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Growing Basil from Cuttings

It’s a great day when you get to work with people you like and admire and today is one of those days! Steve Asbell from The Rainforest Garden is an amazingly talented illustrator so when he asked if I’d be interested in collaborating on an DIY post I jumped at the chance. To see more of Steve’s work check out his illustrations board on Pinterest.

how to grow basil from cuttings

In early summer I find myself opening a package of fresh basil and thinking that I wish my garden basil was ready. It seems so pricey to spent $2-$3 on a few sprigs of what grows into shrubs in August. Never one to waste leftovers, I always snip cuttings from the store bought stuff to propagate my home crop. In the end it makes the dollars spent well worth it as those sprigs turn into bushes of basil destined for winter pesto and, dare I say, basil ice cream (it’s delicious!).

How to Propagate Basil from Cuttings

I took a few photos of the process while Steve illustrated the header and created this easy three-step tutorial.

How to Grow Basil from Cuttings

How to Grow Your Own Basil from Cuttings: 1. Snip the top of a basil stem with 4 sets of leaves growing then remove the 2 bottom sets of leaves from the stem. 2. Place the stem into a mason jar or shot glass of water and set in a sunny location. 3. When roots are visible transfer into a pot of soil and keep well watered while the cutting is establishing.

Check out this tutorial and more over at The Rainforest Garden. Steve has lots of cool projects like how to make a DIY Beach Terrarium and how to Make a Rainforest Drop.


Thanks for visiting!


  1. @Shari Re: Cilantro

    I have tried… Cilantro is very hard to mange like that..
    I have had better luck growing cilantro from seeds.. the one I try to root all died sooner or later .. they lasted couple of weeks in the water though
    which makes me think how stupid of me to buy herbs and keep in the fridge.. just put it in a cup of water outside of fridge.
    of I have done this with romaine lettuce too

    3 heads in the fridge 3 head in water.. fridge heads started to turn brown faster

  2. Hi Farj, so yeah, it’s not really how long you have the plant, it’s when it starts to mature and bolt that it goes bitter. That can happen if the plant is under stress from lack of water, nutrients, room, sun, etc. So you can have a one month old seedling bolt or a huge bushy plant full of tender leaves last for months. I always cut the tops leaves off the basil often throughout the season making it bushier and full of young leaves.

    I would say this is not the best plant to start cuttings from. I’m not certain that the new plants won’t go back to the tender sweetness that they once had, but a good rule of thumb when propagating is to cut from your strongest and best thus sending along the best genes. I hope this helps!

  3. Thanks Stevie,

    Stress is the ding ding ding correct answer in my case..
    the plant was moved to a new hydroponic system (from another hydroponic system) and for 1-2 weeks was in bad conditions and got root rot.. which is now coming back from..
    it looks beautiful and full .. I feel bad to take it out .. the taste got better but not back to the sweetness as before .. I have fixed the stress issue for a week now.. I guess I will give it another week before giving up..


  4. Pingback: Growing Basil from Cuttings | my614home
  5. Pingback: 99 Remarkably Clever Gardening Shortcuts That You Can Steal Immediately! | BackToMyGarden - Discover Your Passion For Gardening

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