How to Propagate Basil Plant

Basil Plant Propagation Successful

My first basil plant was such a joy to have! I could imagine making my own Pesto for the rest of my life. But my dreams of a ‘pot full’ of basil were broken when my single plant just kept growing taller and taller in one direction. Fortunately basil is very easy to propagate – i.e. to reproduce through stem cuttings. A few simple tips, a lot of patience and you have new basil plants ready to go into the soil in no time!

Here is a step-by-step breakdown of how I propagated my Basil plant:

Here’s how my basil shot up. Silly me, thinking it would just fill my pot – but well – you live and you learn.

My Single, Tall Basil Plant

Step 1: Find a Stem That Suits Your Needs

Identify a branching stem, a few inches long, that you can cut and try to turn into a new plant. You DO NOT want one that has flowers on it as they will take away the nutrition and not let the stem root.

Basil Stem Cutting

Step 2: Cut the Stem Below the Node

The part where the leaves grow from on a stem, is called the node. You need to cut your stem just below the node.

The Node of the Basil Stem


Step 3: Clear the Stem a Few Inches

Remove the leaves to leave a 3-4 inch clear stem at the end of the stem cutting. You should have at least 2 nodes free of leaves.

Removing Leaves from the Basil Stem

Step 4: Pop it in Water

Now just pop the prepared stem in water and let it remain there for about a week. That’s it!

It could take anywhere from 7-10 days for your stem cutting to develop roots. Place it in a nice, cool and bright spot.

Keep a Basil Stem in Water to Root

Step 5: Have Patience

Day 2: Have Patience

Day 3: Have Patience. Notice how pretty and fresh it looks propped on any table!

Day 4: Have Patience. Stop watching it all the time. It will not develop roots right before your eyes.

Day 5: Have Patience. Find something else to do.

Day 6: Have Patience. I know you are thinking you did something wrong, but there aren’t too many ways of doing this wrong, believe me!

Day 7: Have Patience. Maybe tomorrow….

Day 8: Have Patience. No wait! What is that you see? Yes, they definitely seem to be roots!

Basil Stem Cutting beginning to Root

Day 9: We are on a roll!

Basil Stem Roots Growing

Day 10: Looks like we are all set!

Basil Stem Rooting Complete

Step 6: Plant Your New Baby Basil

Dig up a spot for your new baby plant and carefully plant it wherever you want to. Here is mine next to ‘Big Daddy’.

Basil Plant Propagation Successful

Next time around, there will less anxiety. Go on and propagate that basil as much as you want! Happy Gardening!