FAQGardeningSeptember 5, 2022by Colin RossHow long does it take for Basil to root in water?

Basil is my favorite herb to propagate in water because of how easily it grows roots. As long as you have a good cutting, it only takes 7-10 days for basil to root in water.

What do I mean by a good cutting?

A good basil cutting has a strong stem of at least 3-4 inches that you’ve cut a few levels of nodes from. The more node sites, the more spots roots will pop out. Also, if your basil has a woody outer coating, I like to use my thumb to scrape off that coating and expose the green stem before setting it in water. Finally, you don’t want to leave a bunch of big leaves on your cutting. It does not actually give you a head start on your new cutting. It actually makes it harder for the plant to survive this stage because of the added needed resources to sustain the big leaves. Once your cutting knows it will survive, it will put the energy into making new leaves and branches when the time is right.

Keep an eye on the water.

Getting basil to root in water is almost set it and forget it, but not completely. It is important to keep an eye on the water every couple of days. If the water gets a gross film on it or is attracting flies, dump it out and put in new water.

It is also important to make sure the water level stays the same for the full 7-14 days you let it live in water. Evaporation as well as the plant using the water to create roots may lower the levels. As long as your container is topped off and clean, you will get great results.

Once your roots are formed.

I wish I understood the importance of putting my rooted cuttings into really moist soil earlier in my basil journey. The cuttings are still delicate no matter how good the root growth is, but to take them from a 100% water environment and into dry soil is a shocker. Adding your cuttings to moist soil helps a lot in the transition from water to the soil.



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