Propagating Rosemary - Knowledgebase Question

Selma, OR
Avatar for seeds7
Question by seeds7
April 4, 2000
Just a quick question. Today I passed by one of the most beautiful rosemary bushes in full bloom that I have ever seen! On impluse, I pinch off a stem of new growth with the thought of trying to propagate it from the stem. I pinched off all the growth on the bottom half, recut the stem below a node and planted it in sterile growing medium. Do you think this will work or have you tried the same? If so, any idea of how long before new roots start growing? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated and thank you for your time.

Answer from NGA
April 4, 2000
I'd say you're on the right track! Dipping the cut end in rooting hormone before placing it in growing medium might have stacked the odds in your favor, but rosemary is such a vigorous plant that rooting hormone isn't absolutely necessary. To might make a little greenhouse for the plant by placing a plastic bag over the plant and pot. Support the bag with stakes placed in the soil so the plastic doesn't rest on the top of the plant. Remove the bag once each day to allow excess moisture to escape, then replace the bag. Roots should form at the node, and you'll know for sure the cutting has rooted when new leaves appear. Other than providing bright light (but not direct sunlight) and keeping the soil moist, you'll only need to exercise some patience. Depending upon the growing conditions and the health of the plant, you should see new leaf buds on the stem in 3-5 weeks. As soon as new leaves appear permanently remove the plastic bag and begin acclimating your plant to outdoor growing conditions by exposing it to longer and longer periods of time outdoors. Begin by putting it in a protected spot for a few hours each day, bringing it back in at night. Then expose it to direct sunshine for longer and longer periods each day, bringing back indoors at night. Finally (the whole process should take 7-10 days), leave your plant outdoors all day and all night. Then transplant it into a sunny spot in the garden.

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