Unusual Ways To Use Rosemary That Goes Way Beyond Cooking
Growing Rosemary for free
One of the plants that can easily be grown for free is rosemary. You will never have to buy a new plant every year, or starting the plant from seeds, but, instead, you can grow it from simple stem cuttings.
You just need to look for an established mother plant and then plant the new rosemary in containers. You can keep it indoors in winter and outdoors in summer. It is a fact that the rosemary that you plant from cuttings will mature faster than a plant started from seed. In fact, it will become a good size after a few months of growing and nurturing.
Believe it or not, you will have a clone plant looking exactly like the mother one, with the same disease resistance, same flavor and growth. In case you wondered, a single plant won’t be ruined after a number of cuttings you have done. It will stay healthy and looking fresh.
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) is a perennial herb in USDA Hardiness Zones 8 or warmer. This perennial can be planted in a garden and usually grows 4 feet tall and spreads around 4 feet wide. Growing it in a container will help you to bring it in if you are gardening in a colder zone. Keep it outside during the summer, but protect it during the winter. During the winter it is best to put it on a south-facing windowsill and patiently wait for spring when it will flourish again.
How to Grow Rosemary and Other Perennials from simple Cuttings:
1.Select new shoots from the mother plant:
It is quite important that you choose only healthy stems with fresh growth. You will recognize them by their green color and being quite flexible. Whenever you can, avoid the older stems, which are brown and woody.
Clip the stem using sharp scissors, around 5-6 inches, measuring from the tip towards the base. Don’t worry too much about the measurements, as long as you take enough stem that will be good for rooting as well as being tall enough to catch some light in order to grow. If you please, you can cut some extras in case the process of rooting fails.
3.Be careful where you cut:
Take a cut right above or below the point where you know that leaves attach to the stem. This is quite important because leafing and branching points of the plant are made up of the so called meristematic tissue. This tissue, if you remember from your biology class, has important cells responsible for the new growth of the plant. In fact, the tissue is the origin spot of the new stems, leaves, flowers, and roots. The tissue between branching and leaf points in the center is quite different (somatic tissue) so be careful.
4.Prepare a 50/50 mixture of vermiculite and perlite:
Stir and add water so that it becomes wet. This sterile mixture will bring enough moisture and also allow drainage, preventing bacteria or fungi at the same time. Also, some plants may propagate well in garden soil or compost, so feel free to use that one as an alternative to experiment and grow the plant.
5.Remove the leaves:
Now you need to get rid of the leaves from the bottom half of the stem. They will come off very easily, in the case of rosemary. If you are dealing with other types of perennials, you may need to pinch off leaves. After removing the leaves, you can dip the stem in rooting hormone (liquid seaweed). This is optional.
6.Put the stem in the mixture: Place the stem gently into the mixture up to where there are still leaves.
7.Find the perfect conditions: The cuttings should be not exposed to direct sunlight, but they need warm climate to survive.
8. Maintain humidity and warmth:
In order to make a mini greenhouse, cover the cutting with a simple plastic bag or a mason jar and also leave a little air to circulate so that warmth is kept. You can also prop up the plastic bag with pencils and remove the cover when temperatures get higher than usual.
9. Maintain the moisture of the soil: Water at least once a week, depending on the temperatures.
10. Cutting should be tested for 3-4 weeks: After 3-4 weeks, check whether the plant survived and if there are roots growing out of it. If it failed, the cuttings will be brown and shed needles.