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Gardener shares simple trick for saving money on store-bought herbs: 'You can get a lot more basil out of this'

"For cutting and making roots — let them grow a bit larger."

Growing basil with grocery store herbs

Photo Credit: @dinnerbeerandamovie / Instagram

Basil is a popular choice for herb gardens and windowsill planters because the fresh leaves add incredible flavor to all kinds of recipes. 

Of course, you can buy live plants from many stores. But to save money, one Instagrammer has shared a way to get as many as six new plants from just one parent — all in about a month.

The scoop

Ryan Lawrence (@dinnerbeerandamovie) has an Instagram page full of recipes, but for this video, he switched to gardening hacks. In the clip, he shows off a row of lush, healthy basil in a planter — all grown from one plant he purchased. 

"All right guys, next time you buy some basil from the store, do NOT plant the whole thing because you can get a lot more basil out of this thing," he says.

Instead of transferring the whole plant to his garden, he uses a pair of scissors to cut off individual sprigs of basil near the root. 

"Put them in some water for about a week until they grow some roots," he says, demonstrating how to prop the stems cut-end-down in a simple glass of water and set it in a sunny window. 

Sure enough, in the next shot, each stem has several thin white roots. 

"Then you can put them back in the soil and plant them," he adds. "And in about three, maybe four weeks, you're going to have six beautiful, large basil plants that look just like this."

How it's helping

For home cooks who want to use fresh ingredients, basil is an obvious favorite. However, most recipes call for multiple leaves, so you can go through whole plants quickly. 

Having multiple plants not only gives you a bigger leaf supply, but it gives each plant more time to recover in between having leaves picked. This means that what started as a single basil bush can last forever, saving you the price of new plants or basil from the store.

Meanwhile, growing your own food helps reduce the need for food to be shipped to local grocery stores. This means less travel by trucks and trains, which means less fuel burned and less heat-trapping gas released into the air.

What everyone's saying

Other users wanted to take Lawrence's advice further. 

One user, @thegardeninggambler says, "For cutting and making roots — let them grow a bit larger so that you can cut off enough to root in water while still having a set of leaves left in the soil so that they can regrow from there too! Double your plants."

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