Sunday, March 31, 2013

Propagating Rosemary

Rosemary has always been one of my favorite herbs to cook with, and it’s also a very pretty and fragrant plant to grow. It can also be difficult to start from seed, so last year I planted an entire seed packet of it. I ended up with a very nice, productive container of rosemary that I brought inside for the winter.

I started this plant from seed last year
It has done remarkably well, and is continually generating new growth and branching out in the seedling room window. I really enjoy fresh herbs, but I also like to use dried rosemary for things like oven baked potato wedges, where fresh rosemary often burns. However, I wanted to keep my happy plant (rather than cut it and dehydrate it like I did with the other herbs).

Given this dilemma, I decided to try my hand at rosemary propagation via cuttings. That way, I could have one container of rosemary for drying at the end of the season, and one to bring indoors for fresh rosemary (and further cuttings). Luckily, propagating rosemary from cuttings is easy (or so “they” say) and far easier than growing it from seed.

Cuttings and root powder ready to go!
I began by cutting 5 branches from the plant. Since I had plenty of both, I tried a mix of woodier and fresh growth, just to see if it matters which one you pick. Then, I dipped the cut ends into a rooting powder (which you can buy at any garden store or nursery). Finally, I planted the cuttings in peat pots filled with seed starter mix. Below is a photo of the planted cuttings.

planted cuttings (they look good so far)
From what I’ve read, they should take root in a few weeks. Then, I plan on potting them up into a fresh container. If it works, I’ll probably repeat the process a couple more times, as herbs are a focus of my garden this year. Since I use a ton of them in my cooking, I really want a large harvest to dry in the fall. The food dehydrator works wonders for this (far better than hanging them to dry in my opinion). It takes 5-6 hours for most herbs, and it keeps them bright green and prevents dust from getting into them, which happened to my dill that I left hanging.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful Easter weekend! Spring is just around the corner…


  1. I rooted rosemary cuttings in water for a couple weeks then transplanted them into pots. It seemed to do OK. I hope you get a lot of rosemary this year!

  2. Only 1/4 of them worked, but I might give it another try later in the season!