Introduction: How to Reproduce Basil Without Seed

Picture of How to Reproduce Basil Without Seed

Basil is a very useful plant in the urban garden as it serves as a repellent of harmful insects and can be used for cooking.

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La albahaca es una planta muy útil en el huerto urbano ya que sirve como repelente de insectos dañinos y se puede utilizar para cocinar.

Step 1: Choose Your Plant

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Simply have a basil plant or you can ask someone you know for branches of basil, preferably you should choose those that do not have many flowers developed, although you can always cut them

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Basta con tener una planta de albahaca o puedes pedir a algún conocido algunas ramas de albahaca, de preferencia debes escoger las que no tienen muchas flores desarrolladas, aunque puedes cortar la parte que tiene las flores.

Step 2: Soil

Picture of Soil

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Step 3: Wait

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  • The ground where the branches of the basil were planted must always be moist and not flooded.
  • After about two or three weeks you can see the roots in case you have used a recycled seedlings or new leaves in the branch if they have been planted directly in a pot

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  • La tierra donde se plantaron las ramas de la albahaca debe estar siempre húmeda no inundada.
  • Luego de aproximadamente dos o tres semanas se podra ver las raíces en el caso de haber usado un semillero reciclado u hojas nuevas en la rama en caso se haberlo plantado directamente en una maceta

Step 4: Tips Thanks to Kaviga

Thanks to Kaviga

Some other tips for propagating plants via cutting:
1) Use a sharp knife or pruners, the sharper the better. A cutting will try to heal damage from a ragged cut, which takes energy away from rooting and slows the process (and also increases the chance of rot).

2) Cuttings should be between 4-6" long. Long cuttings have more difficulty rooting and the resulting plant may be tall and sparse.

3) Cut just below a node (where a leaf attaches to the stem). Roots grow easier from nodes, and too long of a section of stem below a node is more likely to rot than root.

4) Remove the bottom leaves, especially any that would be buried or touch the soil. For a 4-6" cutting, it's ok to prune all but the top 2-4 leaves so that there is several inches of bare stem.

5) Remove any flowers. Like I said earlier, they inhibit growth by diverting energy to seed production.

6) Don't use soil from the ground. This whole process is about maximizing the cutting's chance of survival by providing a good environment and minimizing the effect of harmful bacteria, fungi, and pests. You can transplant your plant into your garden after the roots have developed, but for now either pick up a bag of 'soilless rooting medium' or make your own (recipes are abundant online).

7) After filling your pot (pick one with draining holes or punch them in yourself) with the rooting medium and before planting the cutting, pre-moisten the medium and allow excess water to drain. It should be moist, but too much water will increase the chances of rot.

8) After planting the cutting, use a clear plastic bag to make a mini greenhouse that will provide a nice humid environment and slow moisture loss. Find a clear plastic bag that is bigger than the pot & cutting (oven bags and large zip lock bags work). It must be several inches wider in diameter than the pot and several inches taller than the top leaves. Center the pot/cutting in the bottom of the plastic bag then gather the bag opening above the cutting and exhale into the bag to inflate it (it's like using a small paper bag for hyperventilation). If you're using a zip lock bag, zip it closed, otherwise use a twist tie (or tie off the top of the bag itself) to seal the top of the inflated bag tight enough to keep the bag inflated. It's very important that the leaves don't touch the walls of the bag or they may mold. Check the soil moisture daily and remember to inflate the bag with your CO2-rich exhalation before each resealing.

9) Use a rooting hormone. It makes a big difference with some plants, it's not too expensive, and a little goes a long way. The rooting hormone should be applied to the bottom 0.5-1" of the stem and the cleanly cut surface before placing the cutting into the soil. Some rooting hormone comes as a powder which doesn't stick well to the stem, but quickly dipping to stem in water then into the powder will help it adhere. Be careful not to dislodge or knock off the rooting hormone before, or during, planting; it's a good idea to use something larger than the stem (like a pencil) to make an inch deep hole in the soil, then pace the cutting into the hole without affecting the rooting hormone, and finishing with lightly pressing down on the soil around the hole to gently collapse the soil around the stem.

Comments

Kaviga (author)2017-08-23

Great pictures! Plants are so interesting. Plants grown from cuttings are literally the same plant as the original, so any unique or preferable traits will be present in the cutting.

