Propagating Rosemary

By Mike Passanita, Executive Sous Chef at Saint Francis University

As a lot of you know, I love to grow herbs and other edible plants.  I am blessed with having a greenhouse on site at Saint Francis University to start my herbs before planting them outside of Torvian Dining Hall (our main dining facility) to use for our cooking or catering needs.

Rosemary is a perennial herb used primarily in cooking, but can be used in other applications such as cosmetics, air fresheners and relaxing bath oil.

I recently bought a pack of rosemary seeds and didn’t know that is very difficult to germinate rosemary from seed.  I was successful in getting two seeds to germinate.  From these two strong and healthy plants, I can propagate as many plants as needed.

If you want to propagate your own rosemary, follow these steps:

  1. The simplest method to propagate rosemary is the layering method.  This method of propagation rarely fails.
  2. Choose a branch of the rosemary that will easily bend to touch the ground.  Pull off about an inch of foliage and scrape bark from the underside of the rosemary branch.
  3. Dig a small hole in the soil and press the bent branch into it.
  4. Firmly pack soil on top of the bent rosemary branch.
  5. Place a rock over the newly buried branch to hold the branch into the soil.  This will prevent the branch’s new roots from being lifted out of the ground.
  6. Water the area well.  There should be enough roots on the new plant in about 6-8 weeks.  Once the new plant is rooted, you can gently cut the attachment from the parent plant and your rosemary is now ready to be moved to a new location.

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