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Herbs: In October which propagation technique for starting indoors?

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Forum: HerbsReplies: 4, Views: 50
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West Newton, MA

October 18, 2012
7:05 AM

Post #9308752

I am in Boston (Zone 6B) and have been growing a few herbs this summer that I'd like to continue indoors so I can harvest them for cooking during the winter. I have a good grow light system set up. I'd like to get a sense of the advantages and disadvantages of each of the various propagation techniques (considering it's October!): stem cuttings from my outdoor plants, root division from the outdoor plants, or start new plants indoors with seeds? I have thyme, oregano, marjoram, rosemary and lavender growing directly in the garden (not in pots). Thanks much for any thoughts.
Murfreesboro, TN
(Zone 7a)

November 6, 2012
6:00 PM

Post #9326499

I don't have experience with all of those, but with oregano (and therefore, probably marjoram), you can just put a shovel in and dig out a clump with roots. The plants on the outer edges may die, but the middle of the clump should be good. I've never tried rosemary, but with snow for insulation, mine have survived -5*F. Sorry, no experience with the other herbs. I did start mint and basil from herbs for cooking from the farmer's market - just trimmed leaves from the bottom of stems and stuck in a glass of water until they rooted (change water every day or so), then potted up. Good luck. Nothing like the smell of fresh herbs in the middle of winter!


Magnolia, TX
(Zone 8b)

November 7, 2012
5:39 AM

Post #9326760

I would go clump relocation and seed- make sure you get a pot deep enough for the roots to drain well, I don't get decent roots from the water methods and transferring to dirt in winter afterwards seems to hurt the plant more than it has time to recover from.
West Newton, MA

November 9, 2012
5:43 PM

Post #9329280

Thanks for the answers. Just to make sure I understand: "clump relocation" is what I often see referred to as "root division"? Digging out an outside portion of the plant and its root?

I'm slowly learning the terminology...


Magnolia, TX
(Zone 8b)

November 10, 2012
2:05 PM

Post #9329795

Yup, root division on stuff like herbs, not sure, but I THINK root division on an amaryllis would be more like quartering the bulb leaving roots on each part and then you have 4 amaryllis. My herbs aren't rows, or flower box sections, they reseed and spread from the first 4" pot I poked in ground until they cover many feet of space, I take a chunk out every so often, but it is hard to tell where with our mild winters...I am too tired tonite for the brain to find anything but my pillow I'm afraid. Good luck.

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