Here’s a step-by-step guide and video tutorial on how to propagate and root rosemary cuttings from the stems of the mother plant into new plants.
Rosemary is easy to propagate from stem cuttings. Keep reading for an easy how-to root rosemary guide.
Rosemary is a perennial herb, meaning it’s a plant that exists for a long period of time. It lasts and grows year after year with small amounts of care. Rosemary loves abundant sunlight, but can also live in indirect sunlight which makes it great as a potted plant on a front porch. I love these qualities of the rosemary herb!
Though I love to garden, I’m not particularly good at it. Despite my great-grandmother having the greenest thumb around, I have the worst time getting my tomato plants to thrive. I am learning, albeit slowly, what it takes to really get my flowers and vegetable plants to grow well. Between not knowing what I’m doing, being a mom of 3, homeschooling, and all the other day-to-day activities of life, my plants suffer at times. However, my rosemary plants have been a different story. So if you have very little experience in gardening or aren’t particularly good at it, like me, keep reading, because there is hope for you!
Uses for Rosemary
Rosemary was one of the first herbs I ever planted. I love to cook and wanted to have this fragrant, earthy herb available as a fresh addition to many of my chicken dishes. I later branched out to make rosemary simple syrups for coffee and adult beverages. This fresh herb was also the main ingredient used in my DIY Christmas Wreath. It smelled so good! I continue to make the wreath year after year because it is such a lovely addition (and fragrance) to my home throughout the Christmas season.
Growing Rosemary for Beginners
Rosemary has made me feel like a capable gardener, even though I would still, after all these years, consider myself a beginner. It’s been many years since I first planted that initial garden and the rosemary plant is the one thing that is still thriving and growing. It has seen many plants come and go, but itself has become the staple of my herb garden.
Rosemary is a great herb and one of my favorites! It is easy to grow, is considered an evergreen (meaning it keeps green leaves all year round), and survives all kinds of weather. Native to the Mediterranean, it is a part of the mint family. Rosemary also has a variety of uses. It is known to have potential health benefits and is great for culinary use as well. I love tossing it in roasted potatoes or using it to marinate a whole chicken. It is incredibly hardy and just plain hard to kill. Hooray for that! I love being able to choose a dinner recipe and walk to my backyard herb garden to quickly cut and harvest what I need.
How to Propagate Rosemary from Stem Cuttings
I have rooted woody stems with new roots from sprigs of rosemary a few times to give to friends so they can grow their own new rosemary plants. Potted rosemary makes a thoughtful hostess gift and is one of the reasons this idea made it to the DIY Christmas Hostess Gifts blog. Fresh cuttings as gifts are great to plant in a 4-inch pot. This is also a kind gift for a housewarming party. I also have rooted fresh rosemary just to have more bushes around the house. It’s a really simple way to grow more of the rosemary herb!
The best way to create young plants is to take a healthy stem from a newer rosemary sprig and follow the water method steps below. Even if you don’t already have a rosemary plant, buying fresh rosemary from grocery stores can also turn into an established rosemary plant with the proper care. Buying a young plant from a local nursery or home store, or even purchasing rosemary seeds will set you on your way towards larger plants. It doesn’t take a long time to see new root growth with rosemary.
DIY How to Propogate Rosemary from Stem Cuttings
- 2-3 freshly cut rosemary stems
- A shot glass, espresso cup, or other small glass container
Ideally, you are cutting rosemary stems from a well-established. parent plant. Using a sharp knife or sharp scissors, cut 6-inch fresh cuttings that are free of fungal disease. For even better results, take fresh growth from an established rosemary plant, as opposed to heartier, more mature stems, to see faster results. Early spring to late spring is a great time to do this. Place these stems in a small glass of warm water being sure to keep them in water while rooting. A spray bottle can be used to replenish their water. To speed growth, place the rosemary sprigs in a warm place, such as a sunny window seal.
Throughout this time make sure the stems have the water they need so they don’t dry out. It takes approximately 4 weeks to get the roots where you need them to be in order to plant the new starts. Once the stems have their own roots, they are ready to grow in soil. At this point, you can plant them in their own individual pots with damp potting soil (potting mix) or straight in your already established garden. Using clean water, water your new plants thoroughly after planting.
Planting and Potting Rosemary
The rosemary that has been planted into its own pots can be transplanted to larger pots as it grows. Rosemary will grow into a large bush as a mature rosemary plant if it has bountiful sunlight and plenty of room to grow. It will grow and last year after year because it is such a hardy plant.
There are other herbs that also do well with propagation like lavender and basil. Herbs that I can create more plants from that cost me nothing? Yes, please! For a video tutorial of how to propagate rosemary from stem cuttings please see below.
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