Basil is one of my favourite herb and it is so easy to propagate from cuttings (produce a new plant from a parent plant). This summer, with a healthy basil bunch from the farmer's market, we decided to give it a try. The process was simple, easy, resulting in a healthy plant with fragrant beautiful leaves we could enjoy throughout the season.
Steps on how to propagate basil from cuttings:
- Cut the stem below a leaf node, about 4" long. Have several cuttings as some may not survive.
- Using kitchen shears, cut off the leaves about 2" from the lower end of each cuttings, leaving the leaves on top. Ensure that the basil cuttings are not flowered.
- Place in a clear glass or bottle filled with water, around 3 to 4 cuttings in one glass with the top leaves resting on the rim. Do not overcrowd as once the roots start to form, they may get entangled and break.
- Keep indoors at a bright spot, preferably on a window sill.
- Replenish the water daily to prevent rotting and foul odour.
- Roots will start to appear within two weeks.
- When roots are 1" long, plant the cuttings in a well-drained pot.
- Place outside in the shade till it starts to grow in height.
- Water regularly and watch the plant grow.
- Once the plant grows to 6" in height, trim the stem above two leaves so that it starts to branch out and grows into a bushy plant.
- If it starts to flower, it loses its flavour so trim it off unless you want to collect the seeds.
- Enjoy a constant supply of basil by propagating and trimming.
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