Rosemary propagation

I have tried many times to propagate rosemary.

It’s so abundant – here and in the Pacific Northwest. I don’t really need to grow my own rosemary, but I want to. I want a rosemary bush in a pot that I can prune into a topiary ball.

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There are dozens of articles online that tell you how to grow rosemary from cutting. Each article has slight variations, but in general: cut a piece of rosemary just below a leaf node; strip the lower leaves off; stick it in loose, well-draining potting soil +/- rooting hormone.

I’ve tried doing this a handful of times, and all but one attempt failed. I’m not sure what I was doing wrong the other times….could have been just bad luck?

These are cuttings I started last summer

Some articles say to cover the cutting and pot with a plastic bag to create a greenhouse-like effect. I may have done that the one time I was successful (I can’t remember), so maybe that is the ticket.

The first signs of success last summer
How it’s looking in late April

Now what do I do with this mangy pathetic-looking bush? I’m tying it to a support post to encourage it to grow upwards and create a thicker stalk. I’ll also slowly clip off the lower branches as it gets bigger and stronger.

I have no idea if this will work (and it probably won’t), but fortunately, there is plenty of rosemary around to take more cuttings, and I can try and try again.

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