How To Propagate A Rosemary Plant

rosemary cutting
Image by Matt Boulton

By Heather Rhoades

The piney scent of a rosemary plant is a favorite of many gardeners. This semi hardy shrub can be grown as hedges and edging in areas that are zone 6 or higher. In other zones, this herb makes a delightful annual in the herb garden or can be grown in pots and brought indoors. Because rosemary is such a wonderful herb, many gardeners want to know how to propagate rosemary. You can propagate rosemary from either rosemary seeds, rosemary cuttings or layering. Let’s look at how.

Step-by-Step Instructions Stem Cutting Rosemary

Rosemary cuttings are the most common way in how to propagate rosemary.

  1. Take a 2 – 3 inch cutting from a mature rosemary plant with a clean, sharp pair of shears. Rosemary cuttings should be taken from the soft or new wood on the plant. The soft wood is most easily harvested in the spring when the plant is in its most active growth phase.
  2. Remove the leaves from the bottom 2/3′s of the cutting leaving at least 5-6 leaves.
  3. Take the rosemary cuttings and place it in a well draining potting medium.
  4. Cover the pot with a plastic bag or plastic wrap to help the cuttings retain moisture.
  5. Place in indirect light.
  6. When you see new growth, remove plastic.
  7. Transplant to a new location.

How to Propagate Rosemary with Layering

Propagating a rosemary plant through layering is much like doing so through rosemary cuttings, except the “cuttings” stay attached to the mother plant.

  1. Choose a somewhat long stem, one that when bent over can reach the ground.
  2. Bend the stem down to the ground and pin it to the ground, leaving at least two to three inches of the tip on the other side of the pin.
  3. Strip away the bark and leaves that are a half inch on either side of the pin.
  4. Bury the pin and the bare bark with soil.
  5. Once new growth appears on the tip, cut the stem away from the mother rosemary plant.
  6. Transplant to a new location.

How to Propagate Rosemary with Rosemary Seeds

Rosemary is not typically propagated from rosemary seeds due to the fact that they are difficult to germinate.

  1. Soak seeds is warm water overnight.
  2. Scatter across the soil.
  3. Cover lightly with soil.
  4. Germination may take up to 3 months

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