I was on a quest. . . I was like a hound dog on a hunt but I couldn’t find what I wanted. I’m what I like to call determined (stubborn). After three weeks of searching Lowes, Home Depot, Wal-Mart, and several plant nurseries I was just about ready to give it a rest. . . for a while.
And then . . .
. . . Success!!
I spotted the basil on a shelf at Home Depot. He ( yes he, what else would you call a Basil) looked so wimpy and wilted. His feet ( that’s roots for non-plant people) were as dry as a bone. The soil was pulling away from the pot. I picked him up and decided then and there he was going home with me. I grabbed him and then I spotted her . . . Rosemary. She was on the bottom shelf . . . all by herself. Her feet were dry too but she wasn’t acting wimpy just so she’d get attention. I grabbed her and proceeded to the check out. I was going to adopt them and make sure they got the care they deserved.
Once we got home we gave each a hearty drink and some TLC. Within minutes Basil was standing tall and perky. . .Rosemary was . . . well. . .just Rosemary. I came to the conclusion that in the plant world , even though they were in the same family — herbs from the Mediterranean region — they were polar opposites in needs and behavior. . . somewhat like women and men. Rosemary thrives in hot dry weather whereas Basil will react like he did at Home Depot.
I needed to snip some cuttings from both plants so that I could start propagating them. Rosemary didn’t need much pruning . . . figures. . . Basil needed quite a bit.
When you cut the stems make sure you have enough of a stem to put into the water. The plant will root from where the lower leaves were attached. Pluck off those leaves and use for your cooking. Place the stems in a glass of water . . . one for the Rosemary and one glass for Basil. In about two weeks you will see roots starting to form from the nodes . . . that’s where the leaves were. You’ll have to change the water occasionally.
Once the roots have formed and they are long enough, you can pot the plants in a container or directly into the ground. You can have Rosemary and Basil throughout the growing season. Rosemary is a semi-hardy perennial and if you have mild winters you’ll be able to keep it year after year. Basil is considered an annual and a frost will kill it. . .figures.