If you’re looking for an herb that is both beautiful and flavorful, look no further than rosemary. This perennial has woody stems and produces robust leaves that can be used in many common dishes.
While it is true that rosemary can be challenging to grow from seed, it can easily be propagated from stem cuttings or by root layering. In this comprehensive guide, we will teach you how to propagate rosemary so you can enjoy this wonderful herb in your own garden!
How to Grow Rosemary from Stem Cuttings
Growing rosemary from stem cuttings is the most common method of rosemary propagation because it’s much quicker and more reliable than growing it from seed. In addition, plants grown using this technique will be identical to their parent plant.
A Step-by-Step Guide
- Fill a pot with moistened potting mix.
- Use a sharp knife or garden shears to take a four- to six-inch cutting from the tip of a healthy rosemary plant. It’s important to take cuttings from an established plant in spring during active growth or in early fall after flowers have finished blooming.
- Remove the lower leaves from the cutting, and dip the cut end into rooting hormone powder.
- Plant the cutting in the pot of moistened potting mix, and press down firmly to secure it in place. You should plant it three to four inches deep. If you’re planting several cuttings, you need to place them two inches apart from each other.
- Cover the pot with a plastic bag or glass jar to create a greenhouse effect, and keep it in a warm location with indirect light. Water them daily.
- After three to four weeks, you can test your plant’s roots by pulling gently on its stem. If there is some resistance, this means that roots have started forming. At this point, you can remove the cover and move the pot to a sunny location.
- After several weeks (six to eight), you should see new growth emerging from the cutting. This is the right time to transplant your young plant into its own pot or larger container, and add it to your beautiful herb garden.
How to Propagate a Rosemary Plant by Root Layering
Another way to propagate rosemary is by root layering, which is quite similar to taking stem cuttings as you will see.
- First, pick a long, healthy stem and bend it to the ground.
- Dig a hole in the soil next to the existing rosemary plant where you’ll bury the stem partially.
- Strip leaves and bark from the stem with a sharp knife, but leave two-three inches at the tip intact.
- Then secure the stem to the ground with a garden staple and cover it with soil, leaving the tip to show above ground.
- Water it daily.
- Once new growth appears at the exposed tip, you can transplant the new rosemary plant into its own pot or garden bed.
How to Grow Rosemary from Seeds
Growing rosemary from seeds can be challenging, but it’s worth the effort. Here are a few tips to help you get started:
- Before sowing rosemary seeds, soak them overnight in warm water.
- Sow the seeds in a container filled with a starting mix.
- Cover the seeds with a thin layer of soil and water lightly.
- Put a plastic lid on the container and place it out of direct light.
- When the seedlings emerge, you can remove the lid and move the container to a sunny location.
- Once the rosemary seedlings are around three inches high, transplant them to individual pots.
So, there you have it—three ways to propagate rosemary. If you’re looking for a fast and easy way to get started with this delicious herb, stem cuttings are the way to go. Just be sure to give your plants plenty of water and sunlight, and before you know it, you’ll be harvesting your own homegrown rosemary!
How long do rosemary cuttings take to root in water?
It can take four to eight weeks for the cuttings to develop roots. Once they have developed a good root system, you can transplant them into pots or your garden.
If you want to propagate rosemary in water, just make sure to change the water every day so that germs don’t have a chance to grow.
Does rosemary need full sun?
Rosemary does best in full sun, but can tolerate some light shade. In hot climates, it’s best to provide afternoon shade to help the plant stay cooler. If you live in a colder climate, make sure your rosemary gets at least six hours of sunlight per day.
Can you propagate rosemary from the store?
If you’ve purchased rosemary from the store, you can propagate it by taking stem cuttings. Look for fresh, healthy stems that are about four inches long. Cut the stem just below a leaf node (the point on the stem where leaves emerge).
Fill a small pot with well-draining soil and water it until it’s moist. Stick the cutting into the soil, making sure that at least two leaf nodes are buried. Keep the soil moist but not wet and wait for new growth to appear. This can take several weeks. Once your rosemary plant is established, you can transplant it into a larger pot or outdoors.
Is rosemary easy to grow from cuttings?
Yes, rosemary is quite easy to grow from cuttings! The best time to take stem cuttings is in the late spring or early summer when the plants are actively growing. Take a look at our article for more useful tips on how to propagate rosemary from stem cuttings.