How To Propagate Thai Basil


Today we are going to learn how to propagate Thai basil. This kind of basil is used in most Asian cooking. I use this as garnish along with other herbs and spices for my cooking.

It’s in the middle of summer and the temperature is at 106 °F today. I recently bought some Thai basil at the Asian store for my homemade Pho.

I was thinking well, I’ll propagate some for future use. I will be planting them in a regular ceramic pot. I had tried to propagate sweet basils, basil, and cinnamon basil as well. However, they don’t do very well being propagated.

If you cook every day like I do you know that having the right ingredients to your food makes your taste bus party like 1980. Hahaha, I don’t know why it’s 1980 but I guess that’s when I had the most fun time.

Anyway, let’s not get distracted today back to my Thai basil.

Where was I? Oh yes, the other variety basils their stems rot or the basil leaves start to turn yellow or wilted. This time I got some luck maybe they like hot weather who knows.

How To Root Thai Basil

This is really simple. I normally look for the oldest and most sturdy stems with works best. I cleaned a scissor and whatever I don’t use in my soup I cut them into 5″ long and stick them in water. Nothing special, nothing added.

Things that you’ll probably need:

  • scissor
  • Plastic cups
  • Water
  • Thai basil
  • Pots
  • potting soil/mixed soil

Pour regular tap water into your plastic cup. You can use anything you want to keep the water in. Set aside the container. Pick the Thai basil stems you want to use, then cut the stem where there are little shoots coming out off. It usually looks like a Y. Cut the center as close as to the center of the Y.

See the picture on top to see what I am talking about for those of you that don’t already know.

If you still have older leaves on the stem use your scissors and cut the leaves in half short ways. We need some leaves on the stem for photosynthesis. That way they still have some energy to produce and grow.

Having said that don’t leave too many leaves as well. Use, eat or cut the leaves off. See all my pictures, images. Too many leaves mean too much energy keeping the leaves green and will not root.

Fewer leaves and only the tiny leaves, it’s too young to support rooting you want to leave just enough of the older leaves and younger leaves to balance each other out.

You can also see the end result of how the older leaves were cut as well. Cutting the leaves in half gives them less energy keeping the whole leave well. Or you can say it saves the plant’s energy for rooting when it doesn’t have to worry about the other older leaves.

Snip off a little of the bottom of the plants  Y so the freshly cut plant is showing. Stick that into the tap water. Cutting the end of the plant to expose the fresh-cut open to absorb the water to supply the cutting’s stem and its leaves. Like a straw sucking up water.

Rooting stems

Since the rooting of this Thai basil cutting rooted so well I am very pleased. No more disappointment from this experiment. Go try it.

Waiting Game

These beauties had been in the water for a week now. As you can see it’s rooting so wonderfully. It’s not a long wait as I thought it would be. While I was waiting I change the water every couple of days. Just so they get new water added and oxygen to the rooting stems.

I have experimented with other basil varieties and seems like this type works best for me. Most of the time the other basils stems rotted or if it does root it’s not long enough or looked strong enough to be potted. If I waited too long and this was only two more days of waiting it starts to rot.

Sometimes it, roots but the leaves started to wilt and dry off. I have no idea as to why. My opinion was the weather, it’s not in their environment.

So check your local nursery for plants and herbs in your area.

Potting Them

This is the fun part. Once they root plant them in a pot, you may use any mixed soil or potting soil and stick some in the pot. Garden soils are for outside uses like for raised garden or as garden topsoil.

Potted Thai basil

I love this part this is where they all thrive together and grow to endless Thai basils that you don’t have to buy any more. I love to see plants grow from scraps.

I’m sure you will enjoy this experiment and teach the younger generations who want to learn how to propagate Thai basil.

Enjoy Your Thai Basil

There you have guys. Now you can enjoy having Thai basil at your leisure. They go great with garnishing your favorite dish to adding it directly into your pho soup (Asian noodle soup.) And they add a superior flavor to a dish you’re cooking. It’s an all-around herb to use for your cooking needs.

If I haven’t said it already I will say it again. I encourage you to try propagating Thai basil and let me know how it worked out for you in my comment section.

Thank you for reading my blog. I really appreciated your time as yours are as valuable as mine. If you have any comments, questions, or like to educate me, please feel free to do so. I love learning new things.

This is it for me. Many many experimental failures to get one good result. If you failed before you are not alone ~.^ that is part of learning. If you never fail you have not learned. Learn, learn, learn.


This is based on where I reside and my own experiences. I have attempted many failures and finally got one to work.

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