Are you good with plants? For years I have been the girl who loved potted flowers but couldn’t keep them alive, Balazs even used to joke that I have killer thumbs. Fast forward a few years and I realized that my biggest problem was caring for them too much. I overwatered my plants to the point of distraction or moved them around too often. Anyway, miraculously as soon as I relaxed about caring for plants, they started to blossom and grow like never before.
So when a few weeks ago I spotted a cool tutorial on Gardenista on how to root herbs, I made it into a challenge for myself. If I could do it, it means my black thumb is cured, but if I couldn’t, I just accept it. Guess what happened? I did it and now I have 3 different basil plants growing in my kitchen herb box that I cloned myself!
Why is that good, you might ask? Well, by cloning your herbs you can multiply them and eventually create a herb garden that will last you forever, plus having a little herb garden in your flat will make your kitchen smell amazing, your food taste ever better and keep your winter blues away for good. So if you fancy expanding your existing herb patch, here is my step-by-step how to. It's surprisingly simple and easy!
Here is what you need: a pair of scissors, soft-stemmed herbs (like basil, mint, parsley or even rosemary), a jar or a small vase, a few pebbles (like those from Ikea), water, organic peat-free compost/soil and a paper juice box.
Step 1: Cut (on an angle) a long stem from your herb plant and strip off the bottom leaves.
Step 2: Insert the stems into the jar of water and place it somewhere exposed to some daylight. No need for direct sun exposure. Minimal daylight is just fine. I promise!
Step 3: Leave it in your chosen place for 1-2 weeks till you spot little roots growing out of it.
Step 4: After the roots get longer and stronger (about 4-5 days later), toughen them up by gently dropping a few pebbles, one at a time, onto the roots. If the pebbles don’t damage your roots, it’s time to transfer it into the soil.
Step 5: Plant it. I used a juice box to plant my basil in, because the wax in the box retains moisture well and herbs are very happy to grow in places that juice used to be. Using a knife or a pair of scissors cut out one of the 4 box walls and create a few holes in the bottom of the box for water drainage.
Step 6: Place a few pebbles in the bottom of the box and fill it up with soil before gently planting the rooted herb stem. Add a bit more soil on top if needed and water it. Ta dah, you're ready!
Easy, isn't it? You can keep your new herb plant in the juice box for up to a few months before moving it into a new pot. Herbs, especially basil don't like too much water, so when you water it, make sure to water it generously, but all the access that comes out underneath should be poured out right away, since herbs don't like standing in water. Also, only water your herbs every 3-4 days or when the soil feels dry to the touch.
Happy urban gardening, lovelies! Thoughts? Would you give it a go? Do you have herbs at home? xo
P.S: Radiator shelf (+ plants) and this backyard glasshouse in New Zealand:)
P.P.S: Plus, 3 nifty tricks to keep basil fresh for up to 2 weeks!
(Photos and layout by exPress-o)