Rosemary is a strongly-scented, highly flavorful herb. Its evergreen-like leaves give off the smell of a pine tree. The flavor echoes this with an added taste of lemon. It is excellent when fresh, and you can learn how to grow rosemary from cuttings to keep this excellent herb on hand for your meals.
Rosemary is a perennial shrub that belongs to the mint family, and this shrub usually grows up to a height of 1 meter and in rare occasions even up to 2 meters. This plant is a native to the Mediterranean coast. This plant thrives on sandy, dry soils, and warm climates. What this plant cannot tolerate places that are humid, has excessive rainfalls, and low temperatures. This plant is closely related to oregano, thyme, basil, and lavender to which they are also used as spices as well.
What is rosemary used for?
You can use rosemary to enrich the flavor of what you are cooking. Rosemary can also be used strictly for its aromatic properties. Some people add it to homemade beauty products as well.
When cooking, rosemary has a very strong flavor and a little bit goes a long way. It works particularly well when paired with meats such as poultry, pork, and beef. It can also be used in stews, soups, and casseroles. You can mix it with butter or olive oil to be used on vegetables or in the frying pan. It can be infused into salt, honey, vinegar, and sugar. It can also be added to beverages such as lemonade
The rosemary plant does not only enhance the flavor when added as a spice in dishes, it also enhances the aroma of the food as well. The sweet aroma it gives, especially so when added as spice in meats, is sweet and one can’t help but salivate when your dish is served and rosemary is added into it. It can really wet a person’s appetite once they smell its scent.
The scent of rosemary is refreshing and provides a natural air freshener without added chemicals. It can be made into satchels for potpourri. These can be placed around the house and even added to the dryer to lighten up your clothes.
If you like to make your own cosmetics, try mixing it with salt and olive oil to make a healthy natural scrub for your hands or feet. It can even be made into an insect repellant! Add it to witch hazel to make your facial toner a bit different. When combined with lemon essential oil and epsom salts, rosemary makes a relaxing bath.
With all these benefits that have been stated, what stopping you from planting a rosemary in your pot or garden? If you are worried that planting a rosemary is complicated, I assure you with our guide we can make it easy and understandable for you.
How to grow rosemary from cuttings
Perhaps you have an established rosemary plant that you want to make fresh plants from, or maybe a friend gave you a sprig of their plant. Now you want to know what to do with rosemary cuttings. You might even wonder if you can propagate rosemary from grocery store herbs. These are all great ways to make new rosemary plants. It actually is faster to grow a rosemary from cuttings rather from a seeds.
If you are making your own cuttings, be sure to use nice sharp scissors for a clean cut. Ideally, the cutting should be about six inches long. Take the youngest stem you can find, as the older, woody stems will not take root easily. If you are using a stem from a friend or the store, make a fresh diagonal cut at the bottom of the stem. Although fresh is best, this will help you propagate rosemary from grocery store purchases. Ideally when clipping, clip the plant during the spring the season, because it is during the spring season the rosemary grows the best and healthiest.
Now you need to strip the leaves off the bottom half of the cutting, at least clip away about 1.5 inches from the bottom of the stem. When you are clipping the leaves off, make sure you are not tearing them, but instead just use scissors when doing it to avoid damaging the plant. This prevents them from rotting in the water or soil, whichever method you will be using next.
One benefit to starting the cuttings in water rather than soil is that you can see if they are growing new roots. Place the cuttings in a glass and put an inch or two of tepid water in the bottom. Set the glass in a location that is warm but not in direct sunlight. Change the water every few days, being sure to handle it gently. You should see roots start to form within a few weeks. The roots do not have to be long, just ½ inch will suffice for your needs. If nothing has developed within eight weeks, your cutting was not viable for one reason or another.
Once the roots have grown for a few weeks you can transplant the cutting to a pot. Prepare your pot with a sand and soil mix or dirt that is meant for cactuses. Make sure the soil is soft and moist. The rosemary plant needs a soil that has good drainage, so poke a thin hole in the dirt about four inches deep with your finger or a pencil to loosen the soil a bit. If the water is not drained properly out of the soil, it could cause the rosemary to die. Next, carefully place the cutting in the hole and gently pat the dirt around it. Water it some more and then move it to a location that is warm with indirect sunlight. Watch for new growth. Once it reaches about six inches in height it can be transplanted into a larger pot or a garden bed.
You can skip the glass step altogether if you have started from your own rosemary plant and you want to know what to do with rosemary cuttings. Place the cuttings in sandy potting soil in a small pot. Make small holes with a pencil and insert the stems up to the remaining leaves, and at least bury the rosemary about 1 in (2.5 cm) deep into the soil. Lightly press dirt against the edges and water thoroughly. Water the plant immediately after planting it to moisten the soil.
As is stated earlier, the rosemary plant thrives in climates that are warm. So find a spot where your rosemary plant receives about 6 of sunlight.
Growing the rosemary is just the start, you also have to maintain them as well. Just keep these tips in mind as the rosemary is still growing. First, you don’t have to water your rosemary too much and only water them every 1-2 weeks. Giving the rosemary too much water will only cause the roots to rot and even possibly drown the rosemary. Next, keep in mind to continually prune your rosemary, its always possible that some leaves rot or some get infected. The indication when there are problems is that brown or yellow spots starts to appear in the leaves. If you see these spots, just prune them out immediately.
After a few weeks, carefully turn the pot upside down and remove the soil to see if roots have established themselves. If so, they can be transplanted to a bigger container.
How to grow rosemary from seed
It seems there is plenty of information available about growing rosemary from cuttings, but perhaps you want to know how to grow rosemary from seed. The reason that this is done less often is because rosemary is quite slow to grow, and starting them from seed takes a long time. However, it is possible.
Fill your seed trays with light potting soil, sand, or vermiculite. Make sure it is well-drained and moist. Place seeds in each pod at a depth of one-quarter of an inch. Then sprinkle soil on top to cover them up. Use a spray bottle to mist the soil thoroughly and cover with the tray dome. It is best to place the tray on a heated seedling mat in a bright location out of direct sunlight.
Now you must wait for fifteen to twenty-five days for the seeds to germinate. Monitor the moisture and re-mist the seeds as needed. Once sprouts begin to form, remove the tray and water more regularly. They should be ready to transplant into larger pots once they reach about three inches in height.
Rosemary is an attractive herb with a refreshing smell and delicious taste. Growing your own rosemary is a great way to have easy access to this wonderful plant. Knowing how to grow rosemary from cuttings is the simplest way to grow your own, but you can grow it from seed if you are patient. Just keep working that green thumb!