If you want to propagate a new rosemary plant, growing it from cuttings is a fantastic way to do so. In this post, we will guide you on how to grow rosemary from cuttings in an easy and successful way.
Growing Rosemary from Cuttings
Rosemary is a versatile herb and a must-have in any herb garden. Although it is easy to grow from seeds, doing so can be a slow process. Growing rosemary from cuttings is a much easier and faster way to propagate rosemary plants. All you need is access to a healthy rosemary bush with some new spring growth, a jar of water, or a rooting hormone.
Note: cuttings bought from grocery stores are often sold as hardwood cuttings, which are usually unsuccessful. It is best to avoid using these cuttings.
When to Take Rosemary Cuttings
The timing of taking the cuttings is critical to their success. When picking the stem to cut, choose a mature one that is growing well, but still in the softwood stage (soft green flexible stems). Using hardwood cuttings decreases the chances of success. Avoid taking cuttings from a rosemary plant that has begun flowering, as it is in a different growth phase and is unlikely to produce roots easily. Rosemary usually flowers in late spring-early summer, so early spring is an ideal time to take cuttings. The plant should still have soft stem growth, but this is before flower buds appear.
How to Take Rosemary Cuttings
The way you cut the rosemary and the part of the plant you select for the cutting are crucial for successfully growing rosemary cuttings.
First, choose a healthy rosemary plant with lots of green growth. Take softwood cuttings that are new and soft, green growth found at the ends of branches in the spring, for them to have a better chance of success.
Use sharp pruning shears or scissors or a sharp knife to take cuttings for a clean cut that helps grow them successfully. Blunt tools can lead to ragged ends, allowing disease or pests to attack the cutting or the parent plant.
Take no more than half the stem length, leaving enough on the plant to regrow easily. Cut directly above a leaf pair (growth node) to aim for a cutting of at least 4 inches, although shorter cuttings may also be successful. Take several cuttings to increase your chances of success.
Remove the lower leaves from the leaf nodes until the lower half of the cutting is leaf-less. Ensure to retain at least three pairs of leaves at the top of the stem to assist the growth of the cutting once roots are established.
>> Related article: How to harvest rosemary
Rooting Rosemary Cuttings
Start rooting rosemary cuttings before planting them in the soil to provide them with a better chance of success.
1. Root Rosemary Cuttings in Water
Rooting rosemary cuttings in water is one of the easiest ways to do so.
Place the cut rosemary stem in a jar or glass of fresh water, and leave it in an area that receives indirect sunlight until roots appear. Change the water every few days to keep it fresh. It can take up to two weeks for the roots to appear.