Growing herbs from cuttings

Updated: Jan 15, 2021

The cheapest and easiest way to grow herbs are to propagate them using cuttings! Some herbs that grow great with this method are mint, basil, thyme, rosemary, oregano and lemon balm. Get some free cuttings from your gardening group, or buy them really cheap at the herb section of the supermarket!

If you're a newbie at gardening, growing from mint or basil cuttings is the best way to start developing some green fingers. Give it a go today!

What you need:

  • Scissors

  • Herb cuttings

  • Small glass jar/container

a lovely pot of mint

Step 1: Preparing the cutting

If you are taking cuttings from a plant, use a sharp scissors to snip the stem just above a node of leaves. The cutting should be around 5-10cm long.

Then, remove the leaves from the bottom half of the stem. This gives some space for the roots to grow out from the stem, which is the part that would be submerged in water. Removing the leaves are important so they don't rot.

Step 2: Place the cutting in water

Fill a small jar/container with water (tap water is just fine). I like to use a chicken essence bottle because it is just the right size - allowing the stem to be submerged and the leaves not touching the water.

Place the jar in an area with indirect sunlight.

Step 3: Watch and wait!

Patience is necessary for this step! White roots will grow out from the stem. Keep the water clean by changing it every few days. It takes about 2-3 weeks before the cutting is ready to be transplanted. See the slide show below!

Step 4: Transplant your cutting into soil

Prepare an empty pot and growing medium [learn how to make your own potting soil from our post on transplanting:]. Remove the cutting gently from the water, taking care not to damage the roots. Hold the cutting inside the empty pot, and fill in the growing medium. Water thoroughly until water seeps out from the bottom of the pot.

You can snip off the top to encourage new growth, but leave at least 2 sets of leaves so the plant can still make food for itself.

Place the plant under indirect sunlight for 1-2 days so it can adjust to its new home. Then, move it to an area where it can get plenty of direct sunlight. Remember not to let the soil dry out!

Step 5: Monitor for new growth

Monitor your plant every few days for new shoots emerging from the nodes of the cutting. You should be able to see tiny leaves and stems growing, like in the picture below. At this point, you can start to prune the plant to encourage more new shoots to grow. In time, your herb will look healthy and bushy- ready for the first harvest!

our successfully rooted mint cutting at day 30!

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