How to Grow Basil from Cuttings?

Did you know that you can grow your basil plants right at home from cuttings? It’s easy to do, and in this step-by-step guide, we will show you how. Basil is a great herb to grow indoors and outdoors.

How To Grow Basil From Cuttings?

This fragrant and flavorful plant is a staple in many cuisines, and it can add a unique zest to any dish. For gardeners, basil is also an easy-to-grow plant that can be propagated from cuttings.

While growing basil from cuttings will take a bit longer than from seed, the results are well worth the effort.

And what could be more satisfying than being able to enjoy the fruits of your labor? But how do you start propagating basil from cuttings? Let’s dive into the process.

A Step-by-step Guide to Growing Basil From Cuttings


Starting a new plant from a cutting is an easy and satisfying way to expand your basil collection. To begin, you’ll need a mature, healthy basil plant to serve as the mother plant.

You can root one or several cuttings in water. Just above the lowest leaf node, cut the stem at an angle. The length of the cut should be between 4 and 6 inches. To encourage root growth, remove any leaves from the bottom half of the cutting.

Moreover, it is important to consider the desired outcome when pruning a plant. For example, if you are looking to promote bushy growth, you will want to focus on cutting back the stems above the lowest leaf node.

When taking cuttings from a plant, it is also essential to consider the thickness of the stem. Thick stems are more difficult to root, so it is best to take thin cuttings whenever possible. 

With these considerations in mind, you should be able to get 8-12 thin cuttings from a plant by pruning all the stems above the lowest leaf node.

The best time to propagate basil is in late spring or early summer when the weather is warm and the days are long. You can give your plants a head start on the growing season by creating your plants indoors.


When you are ready to take a cutting from your basil plant, it is essential to prepare the cutting correctly. The first step is to cut the sprig at a 45-degree angle.

Second, trim the bottom of the cutting stem, chopping about 1/4″ below the lower leaf node.

This will help the cutting to take root more easily. Next, you need to remove any leaves below the waterline.

Moreover, it’s essential to pinch off the lower leaves, leaving just the top leaves in place. This is because the top leaves are vital for photosynthesis to continue. By keeping the top leaves in place, you’ll encourage the cutting to grow into a healthy plant.

Dip the stem

If you will use a rooting hormone, dip the cut end of the stem into the hormone powder or liquid. Tap off any excess powder or liquid, and then insert the stem into the potting mix. Gently firm the mixture around the stem and water well.

Using a growth hormone is optional, especially when it comes to basil; in some cases, it may be necessary for healthier roots, but in many cases, you can get by without it.

If you want to use a growth hormone for a faster and healthier root system, you can purchase either the powder or gel form at your local garden center.

Then, dip your stem into some water and tip into the growth hormone.

Root structure

If you are using a growth hormone, it is best to plant the stem in a potting soil mix. This will ensure that the plant has good drainage and is not susceptible to root rot. It is also crucial to water the plant regularly and fertilizes it according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Just take a 2-inch cutting from a healthy stem, and place it in a glass of water. After 3-4 weeks, you should see roots sprouting from the stem.

After about a month of waiting and caring, your houseplant has matured roots and is ready to be transferred to potting soil.

This is an exciting time for any plant enthusiast, but it’s critical to ensure that the roots have good soil contact to continue to grow.

The best way to do this is to plant the sprig so that the stem has good soil contact. This will allow the root system to establish itself and quickly grow into the new soil. With a little patience and care, you’ll have a healthy houseplant that thrives in its new environment in no time.

Time in Which the Plant Starts to Mature

Time is an essential factor to consider when planting anything. You have to think about the time, how long it will take for the plant to mature, and whether or not you have the patience to wait.

That being said, it typically takes 6-8 weeks for a plant to start growing. This can be a problem if you want instant gratification, but it’s perfect if you’re willing to wait longer. And, if you have a greenhouse, this climate is perfect!

If you live in a colder climate, you may need to take measures to protect your plants from the cold weather. One way to do this is to cover them with a plastic bag. This will create a mini-greenhouse effect, trapping warmth and moisture around the plant.

Make sure to allow for some airflow by propping open the bag or poking holes. You can also use a plastic bag to protect plants from sun exposure. If your plant is getting too much sun, it can start to wilt or even burn.

If the leaves turn yellow, it can signify several problems, including nutrient deficiency, drought stress, or disease. 

