Thursday, December 04, 2008

Propagation of Rosemary

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis L.) is a wonderful herb to grow in any size garden. In zones 7-10 it is a perennial herb that will grow into a small fragrant shrub. If you want to save a buck or two, and let's face it these days who doesn't, then grow Rosemary from seed. It takes forever, but the plant will be stronger and more resilient. Burpee offers Rosemary seeds for less than $3.00 a package for 100 seeds.
The best propagation method for Rosemary is by cuttings. Just clip 2-1/2-inch stems from new growth on an established plant. Snip off the bottom leaves (rather than pulling them off) and dip the bottom 1/4 inch into a hormone rooting powder. Place the cuttings in a container with equal amounts of peat moss and perlite. Spray the cuttings with a light mist on sunny days.
Cuttings usually root in 14 to 21 days, though bottom heat will speed the rooting process. Once the cuttings have rooted, you can transplant them into 3-1/2-inch pots. Pinch the top terminal bud to encourage branching. (source: Fine Gardening)
If you start early in the spring, you can grow enough Rosemary plants to give as Christmas gifts.

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