How to Propagate Rosemary from Cuttings

propagating rosemary

Rosemary (Rosmarinus Officinalis) is such an amazing herb. It has that warm, unique eucalyptus and pine-like scent, making it a lovely addition to your herb garden. Over time, it grows and spreads like an evergreen shrub, which you can propagate from one rosemary plant and grow several more.

If you’re looking for ways to propagate rosemary, you’ve come to the right place! I’ll share simple, yet effective methods for you to grow rosemary from cuttings or by layering.

Rosemary Plant 3 Scaled


Why Propagate Rosemary Plants

There are a few reasons why you might want to propagate rosemary plants.

  • You create new rosemary plants for your garden: Rosemary plants are easier to grow from cuttings, so your garden will be filled with this bushy herb in a short time
  • It saves you money: Propagating rosemary allows you to expand your collection of rosemary plants without spending additional money on seeds or seedlings. I have a history of killing a rosemary plant. During late fall a few years back, I thought the only way of saving a new rosemary plant from any harsh winter conditions was to remove it from the ground, place it in a pot, then move it indoors to receive an adequate amount of warmth. Turns out I was wrong. Rosemary, being a hardy herb, can survive outdoor during winter. Since I love cooking with rosemary, I taught myself the art of propagation to ensure I always had some on hand.

When to Propagate Rosemary Cuttings

The best time to start new rosemary plants is by taking cuttings during the growing season (late spring to early summer) when the plant is not flowering.

Ways to Propagate Rosemary Plant

The best way to propagate rosemary depends on the resources you have available. Whether you have a large rosemary bush or a small plant, be sure to try one of these methods. The best part is that they are all very simple!

Propagate Rosemary in Soil

Image Showing How To Propagate Roemary In Soil Using A Plant Pot.

If you are using a growth hormone, you can plant your rosemary cuttings in a potting soil mix. It’s easier to root softwood cuttings taken from young rosemary stems, but you can take semi-hardwood cuttings in summer, too.

What you will need:

  • A sharp knife or pruners/hand shears
  • Potting soil mix
  • Pots or plastic containers
  • Growth hormone (optional)


  1. Using your pruning shears, cut a rosemary stem about 4 inches (10 cm) long
  2. Remove leaves from the lower half of the stem
  3. Dip the end of your cutting in a rooting powder or liquid (If you are using a rooting liquid, dilute it according to packaging instructions)
  4. Place the cutting in a pot filled with quality potting mix
  5. Water thoroughly and place in a warm position out of direct sunlight
  6. Keep the soil moist while your rosemary is propagating. You should start to see roots forming in about two to four weeks
  7. After about four weeks, you’ll have enough roots that you can transplant into a larger container or your garden

Rosemary Plant 1 Scaled


Propagate Rosemary in Water

A Pictue Of Rosemary Cuttings In A Glass Filled With Water, And A Pair Of Pruning Shears Lying Next T The Glass.

Propagating rosemary in water is an easy way for rosemary cuttings to develop root structure before you plant them in soil, especially if you’re not using any growth hormone.

What you will need:

  • A sharp knife or pruners/hand shears
  • Glass or plastic container
  • Water


  1. Take your cutting, ideally from the top growth of the plant. I try to take a stem that is at least 4 inches (10 cm) long. You want one with a few leaves at the top and no flowers.
  2. Remove the lower leaves from the cuttings, leaving only the top leaves
  3. Place the cutting in a jar of water
  4. Put the container in a sunny spot (I line up most of my cuttings on a kitchen windowsill) and replace the water every few days to keep it fresh
  5. Now all there is to do is wait for roots to form. After three to four weeks (occasionally longer), you should have roots forming on the stems.

Propagating Rosemary by Layering

Image Showing How To Propagate Rosemary By Layering With Two Stones Holding The Soft Branch Into The Ground To Develop Root Structure.

Another simple and effective way of propagating rosemary is by layering. Layering is a method of propagation used for plants that are too woody to take cuttings from.


  1. Select a long, flexible branch of rosemary
  2. Remove any leaves on the bottom half of the branch and gently scrape away some of the bark to expose fresh tissue
  3. Bury the end with the exposed tissue deep in the soil
  4. Apply a layer of soil over this section, but leave all other leaves above the surface
  5. Ensure that the stem is held firmly in place in the soil with a stone or similar
  6. Water well and keep moist until roots have formed
  7. Separate from the parent plant and plant elsewhere


Propagating your own rosemary is a fun and easy thing to do. Once you’ve gotten the hang of propagating the plant in a way that suits you from the methods above, growing this herby bush will be a lifelong pleasurable pursuit.

If you have any suggestions or want to share your experience propagating rosemary, please leave them in the comments section below.

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