Skip to content

Propagating rosemary: Cuttings or in a water glass, we tell you how to grow the popular herb

Rosmarinus officinalis, the evergreen Mediterranean semishrub of the labiates family, which grows fragrant, ennobles our dishes and brings healing benefits, is an asset to any home. We have useful tips on how to propagate rosemary at home. Instead of always having to buy the herb from the supermarket when you need it, this way you’ll always have a fresh, fragrant and refreshing looking supply at home. This works quite easily and even if you are an inexperienced gardener, you can do it.

Propagate rosemary: in a water jar by division.

Rosemary propagate from mother plant young shoot

Instead of painstakingly growing rosemary from seed, you have the option to propagate it simply by division. After all, germinating a rosemary seed can be difficult and present you with challenges. Growing rosemary by dividing the plant also has several advantages.

Earlier harvest

A plant obtained by division will grow up faster than one you grow from seed. Rosemary seeds have a low germination rate and take a long time to germinate and grow, whereas a divided plant will grow up in just a few months. This gives you an earlier harvest opportunity and allows you to enjoy your rosemary sooner.

Just like the mother plant

Always fresh rosemary at home

The plant you obtain by division will be exactly like the mother plant in its characteristics. Because it is, so to speak, its clone. Thus, it will hold the same characteristics in terms of taste, disease resistance or growth.

A whole kitchen window full of plants

A mother plant can provide several cuttings at once , without you running the risk of harming the mother plant. So you can grow multiple cuttings and have an entire kitchen window full of fragrant rosemary plants that release their beautiful fragrance when touched.

This is how it is done

Rosemary propagate by division shoots select

And this is how you can take rosemary cuttings from an already growing mother plant and grow new plants. You can then plant these in flower pots that you can place indoors in the winter and outdoors in the summer.

Choose a new shoot from the mother plant.

Rosemary find suitable shoots from mother plant

Locate a young, healthy shoot within the mother plant . Make sure the stem is green and flexible. Avoid brown, woody stems, as these are older and less suitable for the purpose.

Cut the cuttings

Rosemary stems multiply easily at home

Take sharp scissors and cut off about 15 cm of the young shoot. Remove several shoots at once, if it happens that one or more shoots do not form roots.

Pluck off the lower leaves

Grab the freshly cut young branch and pluck off the leaves above the cut, leaving about 5 cm of the stem exposed.

Put the rosemary twigs in the water

Rosemary propagate in water until they take root

Take a glass and fill it with water that is at room temperature. You should not shock the branches with water that is too cold or too hot. The freely plucked piece of the stem should be in the water. Do not put the jar in direct sunlight and change the water every few days. This will prevent the stems from rotting by regularly changing the water in which the oxygen has been depleted. Depending on the temperature, the rosemary stems should thus form roots within a few weeks. At lower temperatures, it may take longer. At the latest, however, within 4 – 8 weeks the cuttings should have formed roots in any case. If a branch should have died, you can recognize this by the fact that it turns brownish and its needles fall off. As long as this is not the case, it is alive and you can still have hope.

Plant cuttings as soon as roots have developed

Rosemary propagate planting cuttings

Your cuttings are ready for planting when about 4 to 6 roots are visible, about 1.5 cm long. Use a sandy soil mix that allows water to soak in well. You can also use soil that is suitable for cacti. Take a 10 cm pot for each cutting and fill it loosely with soil. Use a pen to make a hole about 7 – 10 cm deep and carefully insert the cutting. Be careful not to damage the tender roots in the process.

Care of the cutting

Rosemary plant proper care

Gently dig the soil along the stem and then water the plant. Place the newly planted rosemary plant in partial shade. Avoid direct sunlight until the root and the entire plant have stabilized. After this, the plant will be happy to be in direct sunlight for 6 – 8 hours a day.  Keep the soil moist until you can see new growth. Allow the plant to grow a bit before harvesting for the first time. It should have grown about 15 cm tall, then you can harvest branches as needed. Tip: Rosemary grows very slowly. Therefore, it is recommended not to harvest more than a third of the plant with one cut. We hope you enjoy propagating rosemary and your beautiful, fragrant plants.