Propagation of Herbs is often misunderstood and can become unnecessarily confusing. There are many ways in which to propagate your favorite herbs, although what works for some herb plants may not work for another. This is where the process of herb plant propagation can become very confusing for the beginning herb gardener. Not only are the processes confusing but the reason for each can be vastly misunderstood.
The typical methods of herb plant propagation are outlined in the following:
Plant Herb Seeds
Herb Plant Propagation from Root Cuttings or by Stem Cuttings.
Herb Plant Propagate by Root Division.
Herb Plant Propagation By Layering.
The most natural form of herb plant propagation is to Plant Herb Seeds. To we humans this is the most familiar method of herb propagation.
For cuttings to grow into healthy herbs they must be taken from healthy herbs at the proper time, set into a quality rooting medium, and kept moist and warm until the cuttings set roots and grow.
There are a number of different types of cuttings, but for the herb gardener the best types of cuttings are:
Leaf Cuttings - to a much lesser degree.
Propagation by division of the herb's crown is often done to perennial herbs such as Chives or Oregano in fall. Some herbs are best divided in early spring, before new growth begins the new season.
Dig up the herbs to be divided and rinse away the soil from the crown and roots. With a very sharp knife divide the crown taking care not to damage the attached roots.
Carefully separate the pieces of crown, with roots attached to each, to form individual smaller herb plants.
Before the roots dry out, replant the individual new clumps into pots or directly into your herb garden.
Stem layering is a slower but safer method of cloning certain herbs. A woody stemmed herb such as Rosemary is a perfect example of an herb that is easily propagated by layering.
If the herb plant is in your garden, simply place a rooting medium filled pot next to the parent herb.
Select a branch from the parent and bend it down to the surface of the rooting medium in the pot.
A few inches from the tip of the branch, remove the leaves or needles and score the bark from a half inch of the branch.
Place the scored section of the branch on the surface of the rooting medium and weight it down with a rock, stake or any other secure method.
Without disturbing the branch, keep it watered for a few weeks until you notice new growth from the tip.
Snip the original parent branch at the base of the new herb plant and either leave it in the pot or replant the new herb in your chosen location.