For basil, it's better to prune any budding flowers before they have a chance to bloom. Allowing your basil to flower will cause the taste to become bitter, effectively ruining your plant for culinary uses. Also, its growth will slow as the plant's energy is diverted to seed production.

Some other tips for propagating plants via cutting:
1) Use a sharp knife or pruners, the sharper the better. A cutting will try to heal damage from a ragged cut, which takes energy away from rooting and slows the process (and also increases the chance of rot).

2) Cuttings should be between 4-6" long. Long cuttings have more difficulty rooting and the resulting plant may be tall and sparse.

3) Cut just below a node (where a leaf attaches to the stem). Roots grow easier from nodes, and too long of a section of stem below a node is more likely to rot than root.

4) Remove the bottom leaves, especially any that would be buried or touch the soil. For a 4-6" cutting, it's ok to prune all but the top 2-4 leaves so that there is several inches of bare stem.

5) Remove any flowers. Like I said earlier, they inhibit growth by diverting energy to seed production.

6) Don't use soil from the ground. This whole process is about maximizing the cutting's chance of survival by providing a good environment and minimizing the effect of harmful bacteria, fungi, and pests. You can transplant your plant into your garden after the roots have developed, but for now either pick up a bag of 'soilless rooting medium' or make your own (recipes are abundant online).

7) After filling your pot (pick one with draining holes or punch them in yourself) with the rooting medium and before planting the cutting, pre-moisten the medium and allow excess water to drain. It should be moist, but too much water will increase the chances of rot.

8) After planting the cutting, use a clear plastic bag to make a mini greenhouse that will provide a nice humid environment and slow moisture loss. Find a clear plastic bag that is bigger than the pot & cutting (oven bags and large zip lock bags work). It must be several inches wider in diameter than the pot and several inches taller than the top leaves. Center the pot/cutting in the bottom of the plastic bag then gather the bag opening above the cutting and exhale into the bag to inflate it (it's like using a small paper bag for hyperventilation). If you're using a zip lock bag, zip it closed, otherwise use a twist tie (or tie off the top of the bag itself) to seal the top of the inflated bag tight enough to keep the bag inflated. It's very important that the leaves don't touch the walls of the bag or they may mold. Check the soil moisture daily and remember to inflate the bag with your CO2-rich exhalation before each resealing.

9) Use a rooting hormone. It makes a big difference with some plants, it's not too expensive, and a little goes a long way. The rooting hormone should be applied to the bottom 0.5-1" of the stem and the cleanly cut surface before placing the cutting into the soil. Some rooting hormone comes as a powder which doesn't stick well to the stem, but quickly dipping to stem in water then into the powder will help it adhere. Be careful not to dislodge or knock off the rooting hormone before, or during, planting; it's a good idea to use something larger than the stem (like a pencil) to make an inch deep hole in the soil, then pace the cutting into the hole without affecting the rooting hormone, and finishing with lightly pressing down on the soil around the hole to gently collapse the soil around the stem.

bfarm (author)Kaviga2017-08-24

I have lots of different basil; Italian, Thai, lemon -several others. The one issue is they always crash in late August, seems to be a combination of flowering (even when dead heading), heat, humidity and fungus. Any thoughts on keeping them going?

lewatoto (author)bfarm2017-10-10

if you want to extend the life of basil you have to cut the flowers and check if the place that you have it is too damp so maybe this is the reason of fungi, a good remedy against fungi is to place the plant in a place where it receives a good amount of direct sunlight and limit the watering to do it only when the soil is dry, basil supports well the soils with limited water.

Or you can make a homemade fungicide with:
- 8 parts of rainwater or tap water for two days.
- 2 parts of skimmed milk
- 20 grams of sodium bicarbonate per liter of mixture.

It is applied for two days in a row always at sunset and always after a storm, if the plant already has the fungus is applied every week removing the infected leaves, bicarbonate helps to heal the cuts and prevent further illness.

lewatoto (author)Kaviga2017-10-10

Many thanks for the tips, this was the first time that i've made something like this, i'm lucky because all the basil that i've cut has grow perfectly, i'll add the tips in an extra section, thanks again.

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Bio: Miembro de SparkProjects, estudiante de ingenieria electronica, usuario GNU/Linux y bloguero desde 2009, entusiasta de los huertos urbanos.
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