Easy How to Propagate Rosemary

How to propagate rosemary in the cool seasons right from the garden in easy to follow steps that offer success with almost every cutting.

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How to Propagate Rosemary

Propagating is one of my all-time favorite gardening activities and I love to begin during the late fall through about April.

Reason being is that our weather cooperates beautifully.

For those of you who live in much colder climates this DIY would be best to begin towards early fall or late spring.

I tend to steer away from propagating in the summer because with higher temperatures it’s difficult to keep the soil moist in container planting.

Begin propagation with amazing soil

Begin Propagation with Amazing Soil

Always begin propagating with amazing soil that’s loaded with nutrition.  This base can come straight from the garden.

I’m pulling dirt from my blackberry beds; this was established a couple years ago using natural material and today it’s incredible.

Sometimes I feel like a broken record but I’m telling you, good soil is everything and a garden is absolutely nothing without a strong foundation.

Knowing how to maintain that base is even more important.

To learn about soil prep check out my book, Startle Garden Now.


Begin propagation with amazing soil

Choosing and Establishing the Container

Next, we want to choose a container.

Size will depend on how many clippings you plan to propagate.

I went with this fun metal container Robert got me a few years ago and began with drilling holes in the bottom for drainage.


Terracotta pots, wood planters or just 6 inch plastic containers would all work perfectly.

Then we want to begin filling with natural material, like leaves, a little direct compost and that amazing soil.


NOTE: If you don’t have amazing soil remember you can use an organic mixed purchased from nurseries.


Begin propagation with amazing soil

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Clip Rosemary Cuttings for Propagation

Now here’s the fun part, this is where the project comes together.

Once the container is set up take it over to the main plant you’ll be cutting from.

My Rosemary bush was propagated from our farm and I have to say it’s done amazing here and exploded with new growth over the summer.

  1. Remove stems about an inch from the base of the main plant using clippers.  I love my ezkut hand shears.
  2. Remove the greenery from the bottom of those cuttings and take note that rosemary has a woody stem.
  3. Grab a sharp knife, strip the woody layer two or three inches from the bottom and insert into the soil.
  4. You can use root hormone but it’s not necessary.  (I never use it)
  5. Now you wait and see which stems take root.

The waiting period can take anywhere from 30 to 60 days without using root hormone.  Soil needs to remain moist and keep in mind that some of these stems will dry out.  If that happens just remove and compost, it happens.

I love to propagate this time of year because the soil remains moist with little effort and the majority of these stems will stay fresh while new root growth is forming.

It’s so exciting!

I hope you enjoyed this little tutorial for propagating new rosemary plants.  It’s really easy and something you can implement with a variety of herb plants.

Gardening is all about the soil friends, remember a strong foundation is everything.  Discover Startle Garden Now Here.

How to Propagate Rosemary


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  1. Christine says:

    Like Patti we can’t keep rosemary in the garden over winter. But I always root a few in pots in the fall so we have it to cook with all year long! Definitely one of my favorite herbs!!

    1. Carole West says:

      That’s a bummer and odd to me because growing up in WA state my grandma had a beautiful rosemary bush but she did plant it in a very protected space.

  2. Patti says:

    Rosemary is a wonderful herb. We can’t keep it year round here because it gets too cold. Once in a while it will over winter though. I still buy it every year for the garden but I so admire those who are able to grow it big enough for the beautiful blue flowers.

    1. Carole West says:

      Your climate is alot like where I grew up (WA State) My grandmother planted her rosemary next to her shed and it did amazing. When it snowed or got really cold for weeks she would cover it. I wouldn’t be surprised if that plant is still growing to this day. It was there most of my life and grew into an amazing shrub with a very thick woody base. I remember her sending me out to get cuttings for her awesome red stew sauce. (Recipe coming in new book) Anyways you may just need to plant it where it can also get some additional protection and direct sunlight.

  3. daisy says:

    I’ve never propagated rosemary before, but maybe I should. I would like to create a rosemary hedge around part of the vegetable garden. Thanks for the idea!

    1. Carole West says:

      Absolutely – my original plant from the farm was too big to dig up and bring with us so I propagated and now I’m doing it again so I can take those new plants with us when we move on. This is really one of my favorite gardening activities and your climate right now is perfect for it.

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