Time For A Few Herb Cuttings!

It’s time for a few herb cuttings!  Surely you didn’t think it would be too long before the plant propagation posts began again?  The warm weather is here – early – but the plants have responded and it’s time to take some stem tip cuttings.  My wife finds these posts boring and floats right by but hopefully you won’t. 😉

Recently I took a few herb cuttings. Herbs are extremely fun and useful plants to have around the garden.  Aside from being fairly pest free they sure can add some oomph to the dinner table.  The first flush of growth is spring is one of the best times to take cuttings of many perennials – including herbs. Stem tips are exactly what the word sounds like – cuttings taken from the tip of the stem.

I took cuttings this weekend from three easy to grow and root perennial herbs: catnip, lemon balm, and mint.  I also took some cuttings of a thyme.  The thyme cuttings were very woody and so I would classify them as hardwood cuttings rather than stem tip.  It’s something of an experiment with no guarantees but it roots easily with layering and I thought I would give some cuttings try.

Catnip, Mint, Lemon Balm, and Thyme Cuttings

The mint roots so easily that after two days it already has roots in many places.  The catnip should root within a week and the lemon balm just over a week – as long as my cuttings weren’t taken too early.  My lemon balm hasn’t flushed out a whole lot yet and and I probably should have waited a week.  It’s a good self-sower too so if you have a plant that went to flower last year look around for baby lemon balms this spring!

To take stem tip cuttings count down from the tip 3-4 nodes and make a cut with a clean pair of scissors or pruners.  I try to make sure my cuttings have about 2-3 inches of stem with them which means I may have more than 3-4 nodes depending on the plant.  Mint will propagate with much less!  Then I take the cuttings and put into a container with wet sand.  For these herbs I didn’t use any rooting hormone, it’s not necessary all the time.  Many plants will root so easily on their own that adding rooting hormone is rather pointless, catmint and mint especially!

My next round of cuttings will probably include salvia and artemisia.  What will you be propagating this spring? 

4 thoughts on “Time For A Few Herb Cuttings!”

  1. I do not have any herbs left to take cuttings but I am going to try to start some from seed this year. I usually buy small plants for my outside container so this will be an experiment.


  2. Plant propagation boring?! I find it very exciting! I love hearing about your propagation experiences and have been anxiously awaiting new posts on what you are taking tip cuttings of. I've learned so much and gained so much confidence about propagation from you. Thanks!

    Yesterday, I took cuttings of catmint, veronica, and chrysanthemums. Verbena cuttings today. Many more plants to propagate over the next few months: creeping phlox, aster, geranium, ice plant, sedum, hydrangea, etc. etc.

  3. I swoon over plant propagation. I can't get enough of it. I've just spent the better part of three hours reading about how others propagate their plants and I already know how to do most of it, I just enjoy reading it and seeing the pics.

    I'm getting ready to root some Rosemary cuttings, geraniums, impatiens, coleus, salvia and anything else I think will root that I've over-wintered in the greenhouse.

    Have you successfully rooted petunias, or Mandevilla vine or bougainvillea?

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