Last summer I took some cuttings of a rosemary bush in the garden.  I didn’t do anything sophisticated with them, I stuck nine of them in a pot of multi purpose compost and left them to it in the cold frame. More by luck than judgement they have rooted quite happily so today I moved them into individual pots. 

Ready to pot on

A couple of the sprigs are looking a bit the worse for wear but in general they look good.

I took them into the potting shed for the next stage. I emptied the pot out to see what was what. All the cuttings had roots. Interestingly, the one in the middle had the best roots of the lot, perhaps because it had more room. There is advice that says we should pop cuttings around the edge of a pot but I’m not sure why that is, it might hark back to the days of terracotta pots. On the basis of this evidence, I’m going to continue to ignore that advice I think. 

Rosemary cutting with root system.

I potted them all up in 9cm square pots. I might have got away with using 7cm pots but although they would have fitted in, the cuttings seems outsized for those pots.

New home

I put a layer of compost in the pot, made a little well for the roots, plonked the cutting in and topped the pot up with compost. I have added a covering of vermiculite for neatness and to make it harder for moss etc to take up residence. 

Freshly rooted cuttings need a good feed, I’ve used a higher than normal concentration of tomato feed, about 3x normal. I’ve just sat the pots in a tray and poured the liquid feed in to the tray.

As a general rule, potted on cuttings should go back to the same environment as they were in whilst rooting, in this case the cold frame. Once they’ve had a good drink I’ll remove the tray and leave them in the cold frame for a while.

If they grow on happily I will take the opportunity to grub up two woody rosemary bushes in the borders to make some room, and have a couple of new ones in patio pots instead, as part of our kitchen herb supply. The rest will go to other homes.

I’ll be back later this weekend with divisions, an easy propagation technique. 

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