Wouldn’t it be great to extend the use of your herbs so that you could enjoy their herbal freshness all winter long and then have new sturdy plants ready in time for next spring? You can! Here’s how…
Harvest a few clippings at the end of the outdoor growing season. Herbs with thicker, sturdier stems – like sage, rosemary, lavender and lemon balm – can be planted. Simply take four to six inch cuttings from your herb plants. Make your cut (just below the third leaf grouping) a clean one, so as not to damage the plant. Shave off the bottom leaves so that they are not placed in your soil mix.
Planting them in a nice, rich potting mix is best. Dipping two to three inches of the stem in rooting hormone before planting is even better. Firm up the soil around your herb plants and water them well. Then cover your precious plants with plastic and place them in a warm spot in direct sunlight, keeping you soil moist with a spray bottle. After about four weeks, when your new herb plants should have taken root, you can remove the plastic and plant them outside when the weather is more ideal for gardening.
Herbs with a more delicate construction – like basil, cilantro, thyme and oregano – can also be cloned. However, their cloning requires a water process. Just place the ends of your clippings in a glass of water (instead of soil) in direct sun and watch your roots grow! When your roots reach about two inches long, they can be planted in pots and left in your windowsill for indoor harvesting or outside in your garden once again.