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Growing rosemary from seeds in India

All gardeners,

Hello from India. I need a bit of help. I'm trying to setup a herb garden in my balcony and having some troubles. I had got a sapling of oregano, which after a lot of ups and downs, has finally stabilised. I somehow managed to grow Thyme (it is still quite slender and not lush), but having lot of trouble growing rosemary from seeds. I have tried umpteen number of times. Either the seeds don't break, or else, they break and grow a couple of inches and hen die off.

I live in Pune in West of India (close to mumbai). We have black and brown soil here, mostly like clay. I read the rosemary thrives in sandy well drained soil, and I have tried a mix of gravel too, but still no success with Rosemary.

Any inputs/suggestions?


Greener Thumb
Posts: 1706
Joined: Wed Oct 15, 2014 1:52 pm
Location: Woodbury NJ Zone 6B

Re: Growing rosemary from seeds in India

Rosemary is notorious for being slow to germinate (up to a month), and having low germination %, even with fresh seeds. Though I have never started the seeds, seems to me I recall from somewhere that cold stratification was suggested for rosemary.

I take it you have no access to a rosemary plant that you could take some cuttings from (the easiest way to start rosemary), or a produce market that sells it? Not an herb I've ever seen in Indian recipes, so I guess that's why you have to start from seed!

One thing I often do to speed up slow sprouting seeds (parsley, for one), or test seeds that just don't seem to be sprouting at all, is to use my seed sprouter. I soak the seeds overnight, then put them in the sprouter, and rinse a few times a day with water about 80ºF. Parsley sprouts in 4 or 5 days, compared to 2 weeks or more in a pot, and peppers often in just 3 days. Maybe cold treat them, then use a sprouter?

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Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 8:32 am
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: Growing rosemary from seeds in India

I have tried growing rosemary from seed. It took months to germinate and only a few and I used a lot of seed. It is much faster to grow rosemary from a cutting. If you can get fresh rosemary sprigs at the farmer's market you can root those. Try to keep the cuttings moist and in a cooler with ice. If you know someone who has a plant even better to root cutting within 30 minutes of cutting them. I bring a pot with moist rooting media and rooting hormone with me when I take cuttings from plants. I have better results that way.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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