Growing plants is something that makes me happy. As much as I love to garden and watch my plants come up, I have concentrated more on growing herbs than vegetables due to all the deer and ground hogs that keep ravishing my crops. Those plants can be expensive, but I will show you how to grow your own herbs from cuttings so you can always have a fresh supply all year long.
Of course, you could always go to a local nursery and buy new plants. Sometimes, you can always use seeds, but with some plants it is easier to grow them from cuttings. Therefore, I thought to share the best plants that I had luck with to grow from cuttings.
Growing basil is easy and a quick herb to root. If you have a piece, just place it in water and you’ll see it root very quickly. Change the water every day and that little sprig of basil will thrive before your eyes. Once you start seeing the series of long white roots branching out, then you can plant it once it’s warm outside. Later as cold weather approaches, you can use cuttings again to keep fresh basil through the winter inside. By the way, basil is a tougher plant to grow from seed since the seeds are very tiny and quite hard to see.
Other plants like rosemary were ones that I never had much luck with using seeds. And if you buy a plant and put it in your yard at the end of the season it is going to die. But if you take some cuttings you can keep the plant going over the winter as well. Cut a piece that is fairly green and soft over the harder part, then remove the section where the leaves will be covered with water.
Some plants take longer to root like sage that is tougher and woody. At least, this herb’s seeds are almost the size of peppercorns in larger size. Growing sage from seeds isn’t bad, but you don’t always need a lot of sage. I usually dry mine and then process the sage into a sage powder for my stuffings, bean burgers like my lentil-mashed potato patties, chicken, and other recipes. If you don’t use sage that often, you might prefer just buying sage and rooting the fresh stalk. Just cut it a 45-degree angle and place it in water and allow more time.
Mint is another of the herbs that is easy to grow from cuttings. But you need to be careful with some plants like mint with how fast it can spread. Mint is invasive so plant it in a container or some sort of sealed raised bed or even a half-buried pot. Mint is one of those plants that are tough to kill. However, I use it in a lot of things from teas to baking instead of peppermint extract to DIY beauty and wellness recipes such as my healthier natural body powder.
Lemon balm is another herb that is simple to grow. You take a cutting, stick in water and wait for it to root.
Oregano and thyme roots well too. Both of these are perennials and will come back. Oregano is a bit more stubborn for how long a fresh cutting takes compared to some of the other herbs I tried to grow. You need more patience, but if you cut the bottom of the stem at an angle and give it about four weeks, it should root for you.
So if want to save yourself some money from buying more fresh herbs, try growing the varieties I suggested here before you toss those herbs later into the garbage or your compost pile or bin.
If you don’t have the particular herbs on hand, you also might have a relative or a friend that has a garden with some to share before you hit the store. Now with social distancing the sharing of cuttings is more complicated unless you have permission to clip from their garden so not to endanger anyone. After all, herbs love to be trimmed. For instance, cutting basil and sage is the best way to keep them sprouting more leaves instead of going to seed.
Something fun that you also may want to experiment is with growing plants from some of the vegetables you buy. You can even grow things like celery, leeks, carrots to leaf lettuce by cutting off the bottom part that you usually toss anyway and just push them into some potting soil and they root.
Do your potatoes have eyes on them that are growing? Cut them off and plant them. You won’t believe how tasty these are once you later dig them up.
And tomatoes are easy to grow–if your wildlife doesn’t get to them first. Sometimes, you may want some plants after yours are growing. Now during the growing season you should trim your plants. You want to remove “suckers” or branches on the stalk growing out of an intersection of the main stem and a side branch. Those suckers can root and make another plant. The sucker is supposedly able to even produce more fruit too. They sell rooting hormone that you can dab a cutting from a tomato sucker or another plant like an African Violet and then just insert the cutting into a container with potting soil and these will create whole new plants.
I actually dropped a beautiful African Violet and thought I killed it. Stems and dirt were everywhere . . . it was horrible! Well I rooted them and I had bunch of African Violets growing everywhere! Just like oregano, you need to cut the stems at an angle.
I hope that you try to grow your herbs and vegetables from cuttings because it is a lot of fun.