How to Root Basil: A Beginner’s Guide



Are you a fan of fresh herbs in your cooking? Do you love the taste of fragrant basil in your dishes? If so, have you ever considered growing it yourself at home?

One important aspect of growing basil is learning how to root it properly. Rooting is the process by which a cutting develops roots and starts to grow as a new plant. While it may seem daunting at first, rooting basil can be an easy and rewarding experience.

In this article, we will explore all aspects of rooting basil – from selecting the right cuttings to caring for them until they are ready to be transplanted into soil. So grab some scissors, take a deep breath, and let's get started on this exciting journey together!

How to Root Basil: A Complete Guide

Basil is a popular herb used in many dishes for its distinct aroma and flavour. It's an easy-to-grow plant that can be grown both outdoors and indoors. If you're interested in growing basil, one of the essential steps is to learn how to root basil cuttings.

Benefits of Growing Basil From Cuttings

There are numerous benefits of growing basil from cuttings, including:

  • Cost-effective: Buying seeds or plants can be expensive, while rooting cuttings from existing plants can save you money.
  • Same genetic characteristics: Planting a cutting ensures that your new plant will have the same genetic characteristics as the parent plant.
  • Faster growth rate: Rooted cuttings start growing faster than seedlings as they already have established roots.

Now let's dive into how to root basil:

Step-by-step guide on how to root basil

  1. Choose a healthy mother plant with vigorous growth and no signs of disease or pests.
  2. Using clean pruning shears, snip off a four-inch stem just below where two leaves meet.
  3. Strip off any leaves along the bottom half inch of your cutting – this helps prevent rot during rooting.
  4. Dip the end into rooting hormone powder (optional).
  5. Fill up 3/4th of a small container with potting soil mix (preferably organic) and water it thoroughly till excess water drains out.
    6.Place your cutting into this moistened soil mix such that its bottommost part touches the soil evenly without bending or breaking it at all!
    7.Cover loosely with plastic wrap so that humidity remains high within which aids in quickening initial onset growths by keeping them hydrated until mature enough for photosynthesis!
    8.Place container near bright but not direct sunlight for optimal temperature control during transition period between outdoor environment conditions gradually over time once rooted.

Tips on How To Nurture Your Newly Rooted Basil Cuttings

  1. Watering: When the soil feels dry to touch, water your cuttings until excess water drains out. Do not overwater, as it can lead to root rot.
  2. Light: Basil requires plenty of light for optimal growth, so place the container in a bright location with indirect sunlight.
  3. Temperature and humidity: Keep your basil cuttings in a warm environment with high humidity levels (around 60-70%). A good way to maintain high humidity is by covering them loosely with plastic wrap or using an indoor greenhouse kit.
    4.Fertilizing:Nitrogen-rich fertilizer helps stimulate new leaf growth and development without damaging roots just remember less is more when starting out!
    5.Monitor environmental factors such as heat sources or drafts which can cause excessive drying leading to inadequate photosynthesis causing wilting.


Basil is an easy-to-grow plant that can be propagated from cuttings for best results! Rooting basil involves some simple steps like taking appropriate measures towards sanitation maintenance during cutting propagation process, ensuring adequate moisture levels alongside proper rooting hormone application and nutritional plant care following initial transplanting into soil mixtures optimal temperature controlled environments indoors or outdoors under filtered lighting conditions!! Whether you're cooking up something delicious in the kitchen or simply looking for a beautiful addition to your garden herb collection – rooting basil may be just what you need!


What is the best way to root basil?

Basil is an herb that can be propagated from cuttings, and the process of rooting basil cuttings is quite easy. Here's how:

Firstly, take a healthy cutting of about 4-6 inches long from a mature basil plant. Pinch off any leaves that are on the lower part of the stem and leave just two sets of leaves at the top.

Next, fill a jar or glass with water so that it covers about an inch or two up the stems. Place your cutting in this jar and place it in bright but indirect sunlight.

Change out your water every few days to keep things fresh and free from bacteria buildup.

In approximately one week’s time, you should notice roots starting to emerge near where you pinched off those bottom set of leaves. Once these roots reach around 2 inches in length, carefully remove your rooted cutting from its container with some scissors or pruning shears.

Planting multiple cuttings in small pots filled with well-draining soil can also work great once they’ve developed good roots systems.

Can I root basil in soil?

Yes indeed! Basil propagation via soil rooting works just as well and will offer much better support for young plants than using only still water as we mentioned above.

To propagate basil by placing directly into potting mix:
Fill small plastic cups (with drainage holes) halfway with moistened potting mix; if not purchased pre-moistened then add enough water beforehand till it’s damp but not soaking wet.
Take healthy looking stem cuttings roughly 4-6" long each including at least one node (a nodal point where new growth typically forms), pinch away any side shoots leaving only two nodes worth of upper foliage intact
Place these stems vertically into each cup making sure they penetrate through their respective holes deep enough for stability sake
Water again gently so everything stays moist yet again, not overly saturated.
Now it’s important to move the cups into a well-lit spot with indirect sunlight and possibly some protection from direct hot sun. An ideal temperature range is between 70-85°Fahrenheit.
Check them every few days to ensure moistness levels stay consistent but avoid overwatering as this can lead to stem rot. Within several weeks you should see new leaf growth sprouting above soil level, which will indicate successful rooting has taken place.

How long does it take for basil cuttings to root?

Basil cuttings take an average of one week or so for roots to develop once they are placed in water and given proper light conditions (bright but indirect). The time frame may vary slightly depending upon location, climate conditions as well as overall health status of your donor plant material.

When using soil propagation instead of water be patient while waiting for root emergence; usually within two weeks or thereabouts is common timing-wise.

Can I use rooting hormone on basil cuttings?

While basil generally does not require any rooting hormones when taking stem cuttings since they already contain natural plant growth regulators that boost their potential development speed, applying a bit of powder form hormone can still help things along even further if desired.
Rooting hormones offer extra benefits by reducing chances of fungal disease problems arising in the future while also speeding up initial setting down processes.

If this method interests you then prepare your cutting first before application by dipping freshly trimmed end about half inch deep into powdered hormone product (read instructions beforehand) ensuring good coverage around wounded area.. Give off excess powder tap and shake gently before placing cutting carefully into moistened potting mix/soil.. Follow regular watering schedule afterwards too keep growing medium consistently damp yet never soaking wet

What type of container should I use when propagating basil?

You can use any container with enough room for multiple stems without crowding each other out that allows proper drainage with holes at the bottom. Small plastic cups or recycled yogurt containers work nicely, but you can also use pots that are slightly larger if you're working with more than one cutting.

Ensure adequate drainage holes in whatever container is used as this will prevent water build-up and potential rotting issues.

Additionally, it’s important to avoid direct sunlight exposure during the rooting process as this can cause damage to young plant material. Instead aim for indirect light sources like west/east facing windowsills or under grow lights set up on low wattage levels till they take root successfully

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