Rosemary is a wonderful herb, not only for culinary purposes, but also for medicinal purposes. Rosemary can be grown as a perennial herb, with a life cycle of about 3 years or more. This means that you have to plant new rosemary plants every three years or so.
Rosemary can be grown from seed of course, but my preferred method of growing rosemary, is by taking cuttings, rooting the cutting and then planting it out. In this manner you can create many Rosemary plants from a single Rosemary plant, plus if you take more than one cutting, your Rosemary plant will love the new haircut and send out new branches.
What you will need:
- Rosemary plant to take the cutting from.
- Pair of scissors or a knife
- Empty water or soda bottle. You can also just simply use a glass or plastic cup if you prefer and just put the cutting in water, but for the purpose of this article, I will show you my preferred method, which gives a 100% success rate.
- Cardboard or empty toilet roll.
How to propagate the Rosemary cutting:
- Take a cutting from your Rosemary plant or a friend’s Rosemary plant. It’s always best to use cuttings that are not too woody. I prefer taking cuttings from new growth. The cutting can be anything from 15 cm to 30 cm.
- Next, you must strip off most of the leaves, only leaving a few leaves at the top.
- Cut the bottom of the stem diagonal, at an angle.
- Now take your empty water or soda bottle, and cut the top section off. I prefer using blue plastic water bottles, but you can use any color bottle. Just make sure that if you use a transparent bottle, that you then keep the bottle out of direct sunlight, to prevent algae build up in the bottle.
- Next roll up some cardboard or some of the empty toilet paper roll, and insert it inside the inverted bottle opening of the bottle. The reason for putting cardboard, is to support the cutting when it is suspended in the water.
- Now put your cutting through the hole in the center of the cardboard support.
- Fill the bottom half of the bottle with water.
- Take the inverted top section of the bottle, which contains the cardboard nest and your cutting, and place it into the bottom section of the bottle, so that the stem of the cutting is in the water.
- Put your cutting on a warm windowsill or else you can put the cutting outside if you prefer.
- After about 2-4 weeks, you will see roots developing.
- Change the water once a week and top it up if needed.
- Wait for a few strong roots to develop first, before planting out.
- Once the roots have developed nicely, you can then plant your cutting out into a container or you can plant it directly into your garden bed.
- Water the transplanted cutting and thereafter water it once a week. Rosemary does not like too much water, so do not over water the plant.