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How To Propagate Rosemary

I used to think that growing rosemary was hard, and I always bought plants from the nursery. But it’s quite easy to propagate rosemary yourself.

While growing from seeds can be a bit challenging, you can easily propagate rosemary through stem cuttings or root layering.

In this guide, we’ll explore the various methods of propagating rosemary plants, so you can enjoy this wonderful herb in your own garden.

What are the benefits of learning how to propagate rosemary?

Knowing how to propagate rosemary can be incredibly useful for several reasons. 

Firstly, rosemary is a perennial herb that thrives in warm climates (Zone 8 and above). If you live in such an area, you can plant it once and enjoy its growth year after year, with some plants even reaching impressive sizes.

However, maintaining rosemary can be challenging for those in cooler growing zones. Buying new plants each year or attempting to bring existing ones indoors during winter can be unreliable. 

By learning how to propagate rosemary, you can avoid the need to purchase new starts every year and have a greater chance of successfully growing the herb indoors.

One of the biggest advantages of propagating rosemary is the cost savings. Instead of buying new plants, you can grow numerous rosemary plants at little to no cost. 

It allows you to expand your herb garden without breaking the bank, and you can even share the extra plants with others as gifts or for trading with fellow gardening enthusiasts.

Read More: How To Start Your Own Herb Garden

How to Propagate Rosemary

From Stem Cuttings

Propagating rosemary through stem cuttings is a popular and easy method. It involves taking four- to six-inch sections from the tips of new, flexible green stems of an established plant. 

Remove the leaves from the bottom two-thirds of the cut stem and dip the end in powdered rooting hormone if available. 

Plant the cutting in a pot filled with a mix of potting soil and sand, keeping it moist and covered with a humidity dome or plastic bag. After a few weeks, check for root formation and, once established, transplant the cutting to a larger container or outdoors.

Via Layering

Layering is another simple way to propagate rosemary. Select a healthy stem from an established plant and dig a trench where the stem touches the ground. 

Strip the leaves and bark from the bottom of the stem and bury it in the trench, leaving the tip with two to three inches of foliage above the soil. 

Secure the stem with a garden staple and water regularly until new growth appears. Once the layered stem has been rooted, it can be cut away from the parent plant and transplanted.

Starting from Seed

Starting rosemary from seed requires cold stratification to improve germination. Wrap the seeds in a damp paper towel and place them in a sealed bag in the refrigerator for two to three months. 

After stratification:

  1. Soak the seeds in warm water overnight.
  2. Sow the seeds in pots filled with seed starting mix, lightly covering them with soil and providing a plastic lid or humidity dome.
  3. Keep the seeds in a room with consistent temperature and mist them to maintain moisture.

Once sprouted, remove the cover and place the pots in a well-lit area. Transplant the seedlings into individual pots or the garden after the last frost of spring.

Closing Note

Learning to propagate your own rosemary plants is a rewarding endeavor, especially if you frequently use this herb in your cooking. 

It saves money and provides you with an abundance of rosemary. Additionally, you can share the extra plants as gifts with your family and friends.

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