How To Grow Rosemary by Propogation

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In this article, you will learn how to propogate rosemary from cuttings.  

Rosemary, basil, oregano, and thyme are all popular Mediterranean herbs that can grow well in Singapore's climate. They are also expensive so why not grow them at home and have a constant supply available?

Although it is possible to grow rosemary from seeds, it can be challenging because germination is tricky and not guaranteed. For this reason, propagation is a much easier method.

Getting Started - Planting Materials

Planter pot/container: Choose a pot made from any material. It doesn't really matter. What does matter is that it has good drainage holes. Rosemary doesn't do well in poorly draining soil. And since draining is important, make sure you have a good saucer so you don't wet your floor! 

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Soil: Pick a well-draining mix that does not hold onto moisture for too long, allowing for efficient root respiration. A sandy, gritty mix (similar to its native environment) such as a succulent mix does really well. Or create your own using coco peat with perlite or sand (30/70 percent ratio, respectively). Avoid mixes with added fertiliser.

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Propagation - Stem Cutting

The most common method of growing rosemary is propagation because they are a reliable and faster method. Stem cutting is a method of propagation which is easy.

To start, pick cuttings from an existing rosemary plant which you like - important factors are aroma and quality of the rosemary - so you know you will be getting an identical growth to the parent plant.

Choose a young stem - look for flexible green stems as opposed to woody brown ones. With a pair of pruners or sharp scissors cut 10- to 15-cm sections down the tips of the stem.  

Next, strip the leaves from the bottom two thirds off each cut stem, leaving five or six intact at the top.

To get the stems to root, plant each cutting 5-6cm deep in a multi-cell tray using your well drained potting mix. A multi-cell tray is good to get multiple stems to root at the same time.

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Water well and set in a location that receives indirect light and keep the potting medium evenly moist, but not saturated.

After a few weeks, check for rooting by pulling gently on stems. If the stems feel tight and can't be removed easily, it is a good indication that roots are forming.

You can now move the pot/s to a location that receives 4-6 hours of direct light daily. 

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Keeping Your Rosemary Plant Healthy

Water your plant deeply, as needed but do not over water. When watering your rosemary, make sure any excess water drains out. On hot days, you may need to water it every other day while on rainy days you may need to water it once every few days. A good way to tell if your rosemary plant needs watering is to feel the weight of the pot. A very light pot means it needs watering.

Remember to use your rosemary. Pruning helps the rosemary to grow new shoots.

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Every two or three years, you’ll want to either repot your your rosemary into a larger container, or remove the root ball and trim the roots to prevent it from becoming root bound, and to keep it on the small side.

A rosemary plant’s health starts to decline quickly when the roots aren’t efficiently drawing moisture and nutrients up from the soil.

On occasions, you might spot powdery mildew on your rosemary plant. This is a common problem when the humidity is too high and there is no adequate airflow (a common problem when growing your rosemary indoors).

Another problem is root rot which can occur in cases of overwatering, or if plants are potted in containers with poor drainage.

Will You Take Up The Challenge?

Growing rosemary doesn't take much time or effort and it is a wonderful herb to have in the home. Besides, it produces a wonderful aroma that calms the senses. So take up the challenge and start a small rosemary garden in your home.

1 comment

  • Hi Sakina, glad to find a gardening blog written for Singapore climate. Can I plant rosemary together with sweet basil? Do they have the same soil requirement?


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