Do you ever look at your stunning rosemary plant and wish it could make rosemary babies? It’s easy to propagate rosemary, and it will yield an exact clone of the Mother plant. It will take about six months for the new plant to grow big enough to harvest. Here is how.
Cut new shoots about 6-8 inches long from the Mother plant. The tops of these new shoots should have a green, flexible, nonwoody stem.
Next, strip half the leaves off of each stem. Do this by gently pinching the middle of the stem with your thumb and index finger. Then, strip down towards the bottom of the stem and the leaves will easily be removed. Save the leaves for cooking or to make rosemary tea. (See rosemary tea recipe below.)
Place the rosemary sprigs with half of their leaves stripped into small glass containers with water. The water should cover the stripped part of the stem, but not touch the green part of the stem. Put about 3 sprigs in each container with water. Make a few containers of rosemary sprigs in water, in case some do not take.
Place the containers indoors, out of direct sun exposure. Avoid placing the rosemary near your houseplants, in case they are harboring pests from outdoors.
Important: Change the water twice a week to avoid rotting. Look for the plants to begin growing roots after about a month. Make sure the leaves remain green; browned leaves equal a dying plant. Allow 3 months for the rosemary plant to grow sufficient roots to be planted in soil.
Once the plant has roots at least a few inches long and the warm weather has arrived, transfer the the plant(s) into small pot(s) with quality potting soil. Use your index finger to create a hole the size of your finger in the soil and carefully feed the roots into that hole. Gently cover the whole with dirt and water the plant generously. Place the pot outdoors with plenty of morning sun; avoid scorching afternoon sun. Morning sun will be to the East, and afternoon sun will be to the West. Or, you can keep the pot indoors on a sunny window sill. Water the pot when the soil feels dry; do not overwater. Mist the leaves a few times a week if the plant is growing in a dry environment.
Let the plant grow to about three times its size before harvesting.
Once the plant has grown significant shoots, you can begin harvesting. Do not harvest more than one third of the green leaves at one time, and allow it time to recover and grow more shoots before you harvest again. When the plant grows larger, transplant it into a bigger pot or into the ground so that it can continue to grow. Once it is big enough, you can propagate rosemary again!
Rosemary (Rosemarinus officinalis) is a beloved herb that has been used in cooking and for good health for centuries. It has much research to back up its folkloric claims with antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, spasmolytic, wound healing, pesticidal, anti-diabetic, anti-depressive, stimulating and anxiolytic actions. It is a health tonic for the respiratory, cardiac, nervous, and digestive systems and also has research demonstrating capabilities as an immune stimulant, to reduce allergies, for weight control, to improve bone density, potentially cancer reducing, for alopecia, and more.
Click here to see a list of some of the scientific studies: Rosemary Research
It is quick and easy to brew a cup of fresh rosemary tea. Click here for instructions: Rosemary Tea
There’s rosemary – that’s for remembrance. Pray you, love, remember.
– William Shakespeare
By: Kathy Sadowski, MS in Aromatherapy, RA (ARC), NAHA and AIA Professional Member, LMT