How To Clone Your Herbs
May 2, 2011
Note: Gayla's guest post from last year was so popular that we decided to republish it for everyone who might not have seen it! Thanks again, Gayla!

Just last week a friend and I visited a large greenhouse to stock up on last-minute herbs for the growing season. As we walked the aisles, I felt more than a little guilty, if not mischievous, about the number of times I whispered to put a plant back since I already had it and would happily give her a cutting. When you're stocking a garden for the growing season, every $3 and $4 savings really adds up quickly!

Plants such as basil, mint, and oregano are incredibly easy to reproduce from cuttings — and a heck of a lot faster than growing from seed. So easy in fact, that it is practically criminal how quickly you can stock your entire garden from one small plant. I save time and money every season multiplying my basil crop in this way.

What You Need

Your choice of herbs
Small cup or jar
Pot or planter
Soil and compost



1. Allow new plants to grow for a few weeks to a month. When they've doubled in size, cut a few stems about 4 or 5 inches long just above or below a node (the juncture on the stem where leaves are attached).

2. Pluck off one or two sets of leaves, and remove any flower or buds that have formed. The goal here is to keep the plant focused on growing roots and leaves; flowers (a different form of reproduction) are a big energy drain.

3. Stick the stems in a small cup or jar of water and place in a sunny but protected spot. Add more water as it evaporates; at least one node should always be submerged in water since this is where the roots will form.

That's it. You should see roots in less than a week. Once healthy roots have formed, pot up or plant the new plants in-ground and you're done. You can add a little vermicompost to the hole if you want and of course water them in well to get things going.

Additional Notes: Plants with woodier stems, including rosemary, scented geraniums (aka pelargoniums), and lemon verbena tend to have a little trouble