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Grow Dill From Cuttings: Complete Beginner’s Guide

Gardener holding four fresh-cut dill stems

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Dill is a beautiful, delicate looking, strong and easy to grow herb plant that you can grow from cuttings with no trouble.  

You may use dill to pickle cucumbers and okra, season soups and stews or create vegetable dips. 

As a relative to carrots, dill forms a deep taproot, and it’s almost impossible to transplant an established dill plant. So growing them from dill cuttings or seed are far better options for this multi-talented plant! 

Today we’re taking a deep dive into how to get quality cuttings, how to care for them and answers to common questions. 

Let’s get started so you can see how easy it is to grow dill from cuttings! 

Growing a healthy, productive dill plant starts with getting your hands on viable cuttings and caring for them properly.

But it’s not as hard as it sounds! 

Let’s break the process down step by step. 

Tools and Supplies

  • A healthy dill plant- always best to start strong!
  • A clear vessel for water- a drinking glass or empty jar works great
  • Sharp garden scissors 
  • A sunny windowsill or spot on your porch

When to Take Cuttings

Springtime or early summer is the best time to take dill cuttings. 

Dill cuttings do not like a great deal of heat, so it’s best to get these tender plants rooting and transplanted before the high heat of summer in the lower zones 6-10. 

In cooler areas, it’s still best to get dill cuttings rooting earlier in the growing season to produce more plants and therefore more dill!

Where to Cut

Always take your cuttings from the healthiest, strongest dill plant you can, and choose a branch off the main stem that has new(er) growth.

Make sure each cutting is 4 or more inches long. This helps ensure a stronger new plant than a cutting from an older or shorter branch. 

When you take your cutting, make sure to leave at least an inch of bare stem below the leaf juncture (where a new stem branches off from the main stem).

Your cuttings should look like this photo:

Four dill cuttings ready for propagation in water

Each stem you cut will grow a single new dill plant, so cut more than one- especially if you love dill! 

Plus it never hurts to cut a few extra in case some of your dill cuttings don’t take.

Getting Your Cutting to Form Roots

Once you’ve got your cuttings, place individual stems in their own drinking glass or jar. Place your cutting in the sunny windowsill or in a sheltered area outside, like a covered porch. 

Change out the water about every four days or when it starts looking cloudy or discolored. 

Check on your cutting every day. Be on the lookout for signs that a cutting isn’t thriving:

  • Droopy leafs
  • Leaf discoloration (usually brown or yellowish shades)
  • No root development at the cut site
  • Unpleasant odor

If a cutting doesn’t perk up after a water change, it’s probably a goner that you’ll have to discard. 

How Long Until New Roots Form?

Dill cuttings don’t take long to sprout roots in water, usually about two or three weeks at the most. You can even see the new roots starting to grow after about four or five days

Using a clear glass of water makes it easy (and fun!) to watch your dill cuttings sprout white, wispy roots in the water. This would be a fun and easy way to get young kids interested in plants and science!

When to Plant Your Cuttings in Soil

Your dill cuttings will be ready to plant in soil when they have a root system in your water glass that is at least a couple of inches long with some branching. 

Now you’re ready to move onto the next phase of growing dill from cuttings: Transplanting into a permanent home. 

Caring for Your New Dill Plant

Your work’s not quite over yet, but you’re one step closer to fresh, delicious dill! 

Follow these steps to help your brand-new dill plant thrive and produce an abundant crop. 

Choosing the Right Home

Once your dill cuttings produce root growth, you can plant them in pots or in the ground. Either way they’ll grow and multiply to provide you with plenty of dill cuttings for recipes and pickling. 

Consider your garden, soil, and amount of sun available, as well as what pots you have on hand for growing dill plants.

Choose the method that works best for you and your home. You could even do both if you have enough healthy dill cuttings! 

Keep in mind that dill puts out a long taproot, so you’ll need quite a large pot if you want to grow your dill in a container. Look for a pot that’s at least 12 inches deep. 

This pot from Bloem is 16 inches in dimeter and 13.66 inches tall, so it has the right amount of depth. 

To grow your dill in a pot:

  • Use a good quality potting soil mixture that feeds your dill plants as they grow. This organic formula is our suggestion. 
  • Ensure proper drainage to prevent standing water. Always make sure that any pot you choose has at least one drainage hole, preferably two or three. 
  • Cover any holes at the bottom of your pots with a rock or soil screen to prevent soil loss.
  • Use a plant saucer to catch excess water if you’re growing your dill indoors. 

