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Rosemary - trouble getting it to grow from a seed.

 
Posts: 131
Location: Bellevue, WA
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Continuing in my herb garden series of posts.

The last couple of years I've tried to get Rosemary to grow from a seed and failed. Twice it never sprouted. Once it grew a little, and then just browned and died.

Rosemary is supposed to be pretty hardy, but it's difficult to get going. I use it so frequently in dishes, I'd love to have my own at home. Any tips on how to make my rosemary go? How much to water, etc.?

BTW, I am growing it inside, in a Southern facing window, potted environment.
 
                    
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Rosemary is mediterranean so drier soil and full direct sunlight is better. Excess water damages the roots. - intnt.

try first "sprouting" the seeds with a mason jar, warm water and cheesecloth then transfer to a drier soil. Transfer as soon as the green starts to show (seed by seed) Once it gets going it regrows every year without replanting.
 
steward
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I wonder if it is one of those seeds that needs scarification.
 
MJ Solaro
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Excellent advice, Alexis, I will give it a go. Got lots of mason jars sitting around.

Paul, scarification is when you cut the seed using acid or a knife or something, right? I've never done this before. What is involved?
 
MJ Solaro
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Okay, I found one good resource that recommends scarification with sand paper.

http://gardenhacker.blogspot.com/2007/02/seed-scarification-hack-sandpaper.html

But frankly, looking up "scarification" in google is a bit frightening. There's only so many pictures of mutated body piercings and self-inflicted scars I can take. 

I think I'm going to wait until you guys get back to me with some recommend methods... 
 
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Location: Orcas Island, WA
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According to "The Reference Manual o Woody Plant Propagation" (a book I encourage all of you propagators to get) the seed requires no treatment.

However, I would probably try to grow a cutting from someone else's rosemary plant. Here are the basic instructions for that (this would go for lavender too):

1. Find someone with a plant you like & ask to take a couple cuttings
2. Cut a piece 3 inches long  and remove the leaves from the bottom half
3. Prepare a ziploc freezer bag with about 3 inches of moist (not wet) sand in the bottom
4. Push the cuttings halfway into the sand and close the bag (perhaps leaving a small gap for air flow)
    Note: if you have rooting hormone or some water steeped in willow bark you can dip the cuttings in this first to encourage rooting)
5. Put it in a warm spot that gets partial sun (make sure the sand doesn't dry out)
6. They should form roots within a couple months. When they do transplant them to a well-drained medium and off you go.

Good luck!

Dave
 
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