I got two cuttings from healthy basil plant and put those cuttings in glass bottle. After week(2 days before) i planted those two cuttings in new pot i used mixture of potting soil and sand. But it didnt survive.

Basil cutting Basils in pot

please note that cuttings in pot only had 6-10 roots. I dont know if those were enough.

New Cuttings (01/10/2018)

This time i used cuttings with developed roots, and used Potting soil and one other cutting as used Peat moss + perlite as soil medium. Again both cuttings died. Both cuttings were inside home

Cutting with developed growth Cutting planted in mixture

  • Why didn't you just continue to grow them out hydroponically? Sep 27, 2018 at 21:57
  • Alternatively, skip the water rooting stage. Nov 2, 2018 at 13:11

2 Answers 2


I'll take a guess that you were too rough with it when you potted it up, and broke off most of the roots. It certainly looks healthy enough as a cutting, but remember that the roots and especially the root hairs, which are what actually absorb water and nutrients, are quite fragile.

A good method is to put some compost in the bottom of the pot up to the level of the base of the cutting. Then hold the cutting upright and gently fill the rest of the pot with fine compost. Just sprinkle the compost into the pot with your fingers, or use a small spoon or something similar, but don't try to "pack" it in around the plant.

Don't make any attempt to firm the compost by pressing on it, as you fill the pot!!

Finally, immerse the pot completely in water, so the roots and roots hairs are guaranteed to be in contact with water and compost, not sitting in air pockets.

Leave the pot alone as it drains. As the water drains out, the surface tension will tend to pull the soil particles together, and pull them around the plant roots.

If you end up with some "sink holes" in the surface of the compost, you can fill them up later, but again don't attempt to firm the compost when you do that.

Finally, you won't need to water it for quite a while, since the pot is starting off completely waterlogged - but of course that is the same condition that the cutting was in when it was growing in water with no soil, so it causes the minimum amount of shock to the plant.

It's easier to do this using the smallest size pot that will hold a single cutting, rather than several cuttings in a bigger pot. You can always pot them on after a week or two when the roots and the soil have knitted together and the plant is obviously growing. If you knock the complete root ball out of the pot without disturbing it, and "plant" it in the same size hole in the compost of a bigger pot, the plant won't even know it has been transplanted.

  • 1
    Followed your instructions but cutting again died. Pictures added above
    – OmiPenguin
    Oct 2, 2018 at 11:05

If that is the current state of the cuttings, I would be inclined to remove half the leaves. The water roots you get aren't quite adapted to soil so in the meantime you're losing moisture by transpiration from the leaves without compensatory uptake from the roots.

Or, you could try and cover the seedlings in a humidity dome so that it doesn't lose too much water.

  • Yeah i was thinking about how mature the cuttings in water look for the amount of roots. The stem of the cutting is super hench, like a tree trunk, and it has a dozen leaves. Normally I'd keep them to just the minimum viable number of leaves (2-4) and make sure the stem is thin and young. I don't know if that's the reason for its death but it really stands out to me Feb 11, 2022 at 13:16

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