Having an endless supply of fresh basil sounds like a good idea, am I right? Mastering a simple propagating technique will help you enjoy basil whenever you want.
There are two ways you can propagate basil: in soil or from cuttings in water. Basil is a warm-season herb that is often planted in the ground when the soil has warmed up. But if you want to grow it during the colder months, then you’ll need to propagate it from cuttings.
In this article, we are going to cover both methods. Stay tuned to find out more about propagating basil!
How To Propagate Basil In Soil
Before you start anything, make sure to gather the necessary tools required for propagation: pots with drainage holes, high-quality potting soil, a sharp snipper, a plastic covering, and growth hormone (optional).
Follow these instructions:
1. Start by filling the pots with moist soil. You can plant individual cuttings in smaller 4-inch pots or start multiple cuttings in a single 6-inch pot.
2. Take 4-inch cuttings from a mature basil plant with the snipper, making sure not to cut any stems with flowers on them. Cut beneath a leaf node or a set of leaves.
3. Get rid of the bottom leaves, leaving only the top two sets of leaves.
4. You can use a growth hormone to trigger root development, although they can grow very well without it.
5. Poke tiny, deep holes in the potting soil using your index finger. Then, place a cutting in each hole, making sure that the top leaves are above the soil’s surface.
6. To keep each cutting upright, tamp down the soil surrounding it.
7. Now you should give them a thorough watering.
8. Cover the pot with plastic. Use a pencil or small stake to prevent the plastic from directly touching the cutting.
9. Put the pots in a warm place with lots of indirect, bright sunlight. Make sure that the soil is moist, but not drenched.
10. Every day, remove the plastic for about an hour to let the air circulate and avoid mold growth.
11. Take off the plastic as soon as new leaves appear, and make sure the cutting has taken root. Your basil cutting has roots if it resists when you gently tug on it. It will take about two to four weeks for root development.
Related: How To Prune Your Basil Plant
How To Propagate Basil From Cuttings
You might notice that the basil stems start developing roots after being placed in water for a few days. Now, that’s exactly what we are aiming for here!
Water propagation is probably the easier method because you don’t have to deal with soil. Plus, you get to see how far the roots have developed.
Follow these instructions:
1. Choose a couple of 4-inch cuttings from a fully grown basil plant, making sure not to remove any flower-bearing stems. Make the cuts beneath the leaf nodes
2. Remove all the leaves except the top two sets.
3. Find a clear glass and fill it with water. Use rainwater or distilled water that has not been treated with chemicals.
4. Place the stems in the water, ensuring that the upper leaves are above the water level.
5. Then, put the glass in a place with a lot of indirect sunlight and warm temperatures.
6. Change the water once a week or more frequently if it starts to get cloudy. The roots will develop in 12 to 18 days.
7. After some time, your new plant will keep growing and developing. You can either plant it in the soil or add some additional nutrients, such as specialized hydroponics fertilizers.