How to Propagate Basil



I love love love basil! I could put basil in anything! I was on pinterest a couple weeks ago and saw how to propagate it so I had to try! Its really simple and take barely any work (my kind of style)! If I can do it anyone can! I have a brown thumb!

I picked up a bunch of basil at my local farmers market for $2.50. (not bad but I rather grow my own for free right??)

Step 1: Find a stem that has 6 or more leaves on it. The longer the stem the better (learned from experience)
Step 2: Cut the stem with scissors from the rest of the bunch.


Step 3: Cut the top leaves or the flowers off and the bottom leaves off right at the point of origin or where it meets the stem.
Step 4: Place in a jar of water
Step 5: Wait and be amazed that your little stem will start growing roots in about a week


Step 6: Transplant it into a pot with soil and enjoy basil all year round!

P.S I have also done this with green onions. You can just snip off the green part at where the white and green meet and stick it in water and it will grow new shoots! Also, I’ve heard it works with celery but haven’t tried that yet!

So cool and fun right! Has anyone tried this with other types of herbs?


  1. I love basil this is a great idea will definitely try it. The celery works very well. I have several planted. They are making very bushy tops don’t know if the root will develop yet. Still watching it grow.

  2. I was successful with propagating my spearmint (I am new to this and loving it!) but I transfered it into soil (compost made of dirt, dried leaves, dried pine needles) yesterday and it is already looking sad 🙁 It is in an egg carton on my windowsill receiving indirect light, and (of course) I watered it. What went wrong?

    You are all so awesome! This is so great! I am so excited to try these ideas!!!

    1. I have trnsplanted few different kind of mint plants few times. It is my experience they will look droopy for a while, some leaves might even die. As long as it has light and water, plant will recover and start new growth. Some plants do not like transplanting, some go to shock but recover after few days. Just make sure you water your transplants well, to eliminate air pockets around roots, and keep it sheltered from direct sun for a day or two. Spearmint stem will produce roots, just like basil from this blog, so if your plant looks like it might die, pluck it out, wash off the dirt or cut off roots and stick it in the water to start rooting again. Mints are almost unkillable……LOL…and very invasive in your garden. Happy gardening!

    2. If you don’t want mint to take over your garden you should plant it in a pot or container of some sort.

  3. Works with celery! I was making soup, cut the bottom off of a bunch of celery, placed it directly on a pot of dirt (watered well). It is now growing from the center and is about 5″ tall.

  4. Love it! And I too can put Basil on everything. I just can’t get enough. I pick it fresh from the garden and wrap it around a Cherry Tomato and pop it in my mouth and eat it as a garden snack. :0)

    Thanks for posting!

  5. If you put green onions i water it will continue to grow. i just cut mine hen i need some, and it still grows! it’s awesome.

  6. Hi Amy,

    I had a pot of basil that was almost dead before it got cold in the fall. I brought it inside and put it near my areogarden (for light) – adding a few extra seeds to the pot and have had basil all winter and just now started my own seeds to plant outside again. Never thought of doing it your way – genius! 😉

    Thanks for sharing your tip!

  7. So this will work with any herb? I have a sage bush I planted from seeds years ago at my parents house, and have tried time and again to grow a clipping of it at my little apartment to no avail. I’m going to attempt to apply your method to my precious sage! LOL

  8. This is pretty much a no brainer, I’ve done this every year for many years. Basil doesn’t often winter over well, so good luck. This will NOT work with all herbs, especially woody stems.

  9. i love all the things you post. about the re growing onions and herbs, how often do you change the water?

  10. This works with most commonly used herbs, and even some flowers. I always grow fresh mint this way, the problem with my mint these days is stopping it growing!

  11. I love this site, what a great idea. I have been a keen gardener for years and thought that the only way to grow basil was from seed! Well be giving this a go tomorrow! Thankyou.

  12. Little bit confused about the leaf cutting part… in the pictures it looks like the leaves were left on?? Also, can you do this with big plants, like fruit trees?

  13. I have started basil growing too, and green onions in a glass jar of water, you can use about 3 times then they get too weak, celery works but grows a lot slower
    What I don’t have good luck with is Rosemary in the house, I wish I could get it to grow inside, I lose it outside almost every winter.

    1. Thanks for the info that is really helpful! I have done this with basil, mint, and green onions! So its good to know about other herbs and vegetables!

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