Spring is finally here (yay!) I love the change of season, the freshness in the air, the little green buds everywhere, the daylight lasting just that bit longer each day. Walking to work this week I saw the previously bare grass along the footpath strewn with tight buds of snowdrops and daffodils getting ready to bloom. I also love having fresh herbs – on a different but not wholly unrelated topic. I cook a lot and fresh herbs make such a difference, but can be expensive to constantly buy. So, with the oncoming Spring why not start a little windowsill herb garden? Then I can welcome the change in weather from my very own kitchen AND have delicious foods at my fingertips. One of the easiest and cheapest ways to get your own herbs is from cuttings.* You can of course buy seedlings or already developed plants from nurseries and/or the supermarket but they can cost a bit more and I find growing your own much more satisfying. Rosemary is a common and versatile herb in cooking and is also a great beginner plant for new gardeners as it’s low maintenance, hardy and long-living. It also smells great 🙂
- Secateurs or sharp kitchen scissors/knife
- Glass/ jar
- Plant pot with drainage hole
- Potting mix/soil
- Rooting hormone (optional)
- Choose a healthy plant to take your cuttings from (mine are from a generous neighbour’s thriving bush). You don’t want the cuttings to be too woody or they will take a lot longer.
- Pull off the leaves at least one third of the way up the stem.
- Dip the ends of the rosemary cutting into rooting hormone (not necessary but it does speed up the process, I don’t usually do this but lots of people I know swear by it).
- Pop your cutting in a glass of water and place in a sunny spot. In a few weeks you should begin to see roots coming from the bottom of your cutting. I felt like mine took forever to get roots but just as I was ready to give up, they rooted all over the place. My neighbour does this all the time (she has a little garden stall at the market) and she thinks the rosemary roots quicker if the cutting is resting on the bottom of the jar, not floating in it. Also, be sure to change the water every four or five days and keep the water level below the leaves on the stem.
Once you have a strong root network established you can plant your cuttings in pots and watch them take off and get nice and bushy. Good luck and happy growing!
For another easy and lovely gardening project check out my post on growing an avocado plant from a pit.
*Not all herbs can be propagated from cuttings, check before you try.
**This method of propagating also works perfectly for lavender cuttings.