Propagating 'adult' Basil plants; best way to move forward?

natebetweenApril 26, 2012

Hello all,

I had a quick (maybe odd?) question about propagating some basil. I grow basil from seed all the time, and my understanding is that propagating basil is actually pretty easy (with the help of a little root hormone).

I've recently started quite a few basil plants from seed. Typically I put 3 or 4 seeds per little peet pot, in order to allow for seeds that don't germinate. This year I had a fantastic germination rate, meaning that each of my peat pots has 3-4 plants growing out of it. Obviously, for me to get nice big, tall, bushy plants, having this many plants right next to each other is not compatible. I haven't had time (or the heart) to thin out the "slower growing" seedlings, and now it has been nearly 1.5 - 2 months with all of the peet pots still supporting healthy, albeit cramped, plants.

Here is my question. Can I just cut the smaller plants off at the soil line and propagate it that way, or do I need to propagate the branches that are coming off of the main stem at the node? What I'm getting at is that I'd like to continue growing the plants from their current stage if at all possible, and wondering if I can just chop, dip in a little root hormone, and stick in a new peat pot, or if I should propagate the smaller branches, and therefore start off with smaller plants.

Each of the plants is on it's 3rd set of leaves, so I really need to make room to allow expansion, as the smaller plants will eventually get totally shaded anyways.

I hope that makes sense.


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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

I've had great luck with rooting basil. grew in about a week (last summer). I didn't use root hormone, just put it in water.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2012 at 9:30AM
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After trimming one of the plants at the soil line for propagation, I will leave one adult plant in each pot. Do you think that leaving the roots of the other plant to "rot" in the soil is a bad idea? Or will this decomposition help the other plant?

    Bookmark   April 26, 2012 at 11:35AM
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