May 17, 2014

How I Propagate Rosemary from Cuttings

I decided to grow rosemary from cuttings in my tropical organic garden for the first time. I am really happy about this addition to my garden since rosemary will be useful in many ways.

  • Rosemary infusion is a good addition to skin and hair care recipes. For instance, rosemary is great in natural homemade hair growth and dandruff fighting shampoos. Rosemary can also treat skin problems like eczema. In fact, rosemary essential oil is a natural preservative for many of my home remedies. Outside of growing rosemary for hair and skin care, I heard that it is even good for arthritis and healing skin bruises.
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  • Rosemary is good for aromatherapy and as a natural air freshener and headache remedy
  • Rosemary is useful for pest control against mice. In fact, rosemary is even a natural mosquito repellent
  • Rosemary can be also used as a tea or even as a kebab stick. Apart from its great taste, I have heard that the benefits of rosemary even include cancer fighting properties
  • Rosemary can also be used for making spiritual smudge sticks

To propagate rosemary from cuttings, you will need:
  • a garden scissors that had been washed and sterilised with rubbing or surgical alcohol
  • a healthy rosemary bush  - OR -  access to healthy and fresh rosemary tips from a farmer's market or supermarket
  • roughly 2 to 3 weeks for roots to develop. 

*** BUY TROPICAL SEEDS ***

Steps for propagating rosemary from cuttings:
Using a garden scissors that had been washed and sterilised with rubbing or surgical alcohol, I cut 2 to 3 inches off the tips of a healthy rosemary bush. Although you may use woodier rosemary cuttings, overall soft cuttings are preferable as they may root more easily.
Rosemary cutting

Rooting rosemary cuttings in water

  1. Remove the lower leaves to roughly 1/2 the length of the rosemary cuttings. You may also remove a few of the upper leaves
  2. For woodier rosemary cuttings, you may scrape off the bark with your finger nail to expose the leaf nodes (from which roots will develop)
  3. Submerge the bottom or potential root section of the rosemary cutting in water. Throughout this process, the water level should submerge the root section of the cuttings.
  4. To prevent rotting from bacterial growth, change the water roughly every other day and if any film forms around the root section of your rosemary cuttings, gently rinse it off with clean water
  5. Roots will appear after a period of very roughly 2 to 3 weeks. (See the dates on the images below). In the meantime, all is well once the tops remain green. In fact, new leaves may grow even before roots develop. If you can not maintain this process, you may transfer the cuttings into soil before roots appear. It is useful to note that roots developed in soil are considered stronger than those developed in water.

Rosemary cuttings in water on the window sill on 26 March. They are in a recycled seasoning bottle. This window is facing Eastwards. The rosemary cuttings therefore did not get exposed to the harsh afternoon sun (that comes from the West).

Rosemary cuttings can also be rooted in dark containers. 26 March


14 April: Roots on only 1 of the cuttings in the clear container.
*** BUY TROPICAL SEEDS ***
14 April: Root of about the same length (of roughly 1.5 inches) for the woody cutting that was in the dark cup.

25 April: All rosemary cuttings rooted from within the clear container on the windowsill.

25 April: The woody rosemary cutting rooted within the cup on the windowsill.

Rooting rosemary cuttings in soil
I have successfully propagated rosemary cuttings in soil outside in my tropical garden. My greatest success was with rosemary cuttings that have been shaded from the harsh afternoon sun by the house and even some of the morning sun by a taller neighbouring plant. The leaves were always very sticky and highly fragrant from their essential oils. Those cuttings went into the soil immediately after the cuttings were formed. I had mixed sand and garden compost to create a free draining soil

Rosemary cutting that was started from a single branch 4-inch cutting and placed directly into soil. It did particularly well when shaped by the cupid paint brush. 


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