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.

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Donna Hamilton
Donna Hamilton4 years ago

Thanks for the info.

Lenee K.
Lenee K5 years ago

Good to know! Thanks......

Laurie Greenberg
Laurie Greenberg5 years ago


Phillipa W.
Phillipa W5 years ago

thanks. I didn't know all that.

Eternal Gardener
Eternal G5 years ago

I knew but thanks for posting!

Sue H.
Sue H5 years ago

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.

Bonnie M.
Bonnie M5 years ago

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.

Talya Honor
Talya H5 years ago

Thanks for the share!

a             y m.
g d c5 years ago


andrew h.
- -5 years ago


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: