How To Grow Rosemary From Cuttings - Backyard Boss
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How To Grow Rosemary From Cuttings

Rosemary is the perfect herbaceous plant, whether you prefer growing it outdoors in summer, enjoying the dried leftovers through winter, or keeping it in an indoor herb garden year-round. It can be deliciously mixed into recipes for bread and cookies, atop your favorite pasta dish, or even as a cocktail garnish.

Whether you want to spread the love from your plant or start a new one, growing rosemary from cuttings is incredibly easy. With the right tools and knowledge, you’ll cultivate new rosemary plants in no time.

Tools You’ll Need

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To properly grow rosemary from cuttings, there are a few tools you’ll need. Fortunately, the essentials are basics that many gardeners likely already own!

  • Pot(s) with drainage
  • Propagation vessel
  • Fresh potting mix
  • Rooting hormone (optional)
  • Sharp pruning shears or scissors

Why Grow Rosemary From Cuttings?

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There are many reasons to grow rosemary, but not only because it is ideal for cooking and garnishing drinks! The plant is known to repel bugs, such as flies, cabbage moths, and mosquitoes but attract pollinators, such as bees and butterflies. It also has medicinal benefits and is excellent in teas. During the holidays, use rosemary to make homemade wreaths and festive greenery!

So, why should you grow rosemary from cuttings rather than from seed? It may seem like common sense to start your plant from seed but it’s easier for you (and the plant) if you started from cuttings instead.

Propagating tends to be easier and faster, meaning you can harvest sooner. It’ll also save you money to create more plants from your existing ones. You can even add the new, established growth to the parent (original) plant to make it fuller as well.

Not to mention, the heavenly scents can be brought indoors! You can either do the labor and bring your rosemary indoors when the outdoor growing season ends or make things simple by taking some cuttings. In USDA zones 9 and 10, the plant is hardy, and able to survive the winter so you don’t have to fret.

Growing Rosemary From Cuttings

Now that you know why you should grow a little rosemary, it’s time to learn all about how easy it is to grow the plant from cuttings! You can spread the joy from your own plant, plant a cutting, or even ask to borrow from a friend.

Preparation

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While you can generally take cuttings any time of year, it is best to do so in fall or spring. In spring, the plant is actively growing, and the cutting should produce new roots very quickly, making it very easy to replant. In the fall, you can begin new plants for growing indoors during the winter season.

Once you’ve established the timing, you can prepare your container. Use clean pots with drainage holes and fill them with moistened, well-draining potting soil. Or, if you’re propagating in water, fill a vessel with clean H2O.

Cutting 

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Before you take a cutting, source a healthy green rosemary stem from newer growth. Avoid stems with buds, flowers, or signs of unhealthiness, such as yellowing. Using a pair of cleansharp pruning shears, snip a cutting about 4 to 6 inches long.

Strip the lower leaves, removing the foliage from the bottom third of the cutting to expose the nodes. You can gently pull them off or snap them off using the back of your fingernail. At last, dip the cut end in rooting hormone — this is an optional step.

Planting and Growing

rosemary plant after repotting in new clay pots
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Plant the cutting, by poking a hole in the soil to cover the bottom third of the cutting. If you’re opting to grow your cuttings in water, simply place it in the propagation vessel. Ensure none of the leaves are covered by the soil or submerged in water. Keep the cutting in a bright, warm location out of direct sunlight.

If it is in the soil, water it and keep moist for about eight weeks. You can gently tug on the cutting to determine if it has developed roots. If it doesn’t pull away from the soil, it’s time to transplant it into a larger pot.

If propagating in water, refresh and top up the water regularly, checking for roots. Once roots develop, transplant them into a pot with well-draining soil, keeping it moist for the first month.

Pro Tip: Cover the cutting with a clear, loose plastic bag. It acts as a mini greenhouse, maintaining humidity levels and encouraging new root development. You can use a skewer to keep the bag from resting on the cutting and displacing it.

Eat, Drink, and Be Rosemary

Rosemary is the perfect addition to your indoor herb garden, boasting an abundance of different uses. And if you want to bring your plant indoors for winter or create a new plant, growing it from cuttings is incredibly simple. All you have to do is take a snip and place it in soil or water, allow roots to grow, and transplant it when necessary.

Do you have any tips for growing rosemary from cuttings? Share in the comments below!

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