By this time of year, Basil plants are pretty much finished producing their flavorful leaves and have gone to seed just before dying back for the winter. My poor basil. He’s looking awfully scraggly.
But don’t uproot them just yet! If you look closely enough, I’m betting you’ll find a few good looking clusters still trying to grow. Did you know that you can actually use these to propagate a whole new basil plant?
Taking cuttings from plants and rooting them is a fantastic way to speed up the process of growing a new plant. Here’s how to grow basil from cuttings…
First, snip off the top of a stem of basil.
Make sure you cut it below a leaf node (where a new little leaf is growing out of the elbow of a larger leaf).
Pinch off or cut the bottom two largest leaves.
It’ll look like this after you’ve removed the lower leaves.
Then place the cutting in a jar of water for about two weeks. That’s it!
Keep the water fresh, and you’ll have a nice set of roots growing in no time!
My mother-in-law had some purple basil growing, and since I didn’t have any seeds for purple basil, I asked her if I could pinch off a couple of hers. Here they are a little over 2 weeks after I cut them and put them in water. Notice the lovely roots! They’re already ready to be potted up. I’ll probably keep them in the greenhouse, or on my kitchen windowsill to save until Spring comes and I can plant them outside.
Isn’t it great to know that you don’t have to start new plants from seed every time you want one?! I just love shortcuts like this!
Now I wonder what other herbs can be propagated like this. Any ideas?