How to Propagate Basil From Cuttings In Water: Step-By-Step Guide

Basil is a popular herb among gardeners, known for its unique flavor and aroma. It’s often used in cooking to add depth to various dishes like pizzas and pastas. Propagating basil from cuttings in water is an easy way to grow new plants without buying seeds or risking transplantation shock.

In this blog post, we’ll go through the process of propagating basil from cuttings in water step-by-step.

Choosing the right cutting

Before starting the propagation process, you need to choose the right cutting. Basil plants usually have a lot of lateral branches that are perfect for propagation. Look for a healthy plant with several stems about 4-6 inches long.

Make sure you avoid using cuttings that look yellow or wilted as they may not root properly. Additionally, make sure your scissors are clean and sharp before making any cuts.

Preparing the stem

Once you’ve selected your cutting, it’s time to prepare it for rooting. Start by removing all leaves on the bottom two-thirds of the stem using clean scissors or pruning shears.

This will help prevent rotting caused by leaf decay when placed in water. Make sure there are at least three sets of leaves left on top of the stem so that energy can still be produced through photosynthesis while roots form below.

Placing your cutting into water

Next up is placing your prepared basil cutting into water! Fill a small glass jar (or vase) with fresh tap water but don’t use distilled because it doesn’t contain enough minerals needed for growth).

Then place your prepared basil cutting into this jar ensuring that only its bottom portion touches the water (you can also use toothpicks if necessary). This will keep bacteria away and ensure proper oxygen supply needed for growing roots.

Changing out Water Regularly

To maintain successful propagation success rates, make sure you change out your glass jar’s fresh tap-water regularly every few days up until when newly grown roots appear.

This is very important because stale water can easily lead to bacteria growth, which in turn can cause rotting or wilted leaves on your basil cutting. Always make sure you also keep the jar at room temperature and away from direct sunlight.


The newly grown roots will appear after a few weeks, depending on the variety and environmental conditions of your basil plant. Once they reach about 1-2 inches long, it’s time to transplant them into soil for further growth!

Using a small pot with fresh potting soil is ideal when transplanting so that nutrients are readily available for root establishment. Gently remove the cutting from the water and transfer it to its new home.

Make sure you bury around two-thirds of the stem into this soil while leaving just enough top exposed above ground level (where light reaches). This will allow proper nutrient absorption through photosynthesis even as roots continue developing below.


Propagating basil plants by cuttings in water has never been easier! With these easy-to-follow steps outlined above, you can now grow several basil plants from one mother plant right within your own home garden without any hassle whatsoever.

Remember always to maintain a clean environment by regularly changing out old tap-water with fresh ones while keeping away from direct sunlight – this way; you’ll be guaranteed successful propagation every time!