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How To Grow Herbs From Cuttings {A Botany Project}

June 09, 2015 3 min read

How to Grow Herbs from Cuttings {A Botany Project}

Hello, all!! And welcome to the Summer of Science!! I am Summer Beach, your host for the next two months!

We are going to chat about several projects that you can do over the summer to inject a bit of fun into these lazy days. I promise it will be better than a portabella mushroom burger topped with balsamic glaze, spinach, and a blue cheese sauce – YUM!!

Let’s get started with our botany project – how to grow herbs from cuttings!

How To Grow Herbs From Cuttings

So if you have read the Sassafras Science Adventures, you know that Ulysses and I live in Alaska. And while we love living in this amazing place, to be quite frank, fresh herbs are expensive.

We set up a greenhouse in the lab and ordered some seeds, but Ulysses and I could never get those seeds to grow past a sprout. The sprouts were super delicious additions to our avocado sprout club, but we quickly ran out.

So, I researched for another way to grow herbs and found that you could grow them from grocery store cuttings. Ulysses and I tried it out and now we have all the fresh herbs we need for our pesto sandwiches!!

When Tracey asked me to share several super fun activities for the summer, I knew that this had to be the one for botany. The process was so easy and the results super rewarding!

Ulysses and I have found that you can sprout roots from cuttings of the following herbs:

  • Basil
  • Thyme
  • Mint

Basil and mint were the easiest and fastest to grow, so start with one of those. Ulysses created an infographic of the process we use for you guys:

How to Grow Herbs from Cuttings {A Botany Project}

Here are the steps all written out:

  1. Buy the cuttings from the grocery store. Or you can snip off a stem from your neighbor’s plant, with their permission of course!
  2. Trim off the excess lower leaves. You don’t want any leaves in the water because they will rot and ruin the whole process.
  3. Put the stems in water – told you this was super easy!
  4. Wait for the roots to grow. It can take anywhere from 7 to 14 days, so keep checking each day and be patient.
  5. Plant the herb in soil and water. Once the roots are a quarter to a half of an inch long, you can go ahead and put the new plant in the soil!

In the beginning, you will need to water your plant daily. But once it takes root, you can water is as needed.

Ulysses and I also found that it is best to give the new plant about two to three weeks before you start plucking off the leaves to use. Other than that, you should be good to go!!

Need Some More Botany Ideas?

Just in case you need a few more plant-related things to do as you wait for your herbs to grow, check out these ideas:

I know you all will enjoy the results of this project as much as Ulysses and I did!! Next up – a super summer science activity for anatomy!

Summer Beach


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