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Tips for Successful Basil Propagation

Updated: Sep 2, 2022



Basil Propagation

Basil is an easy plant to propagate, and it's also one of the most rewarding. When basil starts to go over, simply cut off a few stems near the soil line and place them in water. Wait until you see new roots start to form before planting them into your garden or containers.


Basil Propagation Supplies on Amazon



These tip pruning shears are great for almost any small plant pruning.






I don't use this for basil but it works well for other plant propagation.



How do I propagate basil?

Basil Cuttings

There are three ways to propagate basil. The first is via cuttings, which can be placed directly in the ground or containers. Cut basil stems near the soil line and places them inside a glass of water until you see new roots form on the stem.


Basil Plants

The second method for propagating basil is by dividing an existing plant into two separate plants - simply dig up your root ball where it meets with other plants (or lift if using containerized basil) and divide each section into smaller sections. A good time to do this would also be before flowering begins so that all energy goes into establishing new basil plants.


The third method is to root basil in soil indoors using rooting hormone. Take basil cuttings and place them into a cup of water until roots form (about one week). Then, plant the basil cutting into small pots or directly into your garden with good drainage and keep watered well for about two weeks before harvesting your first basil leaves!


How do I propagate sweet basil?

Your favorite herb - sweet basil can be propagated easily by taking stem tip cuttings from healthy, non-flowering shoots. Place these stems in the moist potting mix under bright light but out of the direct sun at 65°F – 70°F temperature range with humidity levels kept high during daytime hours. Basil will usually show signs of roots within one to two weeks of being planted.


How can I propagate basil from cuttings?

Low-growing basil varieties are often propagated by taking stem tip cuttings - simply take a cutting of basil with at least two leaves and place it in moist potting mix until you see roots develop (about one week). Keep the soil moist not wet for best results. Once you have new growth on your basil plant, transplant it into pots or directly into the garden about 12 inches apart!

How long to propagate basil?

Generally, basil cuttings can take from one week to one month depending on the basil variety and how new your cutting is. Basil plants will usually show signs of roots within one to two weeks after being planted in a pot or directly into garden soil.


What are some good basil propagation tips?

- Basil will root easily in water. Once basil has rooted and has good root growth, place it into your garden or container. Keep soil moist but not sopping wet for best results.


To keep your basil from flowering continue harvesting the growth tips, this will give you a bush of basil and plenty of stem cuttings to root for additional basil plants.

Basil Propagation From Seed:

Basil can also be propagated by seed. Start basil seeds indoors about eight weeks before the last expected spring frost for your area or purchase starts at a local nursery. Plant in well-draining soil, keep moist but not soggy and don't let basil dry out between waterings. Basil is an annual that is quite easy to grow from seed as well, but faster by cuttings.


Sweet basil propagation:

Sweet basil is an annual herb that's relatively easy to propagate through stem tip cuttings taken in late summer or in early fall before frost begins nipping at your basil plant's heels (or any time of year during its growing season). Just take a few softwood stem tips about six inches long, snip them just above a leaf node, strip off most of their leaves leaving two on each cutting along with some small roots, and place basil cuttings in a vase or jar filled with well-drained potting mix. Keep the basil moist but not soggy until roots form (usually within two to three weeks) before transplanting them into your garden bed/containers.

Basil propagation:

The easiest way of propagating basil is from stem tip cuttings taken when the plant is actively growing during its vegetative growth stage. Take stems before it has set flowers and produced seed pods which signal an end of the plant's life cycle. Just take several basil stems about six inches long, snip just above a leaf node leaving two leaves on each cutting, then replant directly into your garden bed/container filled with moistened soil/potting mix. Keep basil moist but not soggy until new growth appears.


Where can I buy Basil?

You can find basil seeds from your local grocery stores that sell seeds in spring, and from local big box stores, and don't forget your garden centers. A great online place that I like is baker creek seeds. Basil plants can be found in the same stores as the seeds. Some grocery stores sell the basil plants in soil which you can easily propagate from one of those plants. They are expensive but you can have basil for a very long time if you do it correctly.


Basil Plant

There are several basil varieties that grow well in containers, so basil is a great option for container gardening. Basil can easily be grown indoors as long as it gets at least six hours of sunlight each day and you keep the plant away from cold drafts around doors/windowsills etc. Outdoors basil plants need to be protected if temperatures drop below 32 degrees Fahrenheit which will kill them (basil does well when daytime temps stay above 80 degrees F).


Basil has beautiful flowers with clusters of white blossoms atop its stems. Blossoming basil plants attract bees & other pollinators who help make your garden more productive! So enjoy those lovely blooms while you can!


I like to take cuttings and then allow the plant to flower for bees.


After that, save some basil seed for next year's garden too. If done right, basil propagation can be very rewarding!


Basil Propagation

Basil Propagation

Basil is so easy to propagate in particular for beginners. I grabbed a bunch of plants at the grocery store cut a handful of the top pieces out and gave myself two vases of beautiful fresh basil!! In another few months, I am able to repeat this entire process and increase my basil production to my heart's content. Hopefully, this article helped you with basil propagation and it also will give you a little encouragement to experiment and try something new. If you enjoyed this post, please give a comment below for more quality content just for this topic!! Happy propagation!


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