[Market-farming] rooting rosemary cuttings

Kathryn Kerby kakerby at aol.com
Mon Apr 11 16:50:20 EDT 2016

I had something of a plant emergency over the weekend.  A dearly departed
friend had a magnificent healthy rosemary out in her yard, and I had talked
to her husband about taking cuttings from it before he removed it from the
landscape.  I was even trying to come up with a way to safely remove the
entire plant and replant it here.  So imagine my dismay when we showed up at
the house on Saturday and found that he'd already hacked off all the
branches that morning, tossed them on the yard waste pile, and saved me one
limp sprig.  <sigh>  I fished all the branches out of the yard waste pile
and brought them home and I'm going to try to take cuttings anyway.  


Ideally I would have taken a cutting, put it right into rooting hormone and
then either into water or into moist soil.  I've been trying to figure out
about how best to proceed given that they were cut 48-72hrs ago.  It's been
in the 40's to 60's here the last few days, with moderate humidity, so maybe
they haven't dried out yet?  I was able to get some of the branches and/or
cuttings into water within a few hours of being cut, but most of the
branches had to wait at least a day or two before getting any water.

So, my questions:

1.       Should I even bother trying to take cuttings from the branches
which didn't get water for 24-48hrs?  I can always just "harvest" those
sprigs as herbs instead.

2.       For the cuttings which I did get into water right away, some of the
branches were a lot longer than the recommended 3" - 6" lengths.  I was
planning to cut them back to that ideal length, then maybe soaking them
overnight and then dipping in rooting hormone prior to planting. Would that
help restore some of the water to the cuttings, and give them a better

3.       I did read one online source about starting rosemary cuttings in
water, and changing the water each day.  Would that perhaps be a better
approach for these cuttings, since they didn't get into water right away?


Any suggestions would be welcome.  I really wanted to propagate that plant
into as many cuttings as I could, so seeing those branches laying there on
the yard waste pile was quite a blow.  I hope it's not too late to get some
cuttings to root.

Kathryn Kerby

Snohomish, WA

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