The Damsel was making a dish that called for fresh basil, and although she’s loaded with mint, cilantro and sage, that didn’t help her situation. She went to the market and despaired. You know how much they charge for these eeny teeny packages of fresh herbs? $2.99.
She went to the local nursery and bought a basil plant for much less. $1.49. It was pretty spindley and way too big for its little pot, but the Damsel figured she would get three things for her $1.49. #1: the three basil leaves she needed for her recipe; #2: a live basil plant that could grow and give her many more such leaves ;#3: something for the Old School.
Bonus: The plant was tall and funny, and she decided it was crying out to be made into TWO plants.
First, fill two pots with potting soil and soak the soil. Potting soil takes time to get truly moist. Let the bottoms of the pots sit in water for a while so water can flow up as well as down from the top.
Make a cutting right below a node, where leaves attach.
Very gently pull away leaves on this node.
Plant this stem in the prepared pot. Basil roots readily, so the Damsel didn’t bother with root zone powder and so on. Your mileage may vary.
Now for the original plant. It’s way too big for its britches, so it needs a new pot too.
Loosen the poor cramped roots, make a hole a bit bigger than the root ball, and plant away. Keep them very moist. Once they start growing, just pick leaves as you need them. If you see flower buds starting to form, pinch them off. You must cruelly forbid your basil plant to seed, or it will lose its zest for life and die. Motherhood isn’t kind to basil plants.
You already look happier, little basil plants!
Someday, you’ll realize your full potential, when you join your brother Oliveoil and your sisters Parmesan and Pinenut in the blender.