Grow an Endless Supply of Basil From One Plant

Last updated 04/27/2021 |

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Yes, you can grow endless amounts of basil from just one plant! Here's the secret to having an amazing, abundant basil harvest.

hands planting basil in garden

“Endless basil?” you say. “Endless? You mean I can grow all the basil I need from one plant? You keep saying this ‘endless’ word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

On the contrary, my friend. You really can grow an endless supply of basil from just one plant! In fact, that single plant could supply you with enough basil to make a years' worth of:

purple and green basil

Here's an example of our basil harvest (with Neighbor Kitty inspecting it) from a few years back. This technique really works! There’s no trickery involved, and you won’t believe how easy it is.

cat and bowl full of basil

Here's how to grow endless amounts of basil from just one plant. Buy a potted basil plant--our grocery store sells them in the produce department. This single plant is going to be the start of your Endless Basil Empire.

Cut off all the stems in the middle, above the bottom set of leaves (as shown). Plant the rooted stubs in your garden and set the stems aside. Each one of these stems will grow into a full basil plant, and the stubs will too! Here's how:

basil plant in peat pot

Remove the bottom leaves (circled) from each stem. Use these leaves in a recipe, or dry them for future use.

basil cutting in hand
Next, place your stems into a jar or glass full of water. You can use just about any kind of container--I like to use a quilted canning jar because it's pretty to look at, and the clear glass lets me see how the roots are growing. Set your jar in a sunny windowsill.

basil cutting in jar of water

In a few days, you’ll see tiny little roots emerging from each stem. Add more water to the jar if it gets low.

basil cuttings with roots growing

After 7-10 days, each stem will have multiple, long roots. That's how you know that your basil is ready to plant. You can plant them outside in your garden or grow basil indoors in a pot.

basil cutting with long roots

Be sure to give your newly planted basil a little boost of nutrition. I like to use a bit of diluted fish emulsion with kelp to help them get off to a good start.

Pretty awesome, right? And yes, once those plants are established you can start the process all over again...endlessly!

You can grow endless amounts of basil from just one plant! Here's the secret to abundant basil.

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Pam

Hi, I’m Pam! I created Brown Thumb Mama to share my natural living journey, and help you live a greener life. Thanks for being here, and please check out the resources in my Natural Living Shop!

22 Comments

  1. Ntenki on November 15, 2021 at 6:47 pm

    I love herbs basil being one of them, I am going to start straight away. Thank you very much for the idea, I pray it works. I will give feedback in 7-10 days.

  2. Cathrine on May 7, 2021 at 1:35 am

    I have been successfully planting my cut offs rooted in water but thereafter seem to struggle a little with the growing in the house. Thanks Cathrine

  3. Stephanie on July 24, 2020 at 1:46 pm

    Mine keeps wilting within a couple of days. What am I doing wrong?

    • Pam on July 27, 2020 at 4:56 pm

      If you’re using tap water, there might be a lot of chlorine in it. Try setting the jar full of water out overnight before you put the basil stem in it. That will give the chlorine time to evaporate out.

  4. Becky on July 22, 2020 at 8:51 am

    Why can’t you pinch it off it off above the small leaves and then that plant can continue to grow?

  5. Cyndi Krajecki on May 14, 2020 at 2:23 pm

    I can never find those for little leaves. I did get one cutting to sprout roots and planted it in a pot for my daughter. It is up to her now.

  6. Lisa on May 12, 2020 at 3:09 pm

    I grow basil year round in my window sill. When the plant gets out of hand and woody, I just cut it off, root in water and replant!

    • Alka on November 13, 2021 at 12:43 pm

      Awesome!! Thanks I’m going to do this too

  7. Linda on May 2, 2020 at 10:39 pm

    Yaaaassss !!!! Thx for the tip!

  8. Darcy on May 2, 2020 at 11:44 am

    I want to pet that cat.

  9. Heather on February 16, 2020 at 9:06 pm

    Awesome! And I liked the Princess Bride quote too

    • Pam on February 20, 2020 at 7:14 am

      You’re the first person who recognized it! :o)

      • Diane on May 31, 2020 at 5:03 pm

        Ha! I loved the reference to Princess Bride too! Nice idea with the basil.. have you tried other herbs?

  10. Chelsea on July 20, 2019 at 1:39 am

    Thank you for sharing this with that super cute kitty

  11. Pam on July 16, 2019 at 2:09 am

    Thanks for this. Will try immediately. Pam

    • Debra on August 15, 2020 at 5:53 am

      Works good if it’s on a windowsill getting like. Works great with some flowers too. Really good with Coleus!

  12. Lisa B. on July 10, 2019 at 10:58 am

    It’s far better to put your cutting straight into soil. Point is, water is not a natural growing medium for plants like basil, and the risk of the cut end rotting is very high.

  13. Linda Sebek on July 2, 2019 at 7:01 pm

    I have tried this, but it doesn’t work for me. No roots grow in the water.

  14. Tricia on May 2, 2019 at 8:54 pm

    This technique works for mint, too!

  15. Cathy on July 11, 2018 at 12:34 pm

    I agree with Laura. I have grown basil from seed for a few years. I’ll definitely give this a try. Thanks for the tip!

  16. Laura on July 10, 2018 at 6:05 am

    How fun. I have grown from seed but never thought about rooting cuttings. Gotta give it a try.

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Pam

Hi, I'm Pam!

I created Brown Thumb Mama to share my natural living journey and help you live a greener life. Thanks for being here! Learn more about me.

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