Rosemary seeds are tricky to germinate and grow into adulthood. However, propagating rosemary from seed is a rewarding process that connects you to your plant in a way which cannot be matched by a nursery grown seedling.
Step 1: Purchase Seeds and Consider Container Gardening
Purchase your rosemary seeds from a reliable nursery that has a large selection of seeds in stock. In the gardening community it is a widespread belief that a nursery with an extensive seed selection will have the most viable seeds.
Since rosemary seeds are fairly difficult to germinate, and the seedlings are slow to grow at first, growing the herb from seed is a time-consuming process. Starting herb seeds is typically a slow process that requires daily monitoring in combination with patience in order to get the seeds to germinate and begin to grow. It's best to germinate and raise your rosemary plants in containers until they are mature enough to survive in nature.
Container gardening gives you the power to control every aspect of a plant's growing conditions. You have the freedom to move the plant in or out of the sunlight and your home, shielding the tender plants from frost or overexposure to the sun. Although you can raise a healthy rosemary bush by planting the seeds directly in the ground, container gardening is highly recommended.
Step 2: Prepare Containers for Planting
Acquire four or five 3-inch tall pots and fill the bottom half inch with gravel. Gravel is essential for drainage and is an important element for seedling health. Fill the remaining space in each container with a growing medium composed of 20% sand and 80% fast draining potting soil. Use an organic potting soil that's equipped with sufficient fertilizer to feed your plants for at least three months.
Step 3: Plant Seeds, Thin and Plant Seedlings
Sprinkle four or five rosemary seeds into each of your containers, making sure that the potting soil is moist. Place the pots in an area of your home or yard where they will receive partial sun. Check on the pots every three of four days, misting the topsoil when necessary.
In time, you will need to eliminate all but one of the seedlings that emerge in each pot. Choose the fastest growing and healthiest sprout. The rosemary should be grown in its container for at least six months before being transplanted outside. Planting seedlings is an easy process which should be executed in the same manner as one would plant a seedling from a nursery.
Uses of Rosemary
Rosemary is a fragrant herb that requires minimal care and grows into large and bushy plants. The needles of the rosemary plant can be harvested for potpourri, or to use for culinary applications. The needles may be used fresh off of the plant, or they can be allowed to dry for future use. Rosemary is a desirable plant for many reasons and is often considered a gardener’s favorite herb.