How To Plant Rosemary
Get a rosemary cutting – Rosemary is easiest to grow from a cutting, rather than planting seeds. Visit a community garden and ask for a cutting, or ask a friend for a cutting of their plant.
After you find a rosemary plant, clip off a few 4 inch pieces to propagate. The best time to do this is in the late spring, but if you live in a warmer climate, this can be done during early autumn as well. The plants you’ll be able to grow from the cuttings will have the same qualities as the original bush.
- There are many varieties of rosemary, each with slightly different properties. Some grow very bushy and tall, while others tend to trail; some have purple or blue flowers, some white.
- You can also buy a seedling or small plant from a nursery if you don’t want to propagate a cutting.
Strip the leaves off the bottom inch of the stem. Before planting the rosemary, strip the leaves off of the lower section of the cutting (about an inch from the end of the stem). This part of the plant will go into the soil.
It is important to strip these leaves because leaving these leaves on will cause the stem to rot instead of grow.
How To Propagate Rosemary
- After you have stripped the leaves, put each cutting into a small pot of soil filled with two-thirds coarse sand and one-third peat moss.
- Set the pot in a sunny place, but not in direct sunlight.
- Water the cuttings regularly and keep in a warm spot until the roots form, which should take about three weeks.
- To help the cuttings grow, you can place the entire pot inside a plastic bag with a few holes punctured in the top. This will help regulate the temperature and keep things warm and moist.
- You may also dip the tips of the rosemary cuttings in rooting powder to give them a head start.
Caring for Rosemary
- Water rosemary infrequently. Rosemary prefers a drier soil, so don’t overdo the watering. It will be happy with the average garden watering. It likes to source most of its water from rain.
- Don’t worry about fertilizing. This is not an herb that needs it. However, make sure that there is some lime in the soil.
- Bring the pots indoors in winter if you live in a cold place. Though rosemary is hardy, it can suffer in very cold weather (lows of 0 degrees Fahrenheit or less) and its branches can get damaged when laden with heavy snow. To ensure the plant survives the winter, it’s best to bring it indoors.If your winter lows do not get down to 0 degrees F, then you do not have to do this.
- Prune rosemary as needed. Pruning isn’t necessary for the health of the plant, but rosemary bushes tend to grow quite large and take up a lot of garden space. Cut the branches back by a few inches each spring to help them retain their shape.
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