Rosemary is one of the most popular herbs used in cooking and medicine. Because of this, many people love to grow it. Not only is it easy to grow, but its a very appealing plant to look at. It has dark green, needle-like leaves that stick around throughout the year. During spring and summer, it grows beautiful flowers that only add to the appeal. Have you ever wondered, “can you grow rosemary from a cutting?”
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Because rosemary is used in so many dishes while cooking, it can be expensive to always buy rosemary. Plus, it’s an easy plant to grow. So, many people choose to grow rosemary in their own home and gardens. Rosemary plants are very easy to take of. When provided with the right resources, you can have a fresh supply of rosemary for years to come.
Below, I answer can I grow rosemary from a cutting before describing exactly how to grow rosemary from cutting including how to take a rosemary cutting, how to plant rosemary cuttings and everything else you need to know to start growing rosemary successfully.
Can You Grow Rosemary From Cuttings?
Growing rosemary from cuttings is one of the best and easiest options for growing rosemary. Growing rosemary from cuttings is super easy, and you can use the same cuttings you’d use when harvesting the plant for food.
We’ll go over exactly how to do this below.
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Why Start Growing Rosemary From Cuttings?
You can grow rosemary from seeds, but it’s a bit more difficult and can take longer.
To start, you will have to purchase the seeds. If you already have a rosemary plant or know someone who does, a cutting is the better option. You can use the free cutting to cheaply and easily start your knew plant.
Besides buying new seeds, seeds are the more difficult option. Although growing from seeds in itself is not particularly difficult, there isn’t much of a success rate. Only about 15-30% of seeds will germinate successfully. Because of this, you have to purchase and plant more rosemary seeds than you actually need.
Propagating from clippings is simply easier because you can use a part of a plant that is already grown. Rather than starting from scratch, you can plant a piece of an already grown plant to produce a new one.
How To Grow Rosemary From Cuttings
Turning a cutting into a full rosemary plant is quite simple and is very rewarding.
What You Need To Start Growing Rosemary From A Cutting
It doesn’t take much, but you will have to purchase some supplies. Here’s what you’ll need:
- A 4″ pot with drainage holes
- High-quality growing soil
- Rooting hormone (optional)
- Plastic sandwich bags (optional)
How To Take A Cutting From Rosemary
Before you take a cutting from a rosemary plant, you’ll want to make sure the plant is old enough and healthy enough. You should never harvest from a plant less than 12 months old.
You should also make sure that the plant is a healthy green color with lots of new growth. It is best to harvest from a rosemary plant in spring and summer when the plant will be growing the most.
Propagate Rosemary From Cuttings Step-By-Step
Now that we know what kind of rosemary plant to take cuttings from, we’ll need to know exactly how to get those cuttings.
Get A Rosemary Plant!
Unlike propagating with seeds, you’ll need an actual rosemary plant to propagate with cuttings. This is super easy if you already have a rosemary plant of your own because you can take a clipping from that. But, if you don’t have a rosemary plant, this can be a bit trickier.
Ask around and see who you can find that would be willing to let you have a clipping. Maybe one of your friends or family members have a plant they’re willing to share.
You can also check out gardening groups in the neighborhood and online to see if anyone is willing to spare a clipping. Sometimes, gardening companies will be willing to spare a clipping as well.
If all that fails, you can even check out your local grocery store or farmer’s market. Usually, these places will sell sprigs of fresh rosemary that you can use to propagate a new plant.
Clip Your Plant
Clipping off a piece of your rosemary plant won’t harm the plant. In fact, it will help it grow better in the future. With that being said, you don’t want to over clip your plant or it will cause more damage than good.
When clipping off a sprig of your rosemary plant, you’ll only want to take about 4-6 inches off your plant.
Rosemary shrubs are evergreen plants meaning that they continue to grow throughout the year. Because of this, you can prune, or take clippings, from your plant at anytime throughout the year. Still, it’s recommended to take clippings in spring and summer when the plant is growing the most.
When To Grow
If you’re planning on propagating a rosemary plant, you’ll want to know what time of year it should be done. Some growing times are better than others. The exact time that the plant should be grown is debated among gardeners, but it’s generally agreed that plants should be propagated in spring or early fall.
