Basil Propagation Tutorial: Get Free Basil

Basil is one of my favorite herbs to grow. It’s super easy to take care of, grows abundantly & it’s delicious. Basil is also a great companion plant for tomatoes. It helps to keep pests away & some say that it even improves the taste of tomatoes. Plus, you can harvest ingredients for caprese sandwiches & salads in a quick one-two punch when tomatoes & basil are planted together. There is no downside to growing basil. Buying basil in the grocery store is another story though. It can be such a pricey herb to buy, especially compared to how cheap it is to grow your own. Luckily, it’s super simple to grow your own basil from cuttings & create more basil plants for free. So, how do you propagate basil? Read on.

propagating basil picture
Genovese basil putting on it’s propagating show.


  • Basil
  • Glass vase or drinking glass
  • Scissors
  • Water


  1. Choose a basil stem about 4 inches long & cut below a leaf on a diagonal.
  2. Remove the leaves at the base of the stem. Place in a glass of water, making sure that no leaves are submerged.
  3. Place near a sunny window. Change the water every few days.
  4. The basil is ready to be planted when the roots are over 2 inches long.


  • Choose stems with healthy basil leaves that have yet to bolt (no flowers).
  • You can propagate multiple basil cuttings in one glass.
Thai basil clipping picture
Thai basil clipped & ready to have it’s bottom leaves removed.

I have propagated basil a few times before & I have always had excellent results. But it still is such a cool process for me to watch. It’s like watching a science experiment put on by mother nature. Plus, propagating is such a budget-friendly way to garden. Purchase one basil plant & you can make multiple basil plants for free via cuttings. You can’t beat that in terms of savings, especially if you want to grow a lot of basil & who doesn’t like a lot of basil?

basil propagation picture
Thai basil in it’s new propagating home, a golf shot glass.

I am a bit late with my basil planting this year. I wasn’t able to find the variety that I love this spring & I kept putting off propagating the two varieties that I already have, but there’s no time like the present to plant more basil. Because when it comes to me there is no such thing as too much basil. We were even able to grow a couple of varieties over the winter indoors thanks to our trusty AeroGarden Harvest, which is still going strong. Thanks to that grow light system I have been growing basil since January & I plan to continue to grow it all year round. There’s nothing like growing your own fresh herbs in the middle of winter. I would like to try a few new varieties in my AeroGarden once my current ones fade out, maybe purple basil & lemon basil?

basil roots picture
A close up of those mighty roots that Genovese basil put out.

I basil up everything. Everything. One glance at my recipe section confirms it. Pizza, burgers, tomato sauce & even basil limeade with strawberries are some of my favorites to level up with basil. Not to mention the aforementioned caprese sandwiches & salads. But my favorite thing to make with basil by far is pesto. I never had pesto until a year ago when a huge crop of basil made me take the dive. It was love at first spoonful & I can’t get enough of it ever since. Check out my pesto recipe, it will change your life. You really haven’t lived life unless you’ve made your own homegrown & homemade pesto. Which is why growing your own basil is such a treat. Don’t continue to buy expensive grocery store basil when you can easily grow your own instead. Propagate some of your own & get to growing! Happy gardening, everyone!

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