So - you’re interested in propagating basil (aka Ocimum basilicum). Good news! It’s really easy to make some Basil cuttings / clippings and propagate your plant into multiple specimens.
Pretty soon you’ll have an ever-growing, limitless supply of beautiful fresh Basil you can use for making pesto, margarita pizza, Tomato Bocconcini bites, custom cocktails, plant selfies and much more!
Interested in learning how to propagate Basil the easy way? Read on! Basil propagation can happen pretty quickly. In contrast, other plants such as succulents can take much longer. With succulent propagation we didn't see any growth on the plucked leaves for 6 weeks, but with Basil we saw root growth after only 1 week.
BTW - here is what our transplanted Basil plant that we clipped our cuttings from looked like after 2 weeks with good soil in a big pot plus plenty of sun and water!
First, you’ll want to wait until your Basil plant is tall and leggy to begin clipping it. This occurs when your basil has long stem sections without any leaves or nodes.
You can also buy Basil plants from the grocery store that are ready for clipping/propagation right away.
Assuming you’ll be working with cuttings from a mature Basil plant it can take anywhere from 2-4 weeks for Basil clippings to grow roots in water depending on the variety of basil and growing conditions.
An area with optimal light will enable roots to grow faster while in darker areas it will take longer.
Here is what Basil cuttings in water look like after one week.
Once sufficient root growth is established you can then transplant your Basil cuttings into containers with the right soil blend. A detailed breakdown of that is beyond the scope of this article (which focuses on propagation timelines).
In our experience it took approximately 1 week to see tiny hints of root growth. Within 2 weeks there were long, healthy roots on our basil cuttings. Most of the root growth happened between 7 -14 days from clipping. When it started it happened fast!
Here is what our basil clippings in water looked like after 2 weeks.
Not at all! There are lots of ways to do it, so don’t be too worried about whether you’re doing it correctly as the plant is fairly forgiving..
Basil is a hardy plant and all it needs is a container filled with water plus some indirect light to thrive.
The main thing is to AVOID leaving your basil cuttings in direct sunlight otherwise they will get fried and will wilt. If that happens just move them to an area with less light.
Mature transplanted basil with established roots loves light and heat, so choose your placement accordingly.
This depends on whether you want to transplant the plant you are taking your cuttings from. If yes, you can probably expect to get 6-8 cuttings or more.
If you don’t want to transplant the original plant you can get probably a dozen basil clippings or more!
Well there you have it. Propagating basil is relatively fast and easy. Now it's time for you to try it, so get busy!
Our own experience with propagating basil... plus:
Hey, it’s Dan with the Sassy Plant.
I wanted to answer a question we often get and that is: "How long does it take to propagate Basil”? The answer is usually between 2-4 weeks.
If you’re going to propagate basil from an existing mature plant (such as one you buy from a garden store or grocery store), you’re going to do some clippings - right where the leaves go out from the stem. We call this a Basil leaf node.
We like to use salt and pepper shakers as a propagation container to put the basil clippings in because they’re narrow at the top to prevent the cuttings from falling in, but wide enough in the bottom for lots of root growth and water. You can get these at the Dollar Store, so they're also super cheap : )
After 2-4 weeks you’ll see root growth, and at that point your basil clippings / cuttings are ready to be transplanted to a container with high quality potting soil mix.
For bonus points you can paint a rock, and turn it into a label for your plant.
It’s going to take a few weeks to see basil root growth - the majority of the root growth happens toward the end of the 2-4 weeks. You’ll have to be patient. Don’t expect to see much of anything in the first week.
So yeah - propagate some basil, have fun, be patient, and enjoy!
Oh, and don't forget to use your fresh basil to make some delicious recipes like our " Best Garden Focaccia Recipe Ever!"
I’m Dan with the Sassy Plant, and I’m out!
Hi, we're Dan & Kat. We love plants and gardening and wanted to share what we've learned along the way with you. The Sassy Plant is a cheeky take on plants, gardening and home. Go here to learn more about us. We hope you enjoy!