Rosemary is a fragrant and versatile herb that can add flavor and aroma to your dishes, drinks, and beauty products. But did you know that you can easily multiply your rosemary plants without spending any money? In this article, we will show you how to propagate rosemary from cuttings, seeds, or layering. You will learn how to turn one plant into dozens of new ones with simple steps and materials.
How to propagate rosemary from cuttings
Rosemary cuttings are the most common and easiest way to propagate rosemary. You can take cuttings from any healthy rosemary plant, either from your own garden or from a friend’s. The best time to take cuttings is in late spring to early summer when the plant has new growth at the tips .
- To take a cutting, choose a stem that is about 6 inches long and has several leaves. Cut it just below a leaf node (where a leaf joins the stem) with a clean and sharp pair of scissors or a knife . Remove the lower leaves from the cutting, leaving only two or three at the top .
- To encourage root growth, you can dip the cut end of the cutting in rooting hormone powder (optional) before planting it in soil . Alternatively, you can place the cutting in a glass of water and wait for roots to form . However, rooting in soil is more reliable and faster than rooting in water.
- To plant the cutting in soil, prepare a small pot with well-draining potting mix that is rich in organic matter . You can also add perlite, grit, or vermiculite to improve drainage. Make a hole in the center of the soil and gently insert the cutting into it. The top of the cutting should be slightly above the soil level. Press the soil around the cutting and water it well .
- Place the pot in a warm and sunny spot indoors or outdoors, depending on the climate. Rosemary plants prefer temperatures between 60°F and 85°F, and can tolerate some frost if acclimated. Keep the soil moist but not soggy or dry. Check the soil with your finger before watering and adjust accordingly .
- In four to eight weeks, you will see new growth on your cutting, indicating that it has rooted successfully . You can gently tug on the cutting to feel if it has resistance. You can also check for roots by carefully lifting the cutting out of the soil.
- Once your cutting has rooted, you can transplant it to a larger pot or to the ground if you have enough space and suitable conditions . Choose a location that gets at least six hours of sun per day and has well-drained soil. Dig a hole twice as wide and deep as the root ball of your cutting and place it in the hole. Fill the hole with soil and water it well.
How to propagate rosemary from seeds
Rosemary seeds are another way to propagate rosemary, but they are more difficult and less reliable than cuttings. Rosemary seeds have low germination rates and take longer to grow into mature plants. However, if you want to try this method, here is how to do it:
- To start rosemary seeds, you will need some fresh or dried rosemary seeds, a seed tray or small pots, seed-starting mix, plastic wrap or a clear lid, and a sunny windowsill or grow light .
- Fill the seed tray or pots with seed-starting mix that is moist but not wet. Sprinkle some rosemary seeds on top of the mix and lightly press them into the surface. Do not cover them with soil as they need light to germinate .
- Cover the tray or pots with plastic wrap or a clear lid to create a mini greenhouse effect. This will help keep the moisture and temperature consistent for germination .
- Place the tray or pots in a warm and bright spot indoors, such as a sunny windowsill or under a grow light. The ideal temperature for germination is between 65°F and 75°F . Keep the mix moist but not soggy by misting it with water every few days or as needed.
- In two to four weeks, you will see some seedlings sprouting from the mix. Remove the plastic wrap or lid and continue to keep the mix moist and the seedlings in a bright spot .
- When the seedlings have two or three sets of true leaves, you can thin them out by removing the weaker or smaller ones. Leave only one seedling per pot or space them about 3 inches apart in the tray .
- When the seedlings are about 4 inches tall, you can transplant them to larger pots or to the ground if you have enough space and suitable conditions . Follow the same steps as for transplanting cuttings.
How to propagate rosemary by layering
Layering is another method of propagating rosemary that involves bending a low-growing branch of a rosemary plant and burying part of it in the soil. The buried part will develop roots and form a new plant that can be separated from the parent plant. Here is how to do it:
- To layer a rosemary branch, you will need a healthy and mature rosemary plant, a sharp knife, some rooting hormone powder (optional), some soil, some pins or wires, and some mulch .
- Choose a long and flexible branch that can reach the ground without breaking. Make a small cut on the underside of the branch near a leaf node (where a leaf joins the stem) . You can also scrape off some of the bark to expose the green tissue.
- To encourage root growth, you can apply some rooting hormone powder to the cut or scraped area (optional) .
- Bend the branch down to the ground and bury the cut or scraped area in the soil. You can use some pins or wires to secure the branch in place . Leave the tip of the branch above the soil level.
- Cover the buried area with some mulch to retain moisture and protect it from weeds . Water it well and keep it moist but not soggy.
- In four to eight weeks, you will see new growth on the tip of the branch, indicating that it has rooted successfully . You can check for roots by gently lifting the branch out of the soil.
- Once your branch has rooted, you can cut it off from the parent plant and transplant it to a new location . Follow the same steps as for transplanting cuttings.
Propagating rosemary is a fun and easy way to multiply your herb collection and enjoy its benefits all year round. You can propagate rosemary from cuttings, seeds, or layering with simple steps and materials. Remember to water your plants regularly, feed them with a balanced fertilizer, prune them to maintain their shape, protect them from pests and diseases, and harvest them when they are ready. You can use your fresh or dried rosemary in cooking, tea, oil, vinegar, soap, candles, and more.
I hope this article helps you learn how to propagate rosemary. If you have any questions or feedback, please leave a comment below. Thank you for reading! 😊