How to take rosemary cuttings

How to take rosemary cuttings

Find out how to take cuttings from rosemary in our step-by-step guide.

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To do
To do

Do not To do in January

Do not To do in February

Do not To do in March

Do not To do in April

Do To do in May

Do To do in June

Do To do in July

Do To do in August

Do not To do in September

Do not To do in October

Do not To do in November

Do not To do in December

Rosemary looks good all year and is great for pots, the veg patch and the allotment. It’s aromatic leaves can be used in a variety of ways and its flowers are extremely popular with bees.

Rosemary seeds can take a very long time to germinate, so buy young plants, which are widely available, or wait until after flowering and take cuttings.

Early in the day, snip off shoots without flowers and pop them in a plastic bag. Seal it and keep it in a shady spot to prevent wilting until you are ready to root the cuttings.

Here’s our step-by-step guide to taking rosemary cuttings.

Rosemary seeds can take a very long time to germinate, so buy young plants or wait until after flowering and take cuttings.
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You Will Need

  • Rosemary plant, established
  • Sharp knife or scissors
  • Hormone rooting powder
  • Terracotta pots, for rooting in an potting on
  • Compost mix, of equal parts potting compost and horticultural grit or perlite/vermiculite
  • John Innes No. 2 compost, for potting on

Step 1

Snip off shoots of new growth 10-15cm long. To reduce moisture loss, remove most of the lower leaves so you have a clean length of stem.

Preparing rosemary cuttings
Preparing rosemary cuttings

Step 2

Use a sharp knife to cut off the base of the stem just below a leaf node – the point from which the leaves grow.

Cutting off the base of the rosemary stem
Cutting off the base of the rosemary stem

Step 3

Dip the stem ends in hormone rooting powder to speed up the rooting process.

Dipping the rosemary stems in rooting hormone powder
Dipping the rosemary stems in rooting hormone powder

Step 4

Fill pots with a gritty compost mix. Insert several rosemary cuttings around the edge, or plant individually in seed tray modules.

Placing the rosemary cuttings in compost
Placing the rosemary cuttings in compost

Step 5

Water in cuttings from above to settle compost around their stems. Place pots in a cold frame in a sheltered, shaded area, indoors in a propagator or simply cover with a plastic bag to retain the moisure.

Watering the rosemary cuttings
Watering the rosemary cuttings

Step 6

After a few weeks, gently invert pots and check for signs of root development. Mist over foliage and ensure the compost stays moist.

Rosemary roots
Rosemary roots

Step 7

Once they have a good root system, tease cuttings apart and pot up individually into a loam-based compost, such as John Innes No. 2.

Repotting rooted rosemary cuttings
Repotting rooted rosemary cuttings

Step 8

Keep plants watered and pot them on again as they get larger and the roots fill their container. They should be big enough to plant out in the following spring.

Watering young rosemary plants
Watering young rosemary plants
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Cutting compost contains few nutrients, so feed the rosemary plants with a dilute solution of fertiliser as soon as roots have formed.

Watering can