Herbs are widely used for seasoning and medicinal purposes. While there are many types of herbs, they are broadly categorized as perennials (or those that grow year after year) such as rosemary; biennials (plants that grow for two years) such as parsley; annuals (that need planting every year) such as basil, dill and coriander; and woody perennials, shrubs, such as thyme, sage and sweet bay. Each herb has its own distinct flavor, texture, color and culinary use. Propagate herbs from seeds, cuttings or layering.
Select healthy herb plants for cuttings that are free of visible disease or pests.
Choose stems that are 4 to 5 inches long on the herb plant. Cut just below the node of each stem with a sharp pair of scissors, making a straight cut instead of a jagged one. Remove any buds, flowers or leaves on each cutting.
Place rooting hormone (available in nurseries) on a piece of paper and dip in the cut edge of the stem. Place all the cut stems in the hormone and gently tap the stalks to remove the excess.
Use flat containers or seed starter containers that are 2 inches deep, with adequate drainage holes for the cuttings. Fill the container with equal amounts of peat moss and perlite until two-thirds of each is full.
Poke holes into the potting medium and insert each cutting to ensure good contact, spacing the cuttings several inches apart.
Place the container in a southern-facing windowsill to provide it necessary sunlight for photosynthesis and good air circulation. However, you can also supplement poor lighting by hanging fluorescent lights 8 inches above the cuttings for 10 hours a day. Roots will form between three to six weeks, or longer.
Transplant cuttings to individual pots as soon as you notice delicate roots escaping drainage holes. Fill pots with good quality potting soil and plant the cuttings. The cuttings will now have a developing root system and leaves.
Place the pots on the windowsill again and water frequently. Pinch off herbs when they mature to season your dishes with their sharp and distinct flavor.