The Q&A Archives: Propagation scheduling

Question: One of my co-workers has a presentaion on the propagation of the herbaceous Perrnial Rosemary. He needs to know things like the scheduling and timing of this scheduling. Is there any way that you may have someone that can direct him to where to find this information, or do you have someone available that could help him directly?
His name is David Daughty. We work at American Plant Food Company in Bethesda MD.

Any help that you can give would be appreciated.

Answer: This is actually a complex question. If you are doing this on a commercial basis, your state extension service may be able to give you detailed instructions on propagating Rosmarinus officinalis (or a specific cultivar of that plant) based on the growing conditions in Maryland and the growing set-up you have in mind. (eg hydroponic or container, hoophouse, greenhouse, or in the field, etc.) and the end use of your product (eg. essential oil production, culinary market -- fresh or dried, retail plant sales, etc.)

Generally speaking, rosemary can be propagated by seed, stem cutting, layering or in some cases by division. Seed germination is somewhat unpredictable and ultimately produces variable plants, so in most cases propagation would be done by tip cuttings (either softwood or hardwood) to assure uniform results. Tissue culture can also be used to produce uniform plants in quantity.

Exactly how one would schedule would depend on the answers to the above questions. As an example, you might find the following interesting. You may need to cut and paste the complete url into your browser to make it work correctly.$department/deptdocs.nsf/all/opp...

If your extension service is not able to assist you, you might try contacting the Alternative Farming Systems Information Center, part of the USDA.

Good luck with your project!

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