How to Root Basil Cuttings

Lisbon balcony gardens ooze with charm. Residents here seem to build gorgeous, effortless, healthy gardens from seemingly nothing. I’ve seen patched together sidewalk gardens with cuttings planted in pots and pans, corner veggie gardens planted into old wine crates, and balconies overflowing with as many wired on pots as they can handle. I seem to have a lot of trial and error with mine, but one thing I am enjoying is growing plants from cuttings. I’ve had a lot of success with basil and geranium. If you’d like to grow some windowsill basil, or extend the life of your grocery store basil plants, check out my how-to, next!


1. Pinch off a basil stem from a plant. Be sure to pinch it off at the node, where the stem meets the leaf. I usually clip a few as some will take and others won’t. Take off any leaves on the lower end of the stem so that there are no leaves in water.

2. Place in fresh water in a sunny window.

3. Wait about three weeks and you should see some roots forming. Refresh the water as necessary.

4. Once the roots are about an inch or so long, plant them into soil!

5. Be sure to plant them right under the last leaf, as they will develop stronger root systems that way.

how to root basil

Tip 2 for your basil plants! Do you ever have trouble with those gorgeous, greenhouse grown plants you pick up at the grocery store? You can take cuttings from those to get the most out of the plant. You can also, transplant all the many plants that are in there. The basil plants you buy at the grocery store usually have at least 15 different individual plants. Simply, divide them into their own pots! I was inspired by this video by Alys Fowler which has even more great info on this subject! Happy windowsill gardening!

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