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Along with thyme, marjoram, oregano, basil and lavender, rosemary is one of the most popular Mediterranean kitchen herbs and beguiles with its characteristic scent. Rosmarinus officinalis can be planted in Central Europe without any problems, as long as the heat, light, location and substrate are right. If you are the proud owner of the mint family and want more specimens, you should multiply them yourself. Cuttings of the spice plant are very suitable for this, as they form roots quickly and effectively.

Grow rosemary

sorts

If you don't yet have rosemary, you can find out more about the individual varieties beforehand. It doesn't matter which strain you choose, as they are all propagated the same way. However, the varieties have different properties that you can take advantage of. There are hardy, decorative or extremely aromatic varieties that provide a lot of variety. Here is a brief overview of some of the varieties that are most commonly offered:

  • 'Salem': Rosemary classic par excellence, light, decorative green, not winter-hardy
  • 'Gorizia': variety with very long, aromatic leaves, conditionally hardy to -10 °C
  • 'Santa Barbara': known for the pretty flowers, grows creeping, not hardy
  • 'Rex': robust, offers high crop yields, not hardy
  • 'Boule': grows spherically, very decorative in pots, not winter-hardy
  • 'Prostratus': grows creeping, ideal for hanging baskets, not hardy
  • 'Majorcan Pink: thrilled by a splendor of pink flowers, not winter-proof
  • 'Veitshöchheim': hardy to -20 °C with winter protection
  • 'Blue Winter': hardy to -20 °C
  • 'Hill Hardy': hardy to -22 °C with winter protection
  • 'Arp': insensitive to frost, hardy rosemary variety down to -23 °C without winter protection

In addition to these varieties of Rosmarinus officinalis, you can also choose pine rosemary (bot. Rosmarinus angustifolia), whose leaves have a similar aroma to pine nuts. This frost-sensitive species provides variety in the kitchen.

tip: You should never try to plant rosemary plants from the supermarket or from the florist in the garden. These are usually frost-sensitive varieties that would ruin all your work after propagation.

time

The timing of propagation is completely independent of the strain selected, as they all present picturesque white to blue flowers at the same time. You should therefore start multiplying from May after the lamiaceae have faded. This is the ideal time, because from then on it needs a pruning anyway in order to be able to sprout vigorously again over the summer so that it can bloom again next year. You should never cut off larger shoots over the winter, otherwise the rosemary will suffer from the cut. Since the growth of the plant runs on the back burner over the winter period, only leaves should be plucked off.

tip: You should definitely harvest the flowers and use them in a salad or sprinkle them over a dessert. The flowers are edible and have a sweet taste that will make for a highlight in the kitchen.

utensils and materials

If you want to use the cuttings to propagate the plant, you need suitable utensils and materials for this to succeed. These will not only help you prepare the individual cuttings, but effectively root them ready for planting in the final pots. The following list gives you an overview of the necessary utensils and materials:

  • growing substrate
  • Cultivation pots (number depends on the amount of cuttings)
  • 3 wooden sticks per pot, for example kebab skewers
  • transparent foil pouch
  • alternatively tall indoor plant

When choosing the wooden sticks, make sure that they are not too thick and have a length of at least 15 centimeters. They ensure that the foil bags do not fall on the shoot and thus change their position in the pot. The following applies to the pot quantity: one pot per cutting. Each cutting needs its own pot to root effectively.

tip: Cultivation containers such as those used for seeds are not really suitable for propagation via cuttings. Since the rosemary cuttings are so long, the lower part, which is essential for rooting, would not be sufficiently covered in a classic growing pot and therefore would not be able to absorb enough moisture.

Propagating Rosmarinus officinalis: instructions in 10 steps

Once you have the necessary tools and supplies together, you can start propagating the rosemary. The following instructions will help you and explain in detail how to proceed:

1. Choose mother plant

You start by removing the rosemary cuttings that will be used for propagation. Choose only healthy specimens for mother plants that are not weak, diseased, or infested with pests. Likewise, you should not use rosemary plants suffering from drought stress as a basis, as they should only be pruned carefully.

2. Cut cuttings

Take a pair of sharp scissors and cut off shoots eight to ten centimeters long. When cutting, be careful not to cut into the old wood. In most cases, this forms no or only a few leaves and can also be recognized by the slightly thicker diameter. Check with your fingers which part of the shoot is soft or hard and cut off the shoots at the transition, i.e. a slightly woody area. These are used for root formation, while new shoots and leaves sprout from the unwoody part.

3. Expose root area

Remove the leaves from the bottom of the cutting. This must be exposed in order to be able to develop roots in the potting soil. Simply pluck the leaves and the cutting is ready to be planted in the substrate.

4. Plant cuttings

Fill the pots with sufficient growth substrate. As described above, only one shoot per pot so that the cuttings have enough space for rooting. Insert the shoots directly into the center of the jar until the defoliated part is completely gone.

5. Place wooden sticks

Now insert three wooden sticks into each pot. It is best to place these as a triangle around the plant. Place them in such a way that they are definitely stuck in the ground and cannot fall over.

6. Casting

Water vigorously so that the substrate is moist but not wet. Simply pour off excess water in the saucer so as not to flood the future rosemary.

7. Increase humidity

Next, put the transparent foil bags over the pot so that they lie on the triangle of wooden sticks. The foil ensures high humidity, which the rosemary needs to develop roots.

8. Location

Place the pots in a location with the following characteristics:

  • Light requirement: bright
  • avoid direct sun for a long time
  • warm

The best location is either indoor greenhouses, conservatories, greenhouses or gardens that are sufficiently warm.

9. Care

Water regularly over the next time, because the cuttings must not dry out. You do not need fertilizer at this point in the care.

10. Repot

When new shoot tips are formed, it is time to place the rosemary in pots with a suitable substrate for adult rosemary. At this point in the development of the cuttings, with the proper care, they will have established roots that will make repotting possible.

After repotting the cuttings, continue with the known care of the plant. You can plant the specimens in the garden after two years in warmer regions and after three years in the rest of Germany if you have chosen a hardy variety.

tip: Propagation by cuttings is ideal to protect rosemary from senescence. If you thin out the plant regularly, the amount of old wood is reduced and the plant remains young and vital, which is also noticeable in the kitchen through the aroma.

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