A Quick & Easy Way to Start Your Own Herb Garden

An Angelica archangelica plant Sajah & Whitney started from a root cutting,
now ready to be transplanted into their herb garden.

We’ve got something a little different for you today!
This is the first guest post where we’ll be featuring friends in the community who are doing meaningful work that facilitates health for the Earth and for all of us.

Our hope is to broaden what we can offer & share with you by bringing in experts with knowledge and passion in their specialty craft so that you have even more skills and tools at your fingertips for growing on your plant path.

This week we’re featuring our friend Stacey Murphy as a guest on our blog to share some tips for how you can get your herb garden started right in your own kitchen!

Stacey Murphy is an avid gardener who helps make growing food a breeze so that people can receive the nutrition they need to prevent chronic illness and enjoy a life of optimum health and well being.

In this post, Stacey shares a few tips for how you can start plants from cuttings. The technique she teaches in this video is super simple & affordable – you can do it without spending a bunch of money on potted plants or spending lots of time starting seeds.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • a cutting from the plant you want to start growing
  • fresh water
  • 1 jar or glass

Step 1:

Start with a healthy cutting from a plant. You don’t need the entire plant itself, but just a small sprig or branch off the plant.

You can ask a friend who has some herbs growing in their garden if you can cut a sprig or branch from their plants to start your own herb garden.

If you can’t find someone you know who has a Rosemary bush, or a patch of Mint or Lemon Balm or other herbs growing in their yard – you can often buy a sprig of an herb from the fresh culinary herb selection at your local grocery store.

It’s important to start with healthy cuttings, so look for plants that are vibrant & green, smell aromatic & fresh, and if possible are organic too.

To consider when choosing the plant for your cutting:
This technique works for many herbs, but it doesn’t work for all herbs.
The plants that won’t work with this method are the annual ones that tend to bolt and go to seed quickly, such as parsley, cilantro, or dill. 
However, most other herbs like Oregano, Basil, Rosemary, Sage, Mint – basically anything with a woody stem, (even tomatoes!) which are more evergreen and perennial – will work great!

Step 2:

Strip the lower portion of the stem from plant material, leaving only the leaves on the top half of the stem.

This is an important step because the lower portion of the stem will be submerged in water for a few weeks, so any leaves or soft plant material that’s left in the water has potential to grow unwanted bacteria or mold which can kill the plant. To avoid this, be sure to clear the lower stem of any leaves so your water stays clean.

Step 3:

Place your plant cutting in a glass or jar of fresh water and let it sit for a few weeks. The point of this is to stimulate the plant and encourage root growth.

Important! To ensure your little plant stays healthy, be sure to change the water every couple of days so it stays fresh & clear.

After a week or two you’ll start to see tiny rootlets growing from your plant!

Step 4:

Once some roots have grown about 3 inches or more, remove a few more leaves off the stem (from the bottom) and plant your friend into some potting soil, quite deep. This will encourage more root growth up the stem and establish a sturdy root base for your herb to grow from.

You can also just take your now rooted plant friend and directly put it outside in the soil if the weather is permitting. If you choose to go this route, be sure to use a potting mix which will allow for the roots to spread easier and establish itself.

It’s such an empowering process to grow your own food and herbs right on your own windowsill or in your yard or garden. It’s a powerful way to establish a personal connection with a particular herb and deepen your connection with its medicine.

I’ve started SO many plants and have gotten my herb garden going from cuttings using this process. It’s SUPER easy, so I’m going to challenge you to do this! Follow the process and then come back in a few weeks to share with us how it went! I want to hear about your process of growing your herb garden, so be sure to share your story, questions or feedback at the bottom of the post.

Tulsi / Holy Basil (Ocimum sanctum) growing in a pot on Whitney & Sajah’s porch.

If you’re interested in gardening or hoping to get hacks like this for growing nutrient dense food, I invite you to the Superfood Garden Summit – a free online event Stacey is hosting this week!

The Superfood Garden Summit is going to be LIVE July 17-21 and will be featuring presentations from herbalists (including Sajah!) & gardening experts on growing food & medicine for optimal health.

Stacey Murphy envisions a world where everyone is nourished by the magic of fresh, affordable and culturally exciting organic foods and herbs. She is one of the world’s top gardening experts, featured on Martha Stewart Radio and PBS’s Growing a Greener World and once appeared on the David Letterman show featuring a giant radish! She is known for her superpower of packing, literally, tons of vegetables and herbs into tight spaces and she has helped thousands of new gardeners from six continents enjoy fresh, affordable food grown at home – whether that’s a pot on a window sell or a front lawn full of veggies!

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