We can start rosemary plants from seeds or cuttings. There are pros and cons in each method. If you plan to cultivate rosemary at a large scale, starting rosemary plants from seeds costs much less than buying tens of thousands of fresh stems. However, it is a time consuming method that has a certain degree of risk, and needs high quality management in order to ensure plant uniformity. On the other hand, starting the plants from cuttings definitely costs more, but you can have true to type plants and be ready to plant them in the field in less time.
Growing Rosemary from Seeds
If we choose to start from seed, we should keep into consideration that rosemary seeds have naturally low germination levels (about 40-60%). Consequently, we must use much more seeds per hectare than we use in other herbs. If we use individual pots, we normally sow 3-4 seeds per pot. On average, there are about 23.000 rosemary seeds per oz. (800 rosemary seeds per grammar). We need about 0,35 oz. (10 gr) of seed for 4.000 – 5.000 plants. We can start our seedbed indoors early on spring or fall. It is beneficial to fill the seedbed or the pots with a good seed starting potting mix. We fill a container and we place the mixture of seeds in the surface. Many farmers mix the seeds with river sand. We just place the seed mix in the surface of the soil and we cover lightly with soil. Seeding must take place in the surface. If we plant the seeds two inches (5 cm) deep, most probably they will not germinate. We water the pots frequently, keeping the soil moist but not soggy. The days to germination are 15-25, but we will normally be able to transplant 10-12 weeks after sowing.
Growing Rosemary from cuttings
If we choose to start rosemary from cuttings, as a rule of thumb, we have to prefer new shoots, as the woody stems have difficulties in rooting. We carefully select young rosemary stems that are 3 inches (8 cm) long. We then remove the leaves at the bottom half of the cuttings. We place the cuttings in a soil mixture of sand, peat moss and commercial potting mix. We may have to add a root hormone. The key from now on is to keep the soil moist but not soggy. We water the cuttings every other day, until the roots begin to grow. Once the stems have developed roots, we can transplant them in the field.
Rosemary Planting Distances and number of plants per hectare and acre
Regardless of whether we started our plant from seed or cuttings, we transplant our rosemary plants during late spring-early summer. We normally transplant in rows that will have an average distance of 3 feet (91 cm). The distances between the plants inside the row range from to 12-24 inches (30-60 cm). On average, we have 40.000 to 60.000 plants per hectare or 16.000 to 24.000 plants per acre. (1 hectare = 10.000 square meters = 2,47 acres).
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5.) Sowing and Planting Rosemary, Seeding Rate and Number of Plants per Hectare
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