Grow A Rosemary Plant From The Grocery Store

Here's the thing – every time I buy rosemary at the store, I tend to forget about it in my fridge until it's too late to bring it back to life. What am I supposed to do with so much rosemary in so little time? When I cook, I only need a little, not for all the recipes, so the rosemary withers and dies, and the cycle repeats. 

Recently, I stumbled upon a video online featuring someone growing their own rosemary directly from the packed rosemary bought at the store. I thought it was such a cool idea, so I decided to share how to go about it! In this blog, we'll explore the best techniques, essential tips, and the magic of nurturing your own rosemary plant, transforming your kitchen into a haven of fresh herbs.


Getting Started with Rosemary Cuttings:

While rosemary cuttings can be propagated at various times of the year, the best chances of success are during the optimal seasons. The prime time to start your rosemary adventure is in early spring or late spring, just as the growing season begins. When selecting a candidate for propagation, choose a healthy rosemary plant from your local supermarket, ensuring it has fresh leaves and exhibits signs of new growth. Cuttings taken from the lower leaves tend to work exceptionally well for successful propagation.


Creating the Ideal Growing Environment:

You gotta set the stage for those rosemary cuttings to thrive. Rosemary's pretty chill to grow, but you still need to throw in a bit of effort.

  1. Sunlight: Rosemary loves the sun, so find a sunny window or a spot in your garden that receives at least six hours of direct sunlight daily.

  2. Soil: Opt for well-drained soil to prevent issues like root rot. Good drainage is key to the success of your rosemary plant.

  3. Containers: If you're using smaller pots, make sure they have drainage holes. For larger plants, consider larger containers to provide ample space for root development.


Propagating Rosemary:

Here are the steps you gotta take to prep your grocery store rosemary before diving into anything else!

  1. Taking Cuttings: Use sharp scissors to take softwood cuttings from the rosemary stems, ensuring they are about 4-6 inches long.

  2. Removing Leaves: Remove the lower leaves, leaving only a few at the top. This encourages new shoots to emerge.


Planting and Care:

If you're more of a visual learner, check out the numerous videos available that can provide a deeper understanding of the process. However, it's genuinely straightforward. I've broken down the steps for you, so you can just follow along from here.

  1. Rooting: Dip the cut end in rooting hormone for the best results.

  2. Potting: Plant the cuttings in well-draining soil or a potting mix. Ensure good contact between the soil and the cutting.

  3. Watering: Water sparingly, and be cautious of excess water, as rosemary is a drought-tolerant plant.

  4. Slow Release Fertilizer: Rosemary generally prefers lean or slightly nutrient-poor soil, and excessive fertilizer can lead to issues like reduced essential oil production and diminished flavor in the leaves. However, slow-release fertilizer provides a controlled and gradual release of nutrients over an extended period.

Nurturing Your Rosemary Plant:

Alright, we've covered all the steps. Now, let me guide you on keeping it alive, especially if you're planning to have it indoors, which is a solid choice. However, if you choose to grow it outdoors in a raised garden bed, you get the advantage of full sunshine and pollinators in the area.

  1. Sunlight: Provide enough light, and consider using a grow light if you're growing rosemary indoors.

  2. Air Circulation: Ensure good air circulation to prevent issues like powdery mildew.

  3. Temperature: Rosemary thrives in warmer climates, but it can survive colder winters with a little protection, since it is a Mediterranean herb.

Harvesting Your Bounty

For harvesting, it's crucial to allow your newly grown rosemary to establish itself in the first year. Follow this by pruning woody stems in the second year to encourage fresh growth. I know it's tempting to start harvesting immediately, but this approach gives it more chances of staying alive. Additionally, you have the advantage of rosemary being a perennial plant, so once it's established in your garden or pot, it will thrive. 


Just make sure it has enough space to stretch. When ready, you can harvest the rosemary for dishes, learn how to make cold-pressed rosemary oil, or even create rosemary water for hair growth!

Final Thoughts 

Growing your own rosemary plant from grocery store cuttings is a fantastic and sustainable way to enhance your kitchen garden. With a little maintenance, good drainage, and plenty of sunlight, you'll soon enjoy the bountiful harvest of this herb!

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