how long they can stay just in the water however. Seems like they'd lack some nutrients over time.

Sherri B. said...

Wow, I had no idea you could do that with basil. After I leave this comment and add your blog to my follow list I'm out to cut some basil for my own starts. Thanks!

thyme2garden said...

vickie - it's not much of an instruction, but mostly because there was hardly anything to it!

* * * * *
Ribbit - your girlfriend is one smart lady! I'm glad to hear that the cutting propagation worked well for your basil plant. I'm hoping the same kind of success for my cuttings. I'm not planning on keeping the cuttings in water for any longer than I have to. I'm just waiting for some more roots to develop, and then in the soil they will go!

* * * * *
Sherri B. - I'm so glad to provide the inspiration for you! I hope your cuttings work out well for you, too!

allysgrandma said...

I just planted seeds in my fall garden, since we have a fairly mild winter here in Humboldt County California. I am hoping it works! I am going to try propogating my mother's beautiful blue hydrangea though.

thyme2garden said...

allysgrandma - In California, now is probably as good of a time as any to plant the fall garden, and I'm sure it will work out fine! What fall crops did you plant? I'm no expert, but I think there are many flowers that can be propagated from cuttings.

kitsapFG said...

I may have to go get some cuttings from my poor basil plants that have been struggling with our cool summer. Perhaps some pampering indoors will yeild me some basil!

Nutty Gnome said...

Hi. I wandered into here from 'A Voice in the Garden' and have really enjoyed reading your posts.

I've taken cuttings from my basil - mainly because I broke it trying to reach something else! and it's in water on my windowsill rooting away nicely.
I tend to break cuttings off, stick them in the ground, tell them to be happy in their new home, then leave them to get on with it ...it works for me! :)

Dan Owen said...

That was a new one to me. I'll try also and root some over the winter. Thanks!

thyme2garden said...

kitsapFG - I'm sure your basil will love some indoor pampering! They really seem to love the heat and warm weather.

* * * * *
Nutty Gnome - thanks for wandering in! Glad to hear that your cuttings have worked. Next time, maybe I'll try rooting cutting directly in soil and see if that works.

* * * * *
Dan Owen - anything to help us keep growing over the winter has got to be a good thing, right? :-) You're very welcome!

meemsnyc said...

What an awesome idea! I didn't know you could do that with basil! I'll have to try this!

Wendy said...

great! You'll have pesto year round!

thyme2garden said...

meems - I hope you can keep your basil going through this method over the winter!

* * * * *
Wendy - my thoughts exactly!

Jami said...

Love this tip- I'm going to try it as my basil is on it's last legs here in Oregon!

Thanks for linking this useful tip to the TGP!

Maralyn45 said...

Wow yu have spread so many amazing ideas through your post...liked them and will definetely follow them...thanks for shaing thoughts..

thyme2garden said...

Maralyn45 - thank you for reading! I'm glad to hear that some of these ideas may be helpful to you.

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