rosemary bush with blue flowers

Fresh herbs are wonderful to have on hand when cooking. Rosemary is a must have herb for adding flavour for everything from roast potatoes and stews to cakes and biscuits. You’ll never need to use dried rosemary or buy expensive bunches from the store again once you grow your own. Find out how easy it is to grow rosemary from a cutting in a few simple steps.

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Why You Should grow Your Own Rosemary

While it might be convenient to buy dried rosemary in a jar from the store, it really doesn’t have the same flavour as fresh rosemary. It’s also not the most eco-friendly choice. If you do buy fresh rosemary bunches, they are usually quite expensive. You also don’t know how long ago it was picked or where it was grown, which could mean lots of food miles. Packaged herbs also often come with unnecessary plastic wrap.

Growing your own rosemary means it’s always on hand when you need it. Rosemary is a woody, hardy plant and is very easy to grow, even if you aren’t a green thumb. It also looks attractive, producing blue to even purple, pink or white flowers in season. and it smells divine.

pot of rosemary in woven basket with text "simple way to grow rosemary from a cutting"

How to Propagate Rosemary

The easiest way to grow your own rosemary is to use a cutting. If you already have rosemary in the garden, you can use your own. Otherwise ask a friend or family member or a neighbour if you can have some cuttings.

Step 1: From Rosemary Cutting to Roots

Simply cut 2 to 3 pieces of rosemary from a mature bush. It’s best to use established woody stemmed pieces. The cuttings should be about 10-15cm (4-6 inches) long.

Fresh rosemary cuttings on wooden board

Remove the leaves from the bottom 5cm / 2 inches of the cutting and place in a small glass or vase filled with water. It’s better if there are no leaves in the water as they may rot and start to smell.

Place the glass or vase in warm spot with filtered light. I like to use my kitchen window sill.

Fresh rosemary cuttings in small glass vase of water on wooden board

Now it’s time to wait. You will need to top up the water in the glass or vase periodically. It’s also a good idea to pour out the water and refresh with clean water 1 to 2 times a week. Check the cuttings for signs of root growth after a couple of weeks. Be patient, as it can take up to 4 weeks for the cutting to produce enough roots for planting.

Rosemary cuttings in water with new roots
Root growth on rosemary cuttings after 4 weeks

Step 2: Potting Out

Once you rosemary cutting has established a good number of fine roots, it’s time to plant. Place the cutting into a small pot filled with good quality, pre moistened potting soil and water in. Care for your new rosemary plant as you would any newly established plant, with regular watering and a suitable water soluble fertiliser. Let the soil dry out between watering, as rosemary doesn’t like soggy roots.

You can keep your plant in a sunny spot inside or outside. If outside, choose a sheltered sunny spot. You may need to protect from birds uprooting the new plant while it establishes stronger roots.

Your rosemary will reward you with steady growth and will be ready to plant into a larger container or garden bed.

Rosemary cuttings planted in small pots

What to do with Your new Rosemary Plant

Don’t have much garden space? The great thing about herbs like rosemary is that they don’t take up a lot of room. You can plant rosemary in a small garden bed, but it is just as happy in a container. I am lucky enough to have both. I have two types of rosemary growing in terracotta pots as well as some prostrate rosemary growing over a rock wall near my kitchen door. You could also keep rosemary in a potted herb garden in a sunny spot inside on your kitchen window sill.

If you don’t have room for a herb garden, or even space on a balcony for a pot of rosemary, definitely consider an indoor herb garden. You can grow many different types of herbs indoors, provided you keep them in a sunny spot with enough light. This Barnyard Designs herb garden planter set is ideal – even better because it comes in soft mint green.

Potted rosemary plants also make a wonderful gift for friends and family. Gifting plants is a great way to reduce our environmental impact as well as give a thoughtful gift that keeps on giving.

And of course, pick fresh rosemary from your plant to use in all your favourite recipes. Rosemary is a resilient plant that will enjoy the regular trims and happily regrow.

More Green gardening ideas

If you are an indoor plant lover, make sure to read our post about how to care for your house plants while you’re away. Or for more growing ideas, explore our collection of plants with green flowers to grow in your garden (or containers).

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