Guest Post: Herb Propagation Three Ways

September 26th, 2011 - filed under: Furthermore » Guest Bloggers

My favorite guest posts are the ones where I learn something totally new; double points if it’s something I’m dying to know, and triple bonus if I’m sure I’ll be putting it to use immediately! So when this amazing submission by Adrienne showed up in my inbox, I could barely contain my excitement. This is valuable, practical information. And it’s timely too – what a way to welcome fall! Gardening doesn’t have to end along with summer . . . it just has to come indoors. I hope you enjoy! (also, please check out her blog, it is seriously spectacular)


Herbs are one of the most popular edibles to grow at home, and for good reason. Herbs are easy to grow indoors and out, and even if you only have room on a tiny window sill you can still have freshly grown, tasty seasonings to add to your meals.

If you like to cook with herbs on a regular basis you’ll know you can go through them quite quickly. You can use up almost a whole little plant of basil just to make some pesto! Instead of buying several plants there is an easier way to get more herbs for your buck. Herb propagation! There are several methods of using your existing herbs and either dividing them or taking cuttings to grow a whole new plant.

As the weather cools down and fall is upon us it’s the perfect time of year to separate your herbs. I’m going to share three methods of herb propagation. Cutting, division, and layering. Each of these methods can be easier and faster than growing herbs from seed. Read on to learn some simple herb propagation techniques.


Cut the stem off an herb at least 2-6 inches long right underneath the node (where the leaf grows out of the stem). Cut at a 45 degree angle. Take your stems and place them in bud vases or bottles full of water on a sunny window sill. Change the water in the vases each day. In a short time the cuttings will begin to grow roots. After a few weeks, once the roots have grown a few inches long, you can transfer your cuttings to a new pot with soil. Propagating herb cuttings in bottles is not only an effective way to grow herbs but it’s a great way to recycle bottles or display a vintage bottle collection on your window sill.

Alternative Method:
Instead of placing the cuttings in water you can also dip the stems in rooting hormone and place directly into a small pot with soil.


This method may be the easiest. Simply take a plant that is flourishing and remove it from the container. Then, using a large knife slice through the middle of the plant all the way through the root system so that it is cut into two pieces. Take each section of the plant and put it in it’s own container. One plant becomes two! You may want to plant each of the divided plants into a container that is quite a bit larger than the plant itself. Herbs such as mint grow fast and you will find the herbs will fill out the pot quite quickly.


This method takes a little longer but can be quite effective. Take the stem of a herb that is growing on the edge of the plant and stretch it out as far as you can without ripping it off. Press the middle of the stem into the dirt and cover it with more soil. Soon the section that is buried will begin to sprout roots. It will grow into it’s own plant. Once the plant it established you can dig it up away from the mother plant and bury it somewhere else. This method works best in the spring. At the beginning of the season begin to establish a new plant using the layering technique and by fall you should have a new plant that is ready to dig up and move to a different spot in the garden.

Herb cuttings and potted plants make wonderful housewarming gifts. Sharing plant cuttings or divided herbs among friends is a great way to add more variety to your herb garden and build your plant collection. It’s also economical and fun! Before you head to the nursery to stock up more herb plants why not give some gardener friends a call and see what you can share and trade with each other!


Adrienne lives in Northern Washington on a farm with her husband and a menagerie of loveable animals. When she’s not blogging at Crafty Little Gnome, Adrienne can be found out playing in the garden, experimenting in the kitchen or working on a new craft project. Adrienne also sells handmade jewelry and accessories in her Etsy shop Adrienne Audrey Jewelry.

  • Kathryn B

    I love when you have a quest post. It allows me to “stumble” upon another great blogger! Kudos to both you and Adrienne!

  • Katzilla Dances

    Earlier this summer I purchased a thyme plant from my local farmers market, along with a sage plant. Since then, the sage has been doing wonderful, but the thyme plant is constantly on the edge of death. I don’t know what variety it is since it has never fully matured. It is very sparse of very tiny leaves, and tangles up in itself. It still has some green on it, but as it grows longer, the bottoms dry up. ):

    Help! Thyme is my all-time favorite herb, and I am so sad that I can’t use my first plant at this point.

  • erosan

    That makes two of us! I just headed to Adrienne’s blog and it seems to be awesome! definetely bookmark-worthy ^_^

  • Adrienneaudrey

    Maybe you are watering too much? Thyme is an herb that does not require too much water. Try trimming the plant down too. This will stimulate the roots. Cut back anything that is dead and crispy. Hopefully you can revive it!

  • Kanelstrand

    Adrienne, I am loving your gardening advice and this guest post is not an exception from your regular valuable tips. I love using fresh and dry herbs and I am sure I will put to practice what I learned today from you!

  • Marina@epicureanaspirations

    Thanks for the advice! I’ll have to bookmark this page till I can implement it. Can’t wait

  • Katie

    I know one day I will be someone who gardens, but I simply can’t wrap my head around all the variables right now. I even quit my gardening class this summer! Ah! But I did want to say I physically gasped at the beauty of your necklace and have already placed an order! Theres something for everyone in this post apparently! :)

  • Adrienneaudrey

    Thank you Katie. You are so sweet. But hey, gardening shouldn’t be so stressful just start small and don’t worry about things looking “perfect” my garden sure isn’t!

  • Monika {windycityvegan}

    Perfect timing – my cuban oregano has taken over one side of the house and I’ve been meaning to make cuttings for friends and family for months! Your post was the reminder I needed; hopefully, I can get the cuttings to grow into cute, healthy little plants to give away as holiday gifts.

  • Katzilla Dances

    I’ll give it a try! Thanks.

  • Herb Lady

    Most rooting hormones are filled with toxic ingredients. Try using willow herb. Much better for you and your plants!