Propagating Basil is quite easy! As it is one of the most used culinary herbs, multiplying basil plants is rewarding.
Basil is a flavorful herb and is mostly grown for its aromatic leaves. Dried or fresh, it can elevate the flavor of your cuisines, especially the homemade basil Pesto. This green plant, with glossy leaves, has a strong scent and produces floral spikes with small white flowers. Let’s have a look at everything you need to know about Propagating Basil!
Check out our article on growing basil indoors here.
Best Time to Propagate Basil
Basil is extremely sensitive to cold weather. The plant grows best in warm weather and in proper sunlight. If you are growing it in your garden, then make sure that the temperature is at least 50°F (10°C). However, it grows best when the temperature is 70ºF (21°C) or above.
If you live in an area that is usually cold, then you can plant basil indoors six weeks prior to the arrival of the warmer season in order to kickstart the growth of the plant. Place the pot closer to an East or South facing window to ensure it receives proper sunlight.
Here is how you can grow basil in water easily.
1. Propagating Basil from Seeds
- You can get basil seeds from a nursery, a garden center, or online.
- Sow seeds in a pot or directly into the garden soil.
- Cover them with a thick layer of soil.
- Water well and ensure they’re exposed to bright indirect sunlight until they germinate.
2. From Cuttings
This is the best way to propagate basil. You can grow basil’s cuttings in two ways–Water and Soil!
In Water: Take 4-6 inches long cutting from a healthy basil plant, right below the leaf node. Remove the leaves from the end and put it in a glass jar filled with water. Place the jar at a spot where it receives partial sunlight. Change the water every 2-3 days, and within a week, the cutting will form roots. You can then transplant it into a pot or garden.
In Soil: All the steps remain the same. Only, instead of putting the ‘cutting’ in water, you put it directly into the soil. Make sure you choose a spot that receives ample sunlight.
3. From Layering
Growing basil from layering can be done easily too. This method works by selecting a stem/branch from a basil plant and relocating and burying some of it into the soil. In this manner, the root system of the plant remains undisturbed.
- Select a healthy branch of the basil plant.
- Remove leaves from the stem section that you’re going to cover with soil.
- Bend it to the ground and cover it with soil. Make sure to leave 5-6 inches of the top end stem section above the ground. Stake to keep it upright.
- You can also cut a wound just below a node on the stem portion that you have put under the soil. This will stimulate faster rooting.
- This stem will be nourished by the mother plant until it forms the roots.
- Make sure it receives proper sunlight and water well.
- The branch will eventually send out rootlets, establishing another plant in the process. Once you see new leaves growing and roots forming, detach that from the mother plant.