Growing basil from cuttings is one of the easiest ways to have this delicious herb in your herb garden. You can even collect basil cuttings from your gardener neighbor. So, you can say that this method is budget-friendly as well.
However, you may think that you can’t get a healthy basil plant from cuttings. But to be honest, you can grow a healthy, bushier plant from basil cuttings without investing in basil seeds or seedlings.
Here I am going to tell you about how to start basil from cuttings. Many of the beginners may be unaware of the process of growing this summer herb from cuttings. So, let’s dig deeper to get some handful of tips about it.
Five easy steps to grow basil from cuttings
It can take 6-8 weeks to grow basil from seed. On the other hand, it can take only a couple of weeks to grow basil from cuttings. So it is not only a budget-friendly way but also the quickest one.
You can also start this process indoors safely by avoiding the risk of frost on late spring days. That’s why it is easier to cultivate basil from cuttings.
The ways of growing basil from cuttings are also the easiest ones. So, let me share the tips to grow basil in this way.
Step 01: Collect your basil cuttings!
You already know that you can collect the cuttings from your neighbor. Besides that, you can get the cuttings from a grocery store, nearby garden center, nursery, or a farmer’s market. You can collect a bunch of them for starting your growing process.
The basil cuttings need to be from a fresh and healthy basil plant. If you buy them from the market, then check the freshness of the stem and leaves. Always try to collect the cuttings from non-bolting variants of basil.
Step 02: Get your basil ready for rooting!
Now you are done with selecting the mother plant. So, cut a stem from under a leaf node of the selected basil sprig. Make sure the basil sprig should be 4-6 inches tall. Use kitchen scissors or a sharp knife for cutting the stem and make sure the scissors or the knife are clean to prevent fungal or bacterial infections.
Now remove at least 1-2 sets of leaves from the bottom of the stem. Clear the sprig for almost about 2 inches at the bottom. Also, make a 45-degree angle cut from the top so that new foliage can come out from there.
Step 03: Start with growing roots on the cuttings
The growing process of basil mainly starts from this rooting process. There are two ways that you can use for rooting your basil stem.
Rooting basil in water
For this process, take a mason jar and fill it with fresh water. It’s better to use spring water or filtered water rather than tap water. If there is chlorine in tap water, leave the water for one day to evaporate the chlorine.
When the water is ready, put the cutting stem in water. Make sure that no leave is sinking in the water. If there remains any left in the water, then they might get rotten.
Put the glass jar into a place where it can get indirect light. Besides that, sometimes put the water jar near a sunny windowsill to get direct sunlight for at least 6 hours. Change the water regularly to prevent fungal attacks. Within a couple of weeks, you can notice the roots coming out from the stem.
Rooting basil in potting-mix
Then here comes the other way for growing roots is pot-mix or pot soil. For pot-mix rooting, you will need a 4-inch pot, moistened pot mix, and large transparent plastic bags.
At first, fill the pot with potting mix to prevent the stem from drying out. After filling the container with the soil mix, clip the basil stem from the plant and put them into the container. Place the basil stem firmly so that it can get a good connection with the soil.
Put the plant near a sunny windowsill and cover the stem with a plastic bag to capture the humidity environment. Also, if you have placed the pot on a tray, you can use a plastic dome to cover it. Mist the plant regularly and check the soil moisture quite often. If you find the soil dry, then water it immediately to keep the soil moist.
After two weeks, you can check the basil pulling out of the soil to see the root structure. If there are roots, you can move forward to the next step.
Don't use rooting hormone!
Many times it may take 3-4 weeks to grow the roots on the stem. So, many gardeners may suggest you put the basil stem into the rooting hormone before going forward to the rooting process. But I advise you not to do that.
Basil is a culinary herb that has quite a short life cycle. So, it is not appropriate to put such short-term and edible plants into the rooting hormone before starting the rooting process. Basil can happily grow without rooting hormone. It is more than enough to select healthy, disease-free plants and then grow them in potting mix or water. Don’t hurry with the growth of the roots.
Step 04: Get ready to plant the basil!
Once the root has formed, it is ready to go into your garden. Before planting it in the garden bed, you better make the basil strong for facing the outside environment. That’s why it’s better to plant the basil plant in a container first.
When the white roots are about 2 inches long, you can plant them inside a pot. Take a 5-inch deep pot and fill it with moistened soil or potting soil. Make sure the container has broader space so that the root can grow with satisfaction. There should be enough drainage holes for draining the extra water out. Also, you can place it on the top of a tray so that the soil can remain moist from the bottom of the pot.
Put your basil under the sunlight for at least 6-8 hours to give warm weather. But try to avoid direct sunlight. As the basil is still in a delicate condition, direct sunlight can cause sunburn. Also, to get rid of the afternoon shades, you can use a cover for the plant or move the plant to a shady spot.
Moreover, don’t forget to water the basil properly. The soil can dry out quickly due to warm weather. So, check the soil and water them as much as needed to keep the soil moist. With this little bit of care regularly, the basil will be ready to go out.
Step 05: Time to put your basil outside
The basil will take 1-2 weeks to get prepared for going out. Besides that, you can put the basil out for a few hours regularly after the passing of one week. In this way, the basil will be ready to adapt to the outside environment!
After 1-2 weeks, plant the basil outside in your garden beds. Or else, you can keep the basil indoors as long as you want and add this to your culinary herb garden. No matter where you plant the basil, you can always get the fresh basil according to your requirement.
Few last words for you
I hope these easy guidelines are helpful for you. So, now you will be able to grow basil from cutting stems. Besides that, it is a budget-friendly and fastest way to grow basil indoors or outdoors.
Just by following these steps, you can start the basil growing process. Also, take proper care of the plant to get a healthy and bushy basil plant. Happy gardening!