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An Easy Way to Clone Herbs

An Easy Way to Clone Herbs

Did you know that it’s easy to root herbs in water? Discovered (by accident) by Michelle, editor of Gardenista: When her friend happened to stop by with a housewarming gift of snipped mint, rosemary, oregano, and sage, she set it down and promptly forgot about it days. When she next looked, the mint had roots.

This raised many questions: Will the mint survive if Michelle transplants it to the garden? Which of the other herbs will root?  For guidance, she headed online and found, via Rebecca Sweet at Fiskars, instructions on how to clone even more herbs:

Above: Roots that sprout in water are brittle, according to Fiskars; use a wide-mouthed container so they don’t break off when you remove the stem. Herbs that root easily in water include oregano, basil, sage, and mint.


Above: Michelle already has a lot of these little jars on the shelf (she stores lentils and split peas and such in them); an Emma Glass Jar is $2.99 from The Container Store.

Above: Use sharp scissors to avoid harming the plant’s delicate cambium layer, which contains cells necessary for future growth.

Above: The “heel” that attaches to the main stem may contain more natural growth hormone and increase rooting capabilities.

Above: Toughen up roots before you transplant them. Add a few pebbles to the container each day until the pebbles reach mid-way up the stem, Fiskars recommends. The pebbles gently scrape roots, mimicking soil, prompting the plant to produce more root offshoots.

For more DIY gardening inspiration, visit Gardenista‘s post A Window Box Grows in Brooklyn.

How to Propagate House Plants
7 Giant Herbs You Can Grow at Home
9 Healing Herbs to Cook With

Read more: Crafts & Hobbies, Green, Home, Lawns & Gardens, Nature, Outdoor Activities, Remodelista, , , , ,

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Gardenista is a one-stop sourcebook for cultivated living, a guide to outdoor design and gardening. Helmed by former New York Times columnist Michelle Slatalla, Gardenista features inspiration, garden visits, and advice for all things outdoor living, from patios and peonies, to tables and terraces. Gardens matter, and Gardenista celebrates tomatoes on the fire escape as much as rolling acres of green.


+ add your own
11:08AM PDT on Apr 5, 2013

Thanks for the info.

8:43AM PDT on Sep 24, 2012

Good to know! Thanks......

3:28PM PDT on Sep 13, 2012


3:03AM PDT on Sep 12, 2012

thanks. I didn't know all that.

4:37PM PDT on Sep 10, 2012

I knew but thanks for posting!

10:39AM PDT on Sep 10, 2012

A good project for children to get them excited about garden living. The top photo is of a geranium. I didn't know that they were considered an herb.

7:00AM PDT on Sep 10, 2012

Worth a try- now to find room in my house. I start seedlings (annuals)that I collect from my garden for next summer. I also bring in the geraniums. I have some wide- mouthed glass containers that had candles at one time, I clean these containers and they make really charming flower vase- low and attractive.
Thank you for these great idea.

6:28PM PDT on Sep 9, 2012

Thanks for the share!

10:35AM PDT on Sep 9, 2012


7:49PM PDT on Sep 8, 2012


an inspirational story on plants (the power of love) in Autobiography of a Yogi:

"Luther Burbank—A Saint Amidst the Roses

“The secret of improved plant breeding, apart from scientific knowledge, is love.” Luther Burbank uttered this wisdom as I walked beside him in his Santa Rosa garden. We halted near a bed of edible cacti.

“While I was conducting experiments to make ‘spineless’ cacti,” he continued, “I often talked to the plants to create a vibration of love. ‘You have nothing to fear,’ I would tell them. ‘You don’t need your defensive thorns. I will protect you.’ Gradually the useful plant of the desert emerged in a thornless variety.”

all the book is free to read legitamately online:

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