Spring is a great time to propagate your new plants because this is when they naturally grow the most. Rosemary plants grow the fastest and to their fullest over the spring and summer months. By planting in spring, you’re giving your new plant plenty of time to get some growing in before the weather turns cold.
If you’re going to plant in spring, just make sure that you plant after the last frost. New plants can’t survive extreme cold and frost will kill them.
Fall is also a good option because it’s when your plant begins to slow down. This might seem counterproductive. However, to prepare for the cooler temperatures, rosemary plants will become hardier and sturdier. Their bases will harden a bit and become woodier. This gives them a more solid base to grow upon.
If you choose to go with this method, however, make sure you do it in early fall. You’ll want to give your plant plenty of time to grow before the first frost of the season kicks in. If you choose to propagate in fall, you might need to overwinter your plant inside to protect it from the cold.
In either case, you’ll want to wait to plant your clipping in soil when the soil is between 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit. If you plant too early, the plants may be too cold to take root. If you plant in the summer when the soil is too hot, the plant may not be able to grow.
Click here for our full guide to when to plant rosemary.
You aren’t quite done after clipping your rosemary plant. You can’t just take that newly clipped stem and stick it into some soil.
After clipping, you’ll want to remove all the leaves from the bottom 1-2 inches of the stem. The stem should be completely bare at the bottom. This is extremely important because this is where new roots will grow. If there are leaves in the way, it will prevent the production of new roots.
If you’re planning to plant your new sprig right away, cut the top of the sprig at a 45 degree angle. This will cut off the old bits and will leave a fresh opening for moisture and air to get in.
If you want to wait before planting, that’s okay too. Simply wrap your sprig in a plastic bag and store it in your fridge.
This step is optional, but it’s always a good choice. If you’d like your plant to grow faster, you can dip your clipping in rooting hormone before placing it in the soil. Don’t dip the whole clipping, of course. You’ll only want to dip the 1-2 inches of bare stem.
Rooting hormones are great for producing fast growth and healthy roots. However, some people prefer to do without it. You’ll likely be consuming your rosemary in the future and some people don’t like to have that additive in their plant.
However, whether you plan to use growth hormone or not will determine how you’re going to grow your plant.
How To Grow Rosemary Cuttings
Soil (Root Hormone)
If you dip your plant in root hormone, you can immediately plant the stem into a potting soil mix with good drainage. Your plant will begin to grow new roots at about 2-3 weeks. You should plant them in a 4″ pot about an 1″ deep. You can plant up to 3 sprigs in a single pot.
Read more about the best soil for rosemary here.
Water (No Root Hormone)
If you’re not using root hormone, your plant will take about 8 weeks to produce new roots. Because it takes so much longer for them to develop roots, you’ll want to be able to keep an eye on your roots. Keeping an eye on the clipping will ensure that your new plant has established a new root structure before you move it to new soil.
To keep your rosemary plant healthy while it establishes these new roots, the stem should be placed in water. The water should be deep enough that the 2″ of bare stem is fully submerged. However, be careful that none of the leafed part of the plant is covered by water.
You may begin to see new roots emerge around 3-4 weeks, but it can take up to 8 weeks. After these roots have begun to appear, you can move them to soil similar to how we described above.
You can read my full guide to rooting rosemary in water here.
As your plant is growing, it’s best to keep it in a warm, humid place like a greenhouse. You can also keep them by a windowsill covered in a plastic sandwich bag. This will help them get the humidity and sunlight they need to do well.
You will notice new growth really begin to take off around 6-8 weeks.
How To Care For Your New Rosemary Plant
Rosemary plants are very easy to take care of, but they do have their own preferences and needs. To learn exactly how to care for your rosemary plant, check out our article here.
Final Words on Growing Rosemary from Cuttings
I hope you have found this guide to how to propagate rosemary from cutting useful. Propagating rosemary from fresh rosemary plants is arguably the best way to grow a new plant. It’s super easy to do, especially if you have a rosemary plant already on hand. If you’ve ever wanted to grow your own rosemary plant, you now have the tools to do it.
Want to learn more? Click here to find all my guides to growing rosemary. You can also read my full guide to how big rosemary gets here or click here to read how to propagate rosemary in water.
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