How to propagate Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)
Rosemary Propagation Overview:
It is very easy to propagate rosemary, if you know how. However, my first few blind attempts were total failures. None the less, if you are aware of two key points/tricks, then you will have no problem.
Rosemary propagation trick#1.
- Take the clippings from a branch with new growth (green stem).
- This is typically in the spring, but could be anytime depending on the watering conditions.
Rosemary propagation trick #2.
- Make short clippings.
- You want to take a clipping that is about 3 to 5 inches long. This was totally against my initial “intuition.” In the past I tried rooting a bigger/longer branch with the assumption being that more plant would mean a faster result. However, this approach was rather unsuccessful… (Smaller is better. Yea, who knew?) .
- As it turns out, roots sprout much better from a green stem than from a dark woody one. In the case of rosemary, that green part of the stem is found at the last 3 to 5 inches of a branch when it is growing. Therefore, if you have a shorter branch, you will have more green wood on the cutting.
- Then you just follow normal rooting procedure.
- Make a short clipping from the end of a branch
- Remove about an inch or two of the lowest needle like leaves.
- Stick the cut end in clean water, and be sure not to cover the remaining leaves with water.
- Put the cuttings in bright shade.
- Wait a few weeks
- That’s it.
The results of my little rosemary growing experiment.
I cut up long, medium and short stems from a rosemary bush and put them in water. They all went into the water at the same time. I did not add any supplements to the water such as rooting hormone. I only used water.
Rosemary propigation results:
- The smaller stems (with more green wood), had the most roots with a near 100% success rate.
- The medium length stems had less roots with about 50% success rate.
- The longer stems had the least amount of small roots and about 65% did not root at all.