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How to Propagate Herbs from Cuttings

I started my herb garden by buying a few seedlings of my favorite  herbs.  From there, I propagate herbs from cuttings.  Most herbs can be propagated this way, except for those plants that grow in a cluster or from a bulb, like garlic, onion, parsley, dill and chives, which can only be propagated from seeds.

Here’s how I propagate herbs from cuttings:


Choose a healthy stem and cut the stem at least 3 inches from the top leaves.  I usually cut the stem after the third or fourth leaf node from the top, and very close to the next node. Pinch off all the lower leaves, leaving only the first and second layers of leaves on the stem.



Sample cutting dipped in cinnamon
Sample cutting dipped in cinnamon

Dip the tip of the cuttings in cinnamon. Cinnamon is known for its anti-fungal qualities, and can be used as a natural rooting hormone to increase the chance of success. Alternatively, I also use human saliva which, as I was told, has natural antiseptic properties. I really don’t know which one works better but so far, I had been successful in both cases.


use cinnamon to propagate herbs

Prepare the potting medium.  I usually prepare my own mix from a combination of coco peat, rice husk,  compost and perlite, although the pre-mixed medium is available in most gardening shops.   Sprinkle some more cinnamon over the potting mix.



Water deeply to ensure the entire mix is completely damp. Allow excess water to drain out completely.   Then, stick the cuttings about 1 1/2 inches into the potting medium.   Cover with a transparent plastic to keep the moisture in the plants.

Make sure to air out the cuttings every 2-3 days to prevent fungal growth.  Spray some water if it seems to be drying up.  Keep them in a well-lit area but away from direct sunlight.  Check regularly for any signs of wilting or decay.

New growth from cuttings

In about 3 weeks, most herb cuttings would have begun to grow their own roots and  new leaves.  In this case, remove the plastic cover and slowly expose the new plants to direct sunlight (ideally, limit to not more than 2 hours of morning sun). Transplant into bigger pots after two more weeks.

Tags: Herbs

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