However, in some cases, yellow leaves are simply the result of average growth. For example, if you notice that the leaves start to turn yellow after a few weeks, in this case, trim off the yellow leaves and prepare for more growth.

Grow Basil from Cuttings
How to Grow Basil from Cuttings? 3

Care For Growing Basil From Cuttings

  • Care for growing basil from cuttings starts with ensuring the planting area has nutrient-dense soil with a pH level between 6 and 7.5.
  • The ideal place to grow basil is an outdoor spot that receives six to eight hours of sunlight each day.
  • Water the plant daily, making sure the soil is moist but not soggy. Fertilize every two weeks using a balanced fertilizer or compost tea.
  • When harvesting basil, cut the stem about two inches above where a pair of leaves meet the stem. This will encourage new growth.
  • Pinching off flower buds as they appear will also promote full, leafy growth.

Tips Worth Considering

  • The cuttings should be at least 1 inch tall.
  • Don’t plant the cutting near other plants, but put it where you want it to grow.
  • Place the cuttings 2 feet apart from each other in your garden.

Can Basil Be Grown From Cuttings?

Can basil be grown from cuttings? The answer is yes! Basil is an easy-to-grow herb that can be propagated from cuttings.

To do this, take a cutting from an existing basil plant and place it in water. After a few weeks, roots will begin to form, and the cutting can then be transplanted into the soil. The new basil plant will be identical to its parent with proper care.

Plant the cutting in moist potting soil and keep it warm and humid until new growth appears. With a little patience and care, you can easily propagate basil at home, and growing basil from cuttings is possible.

When Is The Best Time To Plant Basil From Cuttings?

Spring is the best time to plant basil from cuttings, but you can grow it in the fall if the weather is warm. Basil is a tropical plant and does not like cold weather, so it is best to wait until the weather has warmed up before planting.

When transplanting, choose a spot that has good drainage and is in full sun. With a bit of care, you will soon have a bountiful harvest

How Long Does It Take To Grow Basil From Cuttings?

While this can be done with many different kinds of plants, it is important to know the proper techniques for each type of plant.

With most plants, you will want to let the roots grow about 2 inches before planting the cutting in soil. This gives the plant time to develop a robust root system to support new growth. The cuttings will take 12 days to 18 days, from start to finish.

It is important to keep the soil moist and avoid exposing the plant to direct sunlight during this time.

Where Do You Cut Basil For Growth?

Cut the main stem about a quarter inch above the leaf buds for a fuller, bushier plant. This encourages the plant to grow more lateral branches.

However, if you want a taller plant, cut the main stem just above a node (the point where leaves and stems branch off). This encourages the plant to grow taller instead of wider. Whatever method you choose, use sharp pruning shears and make clean cuts to ensure that your plant grows healthy and strong.

How Long Does It Take For Basil Cuttings To Root In Water?

How long does it take for basil cuttings to root in water? Depending on the size of the cutting, it can take anywhere from two to four weeks.

The easiest way to tell if your basil cutting has rooted is to use a clear glass. This way, you can keep an eye on the progress. Every few days, check the water level and change the water if needed. Once you see roots growing, leave the cutting alone until the roots are about 2 inches long.

Why Are My Basil Cuttings Dying?

Basil is a notoriously finicky plant, and even experienced gardeners often have trouble keeping it alive. The two most common causes of death are overwatering and underwatering, but temperature stress, lighting problems, disease, or pests can also be blamed.

If your basil plant is wilting or dying, determine which of these factors is the most likely culprit.

Why Did My Cut Basil Wilt When I Put It In Water?

The cause is likely too much or too little water. The cuttings will struggle to take up water if the soil is too dry. On the other hand, the roots may rot if the soil is too wet. 

The key is to provide just enough water to keep the soil moist without making it soggy. In most cases, watering once or twice a week should be sufficient.

Miswatering causes most wilt issues. Basil wilts in dry soil. Most garden plants need 1 inch of water once or twice weekly, but the top inch of soil may need more.

Bottom Line

Basil is an easy herb to propagate from cuttings. If you want to start growing, the process takes a little longer, but it’s worth it for the fresh taste of homegrown basil.

Follow the above-mentioned simple steps, and you’ll enjoy your homegrown basil in no time! Have you ever grown basil from cuttings? What tips would you add to this guide?


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