Herbs propagated from grocery store cuttings

lali(z9, Sunset z18, CA)June 3, 2009

I have to say that I was a bit skeptical about getting the herbs to root from the bunches I get from the grocery store. Around here, many of the thai / vietnamese herbs do not come with roots, so I was really delighted that they rooted for me and are growing nicely.

Here's a pic of thai basil (center) and purple perilla (right). The perilla has been in bright light (not full sun), which is why I think it looks mostly green at the moment instead of green/purple. I did buy Thai basil from a box store, but it doesn't quite look and taste like the variety I'm familiar with in restaurants and grocery stores, so I decided I might as well root the variety I'm familiar with and want. So you could imagine my delight when the cuttings were growing for me and as soon as they put on a little more growth, I'll put them in my herb garden (see below).

Those on the left are green onions (again from the grocery store) that I decided I might as well root too. :)

If anyone's curious, I have a 4'x4' square foot herb garden that I'm experimenting with this year. The boxes are essentially 1'x1' sections, except the lemon grass (top left) is planted on a 1'x2' area.

1st Row: lemon grass, sweet basil, sage, oregano

2nd Row: lemon grass, empty spot, regular cilantro (it's bolting currently), thyme

3rd Row: flat leaf parsely, mexican basil (which I mistakened for thai basil and am thinking of taking out), thai basil (this box store variety is much smaller and tastes different from the grocery store variety), empty spot

4th Row: onion chives, apple mint (planted in a pot), empty, empty

I've left several spots empty on purpose so I can plant other herbs I find that may want to put in there. My vietnamese cilantro (also from grocery store cutting) was rooting, but all of a sudden died.

So for those of you that have thought about rooting herbs, I just want to say it wasn't at all difficult and actually easy to do. I'm going to try rooting a few more asian herbs.

Thanks for looking!


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Hi Lali,

Have u tried to propagate 'Oriental Spinach' stems bought from the store. U will be surprised at how easily they grow.


    Bookmark   June 3, 2009 at 3:43PM
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lali(z9, Sunset z18, CA)


Is this what you're referring to as "Oriental Spinach"?

I don't think I'm familiar with that vegetable at all. How do you generally prepare it?


    Bookmark   June 3, 2009 at 3:49PM
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Hi Lali,

Oriental Spinach is also known as 'Malabar spinach'. It is an upright vine plant. It is cooked just like spinach and grows very fast. It is availabe in all Asian veggie stores. Here in Phoenix it is called Oriental Spinach. At times it is availabe in walmart too. Check the link below for a pic of the plant.


    Bookmark   June 4, 2009 at 4:29PM
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Hi Lali

I have done just about what you have done:
1- Thai basils, coming along well, the earlier ones are ready for harvest

2- Red perilla/shiso ( I already had the green ones from last year's seedings)

3- Korean mints, They are increasing now.
4- Lemone grass, plenty of them.
5- Chinese celery. Growing great. I want to get seeds from them.They usually come with roots , so easy to make them grow fresh roots. So that is a total of 5

I started them way back when the weather was cold. It is much easier to root them now.
6- Only one culantro rooted but doubtful at this time.
I am going to try sweet meants soon.
I have other Asian veggies as well, grown from seeds:
*** Korean small yellow melons(Name??)
*** Chinese/Japanese? eggplants
*** Japanese cucumbers
*** Korean Cucumbers
*** Chinese yardlong beans
Of course I have all kinds of American veggies too.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2009 at 9:28PM
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lali(z9, Sunset z18, CA)


You wouldn't have any pics of your garden would you? I'd love to see some of the asian herbs / veggies growing in your garden.


    Bookmark   June 5, 2009 at 3:40AM
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Hi Lali and all you gardeners :-),
Very impressed w/your green thumbs in getting grocery "volunteers" to reproduce in your gardens. I'm pretty much a "brown thumb-er" in that I basically can get thing to grow, but keeping them alive~ now that's a problem. For example: I just can't seem to get lemon grass to thrive. I've had a pot in full sun and they just limped along till it faded away. I have another pot, this time under a light shade cloth and it's not doing much better. What's the secret here?

    Bookmark   June 20, 2009 at 3:16AM
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lali(z9, Sunset z18, CA)


I've grown lemon grass in-ground an in pots without any issues. In fact I once had a plant that started out in a 4" pot and eventually overgrew an 18" pot. Lemon grass love full sun. What kind of potting media do you use? They don't like soggy soil and usually allow the soil to dry out a little before watering again.

Can you describe what you've done with your lemon grass?


    Bookmark   June 21, 2009 at 3:30PM
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Hi Lali, Hi ye all

I am going to try to upload here, for the first time, from photobucket.
If visible, this pic was taken in early June. Now it is three times bushy.
A have also planted couple of them inside the garden.
Other Asian vegetables that I have are scattered here and there.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2009 at 1:27AM
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That code did not .Now lets try html code

It shows in preview but does not post??!!
I changed the subject to see what happens.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2009 at 1:48AM
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Is it possible to propagate chinese chives using store bought or do they have to be started by seed?

    Bookmark   August 22, 2011 at 10:12AM
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Hi. New on this side, but fascinated with what I find in the Saigon Supermarket in Mobile. I am HOOKED.

I have a pot of chives which started as a grocery store purchase, and when I did not use it, I decided to put it in a pot. That was about 4 years ago, and it has survived outdoors in all weather with some afternoon shade. It is currently flowering. Mine was not in the best condition by the time it went in the soil, so I'd say it would grow for you too.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2011 at 12:58PM
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Your mint is going to overtake everything else... lol use it and keep it in a pot

    Bookmark   September 12, 2011 at 1:50AM
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Lali, thanks for your post. I bought some organic spinach and noticed that there was about 1/3 of an inch of root. I remove the large leaves then put the root ends with small leaves attached in water. They are rooting but I'm wondering how they'll do in soil. I have about 12 of them. Have you tried propagating spinach yet?

    Bookmark   February 13, 2012 at 9:08AM
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Forgot to mention...my concern is that they have been in water and will they transition easily to being in soil. I guess I'll find out.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2012 at 9:17AM
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