Rosemary Propagation Methods Explained

Many people choose to propagate rosemary on their own, instead of purchasing seedlings from a nursery, because the process of propagation connects them to the mature plant. The process of propagation process takes many months and often leaves a long lasting impression that connects the gardener to the plant forever.

Propagating rosemary can be executed in a variety of ways including: starting from seed, layering roots and rooting cuttings. This article identifies and describes all three of the aforementioned propagation processes so you can choose which method is best suited for you.

Starting From Seed

Growing rosemary from seed is a fairly difficult process that takes many months to achieve. It is best to sow rosemary seeds and raise rosemary seedlings in a series of containers until the plant is mature enough to sustain itself in nature.

Propagating rosemary from seed begins with germination and is finished once the plant is mature enough to be transplanted outdoors. Typically, germination of the seeds takes place in one large container where the seedlings are allowed to grow until they reach the height of two inches. After the seedlings grow to be two inches tall, they are individually transplanted into small containers filled with nutrient rich potting soil. The seedlings are transplanted into larger containers when appropriate until the rosemary bush is one or two years old. Once the bush is old enough, it is transplanted once more directly into one’s garden or yard where it is allowed to grow unbounded.

Layering Rooting

Layering rooting can take several weeks and requires the presence of a mature rosemary bush. You must dig a small hole parallel to the established plant and pull down one of the lower branches on the rosemary bush into a U shape. The bottom of the U is buried in the small hole so that the end of the branch emerges from the soil, but a part of it is buried.

Eventually, the portion of the U that is buried underground will begin to develop roots. Make a little cut on the buried portion of the branch to encourage rooting.

Root a Cutting

Rooting a cutting from a mature rosemary bush is one of the easiest methods of propagation. This method involves taking a cutting from a mature rosemary bush and stimulating root growth from the cut portion of the bush.

To propagate by rooting a cutting, clip a piece of rosemary just above a node in the branches to a place where two branches meet. The cutting is then dipped in rooting hormone and planted in a container filled with moist nutrient rich potting soil. In time, the cut portion of the cutting will develop roots and begin producing new foliage. A plant propagated by cuttings is called a clone because it is genetically identical to the plant it was cut from.