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Basil – How to Pull Offshoots

Basil - How to Pull Offshoots

Every vital, healthy basil shoot has what it takes to become an independent herbal plant. In the following, we will explain to you in a comprehensible and practical manner how you can grow a new royal herb plant from offshoots within a short time.

How to cut cuttings professionally

The propagation of basil by means of offshoots aims to ensure that the cut shoots form their own roots. In order for the plan to succeed, select strong shoot tips without buds. Cut these off to a length of 10 to 15 centimeters (4-5 inches) with a sharp, disinfected knife. The cutting point is just below a leaf base. The ideal cut is slightly slanted.

Allow basil cuttings to root

The cut cuttings are defoliated in the lower half. Then put the cuttings in a glass of water. A small piece of charcoal prevents the formation of rot. The first tender roots develop within a week in a semi-shady place at temperatures above 20 degrees Celsius (68F). Proceed as follows:

  • Half fill small growing pots with lean herb or pricking soil
  • Make a small indentation with the pricking stick or a spoon
  • Insert a rooted offshoot in the middle and fill up the substrate to just below the edge of the pot

After watering, the formation of the root system continues in the bright, warm window seat. When the first shoots appear and the first roots grow out of the opening in the ground, the young plants are repotted in a nutrient-rich, well-drained substrate. Alternatively, plant the royal herb outside in the herb bed.

Pinching encourages bushy growth

Regular pruning makes a valuable contribution so that rooted basil offshoots branch out luxuriantly. From a growth height of 15-20 centimeters (5-7 inches), repeatedly cut off the shoot tips. To do this, place the knife or scissors just above a pair of leaves.


If you can’t wait for basil cuttings to root, use willow water to speed up the process. Crushed annual willow stalks are doused with boiling water to allow them to steep for 24 hours. The strained brew contains natural growth hormones in abundance. The salicylic acid it contains also prevents the formation of rot.

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