How to propagate basil plants is a process that one would be interested to know about as it will help in cultivating plenty more of these herbs. Although there are different ways of doing so, the cutting method has a high success rate and is much easier, faster, and cheaper.
Despite cuttings being more effective, seeds and seedlings also produce healthy basil plants when you grow basil at home or in a herb garden. For more information on the basil plant’s propagation, go through this informative guide.
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How To Propagate Basil Plants in Different Ways?
To propagate basil plants in different ways, you can opt to do so by seed propagation, or by seedling propagation. Moreover, cuttings will work as well, as you can also try to propagate it in water or by placing it in the potting mix.
– Seed Propagation
When you aim to propagate the basil through the seed, it yields the best results in warm weather with plenty of sunlight and high moisture levels. You should use well-drained, nutrient-rich soil with a substantial fertilizer and compost component.
Moreover, when going forth for this process, you must ensure that the soil has neutral pH that enhances basil plants’ proper development and survival. Which is why you must make holes in the soil and ensure that they are at least one-eighth of an inch deep and three to four inches apart.
Place a single basil seed in each hole and cover it with soil, and be very keen that you gently water the soil and make sure that the growing medium does not remain continuously soaked up. If you are planting basil plant seeds directly into the ground, ensure that the place has access to at least six hours of sunlight daily so that it would be done with success. When planted in pots, you can move the pots around for them to get enough sunlight.
Now, you must remember that basil plants grow best in well-draining containers or raised beds that facilitate excess water loss as this matter helps to protect the plants from rot. You should also know that these plants’ seeds germinate faster when planted in a growing medium with temperatures that range between 75 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. When such conditions are provided, it should take between 10 and 14 days for the seeds to sprout.
– Seedling Propagation
As mentioned earlier, you may acquire seedlings from a garden center or from planting seeds. This method is more appropriate when temperatures are consistently around 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
You should get some garden soil for potting, but first, make sure that you amend it with lots of compost or organic matter. This improves the drainage ability of the growing medium, thereby curbing the probability of having different fungal infections and issues with the roots being damaged.
You can now go ahead and create an eight-inch hole for effective plant support and place a healthy seedling inside. When growing basil plants on raised beds, make sure that they are at least 12 to 16 inches apart to ensure adequate airflow and access to sunlight.
After placing the seedlings in the holes, use your hands to firmly press down the soil so that the plant stands upright. Apply water to the plant deeply, at least once weekly, to maintain the soil’s moisture and allow the roots to reach down as much as they can.
However, do remember how it is important to note that the best time to water your young basil plants is during the early morning so that the soil gets enough time to lose excess water as the day progresses. Once the plants have established themselves, you should apply a very weak fertilizer to maintain and compensate for the washed-out nutrients.
– Cuttings Propagation
Basil plants can be propagated using cuttings by using either the potting mix or water as a medium. Get a clean pair of scissors or herb snips to cut off a healthy stem that is four to six inches long.
For this method, you must be very detailed to ensure that you clean the tools, as it will help to reduce the chances of transferring bacteria to the tender plant as this can cause rooting failure. Clip the stem below the leaf node and make sure the base of the cutting has a wide surface area to promote efficient water uptake.
Ensure that you prune basil leaves on the stem’s bottom third, so they do not touch the water, a scenario that could cause rotting. Keeping in mind how this propagation method is more successful when undertaken during the onset of the growing season when plant development is better supported.
All the different basil varieties, including lemon basil, Lao basil, and hoary basil, respond positively to the cuttings propagation method. You can also easily access basil cuttings from a nearby grocery store or garden, as it will grow successfully, noting that these cuttings should be healthy and free from pests and diseases.
– Propagating in Water
Get a small glass or jar and fill it with distilled or spring water; on the other hand, remember that you should not be using chlorinated tap water, but if there is no other option, put it in a container and place it outside for at least 24 hours. This is done to evaporate chlorine, which is harmful to plants, and once the water is ready for use, pour it into a glass jar and carefully place one prepared basil cutting in each container.
Position the glass containers in a place that has bright, indirect sunlight, which is why bacteria or algae tend to infect the water over time, so you should change it every 24 to 48 hours. If this process is carefully executed, the basil cuttings will start rooting in 10 to 14 days. Consider including a few drops of rooting hormone in the water to quicken up the process when you are propagating this way.
When the rooting basil are an inch or two long, it is time to move the basil cuttings from the jars as they will be established enough to support themselves in the event that they are transferred to a potting mix. Plant the cuttings into a pot containing a potting mix that is pre-moistened. Gradually expose the plant to care conditions that are similar to those of mature ones to avoid the shock that can kill the plants.
– Multiplying in Potting Mix
A basil cutting can also be rooted by planting it directly into a potting mix. Before starting this process, you should gather pots approximately four inches in diameter. Yogurt containers can be very effective alternatives as you can easily create drainage holes on them.
Make sure that the potting mix that you intend to use is well-moistened. Also, make some plastic bags available, like those that are used for vegetable and fruit packaging in grocery stores.
Once all the requirements are available, fill the containers with a moistened soil mix. Now, you should note that the cut ends of a stem cutting should not be left to dry out, so it is best to separate them from the parent plant once the potting mix is ready.
Make a hole in the middle of the container and insert a fresh basil cutting, ensuring the leaves do not contact the growing medium. Firmly press down the potting mix around the bottom of the stem to keep it upright.
Place the basil stem cuttings on the spot with bright and indirect sunlight access. The basil grow best in high humidity conditions, and you should keep moisture around the plants high by placing a plastic bag over each one of them. You may aim to uncover the plants daily to enhance access to fresh air and water regularly to keep humidity high. When these herb’s cuttings start growing new leaves, this is a positive sign that it has rooted.
Basil propagation is quite simple compared to other plant species that are similar to it, now, let’s check what we covered today in this article:
- You can propagate basil plants through seed, seedling, and cutting methods.
- Whichever method you choose, you should plant the young basil plants that have rooted into a fresh potting mix and use larger containers to allow water and air movement around the roof area.
- The best time to propagate this plant is during the beginning of the active growing season when development is supported
- Cuttings can be rooted by either using the water or potting mix method, and it should take between 10 and 14 days for roots to start appearing.
- Although you can get cuttings by pruning them off the parent plant, they are also available in grocery stores nearby.
Basil plant propagation helps you beautify your places even more with increased vegetation cover. If you desire to harvest basil plants for herbal uses, propagating them properly is vital in increasing the yield while broadening your path to success.