Rosemary for Dummies?

July 13, 2007


A couple of years ago, I saw a friend of mine start a cactus plant in his house…for free. He saw some cactus growing on the side of the road, so he just cut off about 2 feet of it, took it home and put it in some soil. Pretty soon, the plant developed roots and he had a nice cactus plant flourishing away.

Since then, I have wanted to try the same thing with other plants. So, last night I was by a huuuuuuge rosemary bush and cut off about 5 sprigs and took them home. I just stuck them in the garden and watered them. I have no idea if this will work, but if it does it will be really sweet. I have great expectations for this plant: that one day it will tower over the other plants in the garden and become king of the backyard.

I know this can work, because I read about it in an herb-growing book that I have. The only thing is that in the book you have to dip the stems in a root stimulate before planting. That kind of makes me uncomfortable. I don’t know much about it, but I don’t want my rosemary to be on steroids. Maybe its just me.

I will keep you posted as to whether or not it actually works. I really hope it does. Fresh rosemary is a wonderful thing.


2 Responses to “Rosemary for Dummies?”

  1. wildschwein Says:


    We have had a lot of success with striking rosemary, with a couple of huge, healthy plants providing us plenty of fresh rosemary for a few years now. The stuff is grown as a hedge at shopping centres and train stations over here in Perth, and – you guessed it – that’s where we picked most of our cuttings!

    I’ll copy and paste the kind of method we used below. It’s from Peter Cundall – a host on ‘Gardening Australia’, which is a weekly gardening show run on our public broadcaster, the ABC, here in Australia. Although what you have done sounds pretty much right, Cundall’s explanation might give you a few more ideas to aid success! The plastic bag greenhouse idea, for instance, is a really good tip, and one you can apply not only to cuttings, but also to propogating seeds and seedlings. Good luck!

    “Presenter: Peter Cundall, 28/11/2003


    This method can be used with many plants, including herbs.

    A stem cutting is taken from new wood. Select cuttings from firm new growth that are joined to a main branch.

    Pull this stem sideways away from the branch and a sliver of this older wood will come away with it. The heel or base of the cutting is left the way it comes off the plant with a piece of older wood or bark adhering to the base of the cutting. This is called a heel or stem cutting.

    It is this joint where the older wood meets the new growth that will actively produce new roots. Trim the end sliver of bark and wood by about half, and reduce some of the leaf area. Dip the cuttings in root hormone powder or gel, or honey to promote root growth and place them in some horticultural sand to take root.

    Put a plastic bag over the top of the cuttings to maintain a humid environment and to retain moisture in the propagating media. Keep the pot out of the sun, and the cuttings will take root within several weeks to some months, depending on the type of plant.”


  2. Robin DulKE Says:

    You couldnt have a better answer could you? I am trying lavender and rosemary this year to make a long, low hedge round my veg garden; I need about 100 of each, so cuttings were the only way. Now I see the original letter was written in 03, when I first moved to this cottage in Dorset, so I imagine suburban chef has opened a herb nursery by now alongside a successful restaurant. Best wishes, RD

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