Grow a Basil Plant from a Basil Cuttings

There are exactly four supermarkets here in Sucre. Two are called Lider, which are about half the size of a normal grocery store in Los Angeles like Ralph’s, Albertsons, or Vons. Another is called Pompeya, which is more of a specialty market where us foreigners can find things that you wouldn’t normally find in the Bolivia, like Coconut oil or Lady Fingers or Tequila. The last, which is about the size of a “normal” grocery store, is called S.A.S. Once a week my husband and I take a trip to Central (downtown) to go to SAS to buy groceries and then to Pompeya to get whatever we couldn’t find at SAS.

We have adjusted to this routine fairly well. But, the most frustrating thing is when we go to Central looking for one particular thing and it’s not there. We were told, ‘If you find something at the store buy as much as you can because you don’t know when you’ll find it again.’ We are quickly seeing the wisdom of those words. However, this is fine when it’s a canned item, but what if it’s produce of some kind?

Well, for the most part we just suck it up and wait until it shows up at the store again, which could take about month or two. But, we don’t have to do that with basil.

We learned this handy little tip from a friend that stayed with us for a couple of months. She went to the store and couldn’t find some herbs. So when basil showed up again, she quickly bought them and researched how to grow roots from the stems (we can’t find basil seeds). They rooted wonderfully and made me search for other herbs that I can grow from the cuttings.

I love the idea of growing my own fresh herbs because we have be careful in a foreign country when eating raw foods whether it be fruit, vegetables or herbs. Everything must be cleansed thoroughly and disinfected. But, it’s a little harder to get things completely clean when dealing with leafy plants, like basil or lettuce. So, growing my own herbs allows me to use them freely without worrying about getting sick.

Now that my mind has been opened to growing food without seeds, I am looking into growing other herbs from their clippings. My apartment is turning into a greenhouse! At least it’s an aromatic greenhouse.


  • Get a couple of basil cuttings and place them in a jar with some water. Keep the water level to about when you want the roots to start growing. Side note: Some people recommend cutting off any flowers that may bloom during this period to allow the energy to focus on growing the roots. I’ve never done this, but that is an option and it won’t hurt the outcome.
  • Cover the plants with a plastic bag and put it an area with indirect sunlight.
  • Check the water level daily.
  • When they begin to root, between 1-2 weeks, plant them in a planter or your garden. Do not plant more than one plan in a planter that is 12-inches or less. The plant needs room to grow! If planting in your garden, space plants about 12-inches apart.

One Comment Add yours

  1. chapmanccc says:

    “leider” pronounced lider, means unfortunately in German….


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