Take advantage of the nice weather, and get out there and snip-snip-snip your rosemary and lavender. This will be our last best chance to get plants started for our Plant Sale on May 18.
Propagating Rosemary with stem cuttings
Rosemary cuttings are the most common way in how to propagate rosemary.
· Take a 2- to 3-inch cutting from a mature rosemary plant with a clean, sharp pair of shears. Rosemary cuttings should be taken from the soft or new wood on the plant. The soft wood is most easily harvested in the spring when the plant is in its most active growth phase.
· Remove the leaves from the bottom two-thirds of the cutting leaving at least five or six leaves.
· Take the rosemary cuttings and place it in a well-draining potting medium.
· Cover the pot with a plastic bag or plastic wrap to help the cuttings retain moisture.
· Place in indirect light. When you see new growth, remove plastic.
· Transplant to a new location.
Propagate lavender from hard or soft stem cuttings. Propagation of lavender from cuttings is easy and more likely to be successful than growing the plants from seeds. With cuttings, you can rest assured that your new plants will be exactly like the parent plants.
Taking Cuttings from Lavender
· Cut healthy, straight, vigorous stems for rooting. Choose stems with good color and no buds.
· Use a sharp knife to take a hardwood or softwood cutting measuring 3 to 4 inches long. Cut hardwood stems just below a bump that indicates a leaf node.
· Remove all of the leaves from the lower 2 inches of the stem and then gently scrape the skin off the bottom portion of the stem on one side with a knife. Set the cutting aside while you prepare the container.
· Fill a small pot with commercial starting medium or a homemade mix of half vermiculite or perlite and half peat moss, with a little bark added to facilitate drainage.
· Dip the stripped tip of the cutting in rooting hormone, if desired. Rooting hormone helps prevent the tip from rotting and encourages quick, strong root development, but lavender roots well without it.
· Stick the lower end of the cutting about 2 inches into the soil and firm the soil so that the cutting stands up straight.
· Cover with plastic to form a greenhouse-like environment for the cuttings.
· Softwood cuttings from lavender root in two to four weeks, and hardwood cuttings take a little longer. Check to see if the stems have roots by giving them a gentle tug. If you feel resistance, the stem has roots holding it in place. Wait several days between tugs as you can damage tender, young roots by tugging on them too often.
· Remove the plastic bag when the cutting has roots. Set the new plant in a sunny location and water it when the soil is dry an inch or so below the surface.
· Feed the plant with one-quarter strength liquid plant fertilizer once a week.
· If you plan to keep the plant in a pot for more than two or three weeks, transplant it into a larger pot with regular potting soil that drains freely. Commercial potting soils have plenty of nutrients to maintain the plants without supplemental feedings.
· Propagation of lavender from cuttings is easy and more likely to be successful than growing the plants from seeds. With cuttings, you can rest assured that your new plants will be exactly like the parent plants.