I have a big basil plant and an ever growing spearmint plant and want to share cuttings with friends. What's best way to do this and is it too late in the season for them to plant them in the ground?
Give them good size cuttings with a strong stem. It should have a couple of nodes on it. Basil roots well in water this time of year, although it may die off. The mint propagates well with root cuttings, although you may leave some of the leaves on it.
They are so easy.... like Baci said.... I have been propagating in perlite and found that effective too, perlite holds moisture really well, even here in dry california.
I second basil in water, I was surprised at how easy it was. I've got some basil from a farmer's market, tossed it in water to keep it fresh and was surprised that it rooted within a week. Just plain water.
Another way to root a mint, is to just take node and shove it in the pot you want it to grow in. You can leave it attached to the mom plant and cut it away from the mom plant once it roots. So easy. I like this method cause there is no fail. Cuttings work fine too and can many more can be done at one time, so its all preference.
Thanks everyone. Looks like this should be a no-fail process. :-)
Well, I did it, and it grew decent roots and then when I put it in some soil, it started drooping within hours. Did I do it too soon? Will it be okay once it gets used to the soil?
Sometimes water-rooted cuttings will go into shock when you plant them in soil. They might still recover for you.
I usually take a 2 to 3 inch cutting, cut (don't strip) off the bottom sets of leaves, then dip the stem in rooting hormone. I stick it in a small cell-pack (saved from baby bedding plants over the summer) of damp, good-quality potting mix and keep it moist until it roots. Signs of rooting are new growth at the top, or a resistance when you tug - very gently - on the cutting.
You can plant the spearmint in the ground once it's rooted, but basil won't be winter-hardy in our zone. I've had good luck with keeping rooted cuttings in a sunny window over the winter. Just don't let your basil's leaves touch a cold windowpane or they'll turn black.
Big "whack on the side of the head" came for me last year. I had been hauling in a largish rose geranium for the past couple of years. It occurred to me that scented geraniums root really easily. They grow fast in the summer. so, why was I taking precious window space with a big, sunloving plant that would get spindly, nasty, and pest-infested over the winter? I took several cuttings and composted the mother plant. The little cuttings held fine over the winter in their small cell-packs, then filled out a planter nicely this summer. I'm going to try this with other "must keep" plants this winter - and this weekend will be a perfect time to start!
Hi, my basil plants are flowering and the leaves are now no longer soft. Can I still make cuttings in order to have new plants with softer leaves? Thanks!