To plant your dill in the ground: 

  • Cultivate your soil with a garden fork or a tiller and remove any large rocks
  • If you have clay soil, soak it thoroughly to soften and add compost if desired to improve drainage.
  • Maintain a layer of mulch around the base of your dill plants.
  • If planting your dill cuttings in a vegetable garden, avoid planting it near carrots or fennel to prevent hybridization or slowing of vegetable plant production. 
  • Once the dill cuttings reach a certain height, you may need to stake the plants to keep them upright.

The Planting Process

Make a small hole in your pot or ground and place your baby dill plant. Cover the roots with the soil and gently compact it around the stem.

Don’t plant your cutting more than half an inch under the soil to prevent weakening the main stem and slowing growth of your new dill plants.

Give your newly-planted dill a good drink. Water until the soil is thoroughly moist, but stop short of soaking to the point of standing water. 

Watering Needs

Once you’ve transplanted dill cuttings, you’ll want to water them at least once a day until new growth appears.

However, always test your soil moisture and prevent standing water as this will slow down dill transplant growth.  

Sunlight Requirements

Dill plants require full sun to thrive, and your new cutting transplants are no different. 

If you’re growing your potted dill indoors, pick the sunniest location possible. Keep in mind that you’ll need a very large pot to accommodate dill, so a windowsill likely won’t work. 

If you have a patio, deck or porch, that could be a perfect place for potted dill. 

Outside in the garden, make sure your transplants are in a place that’s free from sunlight obstruction. This includes any trees or shrubs that can block the sun from reaching your dill transplants.

Humidity Levels

Dill is pretty easy-going and isn’t particularly bothered by ambient humidity.

But air moisture can affect how much water your new dill transplants require. For example: High humidity equals less watering and low humidity equals more watering. 

Always test your soil moisture using your fingertip-aim for just a couple of crumbs of soil sticking to your skin for optimal moisture.

Pruning Dill

Dill cuttings will grow pretty quickly once they’ve taken root, but pruning is usually not necessary unless the plants start getting too tall.

If you do feel the need to prune, trim from the top to encourage fuller growth at the stalk of the dill plant.

Soil Fertilizers

Dill cuttings are pretty low-maintenance when it comes to soil- they’re not finicky at all! 

Whether or not you fertilize depends on your soil. You can have your soil tested and treat according to those results if needed.

Proper Harvesting

There are right ways and wrong ways of harvesting dill, and improper methods could leave you with a dead dill plant. 

Visit our article about harvesting dill to get all the information you need to harvest your dill plants successfully.

Health Benefits of Dill

Dill’s wonderful flavor is more than enough to earn it a spot in your herb garden.

Fresh salmon seasoned with dill, pepper and lemon

But besides its savory taste, dill also boasts many health benefits that make it a fantastic addition to a healthy diet:

High in Flavonoids

A research study from 2017 shows that many herbs, including dill, have high concentrations of flavonoids, a type of antioxidant.

Antioxidants can help neutralize free radicals, which are compounds in our cells that can lead to cancer or other problems.

Contains Multiple Vitamins and Minerals

According to Healthline, dill provides vitamins, including:

  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin A
  • Manganese
  • Folate
  • Iron

Vitamins in dill, especially when added to other healthy foods, are crucial to a healthy immune system, which is important to prevent infections and illness.

Can Help Lower Risk for Certain Diseases

WebMD states that dill can help with managing as well as preventing certain diseases and conditions, including these:

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke

Dill’s high flavonoid content is mostly behind its potential to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. 

Also, scientists think dill may assist in decreasing LDL (low density lipoprotein) cholesterol, but more research is needed to confirm that. 

RELATED: Looking for more healthy herbs to plant in your garden? Thai basil is another delicious, nutritious and beautiful choice!

Frequently Asked Questions about Growing Dill From Cuttings

Yes! Almost any herb from the grocery store can be rooted to make new plants.

However, you’ll want to start with as fresh of an herb as possible. If there are dates on the packages, find the most recent one for the best results.

Dill cuttings and plants are super easy to grow- as long as you’ve got a good soil base, sufficient water, and drainage. 

If the dill plants are allowed to go to seed, you can either collect and plant the seeds (you can season with seeds as well!) or prune dill plants before they flower to keep them growing and producing.

When first sprouting, dill looks like feathery green sprigs. It is a delicate little plant that is surprisingly robust! 

Dill can get very bushy and are quite fragrant- which can attract beneficial bugs to your garden.  They will also grow umbrella-like bunches of tiny yellow flowers.

Final Thoughts

Dill has many uses in the garden and home. If you love the smell of dill, cooking with dill, pickling vegetables, and creating dips with dill cuttings, now is the time to get started. 

With the health benefits and ease of growth and use, why not? Make some dill cuttings and start planting them today!

Have you ever grown fresh herbs from cuttings? Do you have any tips to share? 

Let us know in the comments! 

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