Propagating Your Own Herbs and Flowers

Introduction: Propagating Your Own Herbs and Flowers

This instructable shows you how to propagate plants. Plant cuttings were taken and put in sterilised cooled water, without any rooting powder. This took place in Ireland in early April and most plants rooted within 10 - 14 days. We did this for Elder, Rosemary, Thyme, Geranium and Sage.





Plant sources

Step 1: Preparation

Clean and sterilise your secateurs and secateurs.

Boil some tap water, place it in the jars and allow it to cool before putting cuttings in the jar.

Take cuttings from strong healthy side shoots which have no flowers, about 4 - 5 inches is best but on some plants such as Rosemary, I have rooted a side shoot of around 1 inch. Early morning is best. Ideally select green shoots although this is difficult for woody plants such as Thyme. Remove all lower leaves and put cuttings straight into water of around 2 inches in depth.

Keep cuttings in water in a moderately warm room but below 25C. You need to check the water every 2 - 3 days. You don't require rooting powder for the plants selected for this instructable.

Step 2: Rosemary

Rosemary is a very easy plant to propagate. Again, ensure that you avoid woody side shoots, Indeed, you should take the green minor side shoots of a woody side shoot and you can get an amazing number of cuttings from a single mature Rosemary plant.

Step 3: Geranium

Geranium is another very easy plant to propagate. Again, ensure that you avoid woody side shoots, and although you can't get as many cuttings from Geranium as say Rosemary, you can root individual Geranium leaves. However, you need to take great care when transferring the rooted leaf to a pot.

Step 4: Thyme

This is a difficult plant to root in water because it is difficult to get a non woody cutting. However, you can do it and the secret is to try a lot and be patient. It make take over 4 weeks and there is a risk that the base will rot during that period. Therefore, I tend to use less water for Thyme but there is a greater risk of it drying out.

Step 5: Elder

I added this plant as it is not usually seen as a plant you can grow from cuttings, and it's a tree (wonderful at that)

It roots very easily and grows well in pots. However, the tree can grow to a tremendous size so you need to have room.

As a supplement, elderflower also has diuretic and laxative properties, and is helpful in relieving constipation. Elderflower has antibacterial and antiviral properties, and may also alleviate allergies and boost the immune system.

Step 6: Some Considerations

I propagate the herbs for my own use. For example, I have Rosemary growing as hedges and in the herb garden.

Sage, Rosemary, Thyme and Oregano (which I haven't shown) have got great health benefits and we make wonderful Pesto from them.

As I said, this is great for self sustenance or to sell them if you so choose. The numbers are quite scary. You can propagate at least 100 Rosemary plants per season from a single mature plant. Geraniums take 2 weeks to root and after another 4-6 weeks you can get 3-4 cuttings from them, even more later in the season. Therefore, from our 3 Geranium cuttings, we can cultivate 50,000 after two years. see

The reason people do not achieve such prodigious numbers is that they let the plants dry out, put them in an inhospitable environment, let them die over the winter etc, or in most cases, they don't have a requirement for such numbers, particularly if they are not a commercial operation.

You need to consider how to overwinter your plants so that they are healthy the following season. Thyme, Rosemary, Geranium and Begonia are winter hardy plants in that they can survive a normal British winter. However, the enemy if Wind. I have lost all of these plants to the strong winds that we experience in Western Britain and to counter this, I have erected small Beech fences to protect them.

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