The following are ways to increase your supply, other than by
seed, once you have established plants, whether they originated
in your yard from seed or as plants purchased from the nursery:
will want to divide a plant if it has become invasive or needs
rejuvenating. If the center of the plant dies out, leaving foliage
circling a "bald spot", it's time to divide to keep the plant
healthy and productive. The following can be divided: catnip,
Roman chamomile, chives, germander, lavender, lemon balm, mints,
oregano, garden sage, French tarragon, and thyme. In the course
of dividing plants, you must transplant them. The bonus by-products
of division are the resulting "new" plants divided off the old
clumps, which you can then transplant to another part of the garden.
spring before the plants start to re-grow, is the best time to
divide. This is because the foliage will not be spoiled by chopping,
moving, and moisture loss, and the plants will have time to reestablish
themselves during the growing season.
best tools for dividing are a sharp spade and garden fork, although
a round- or flat-headed shovel will do; the sharper the better
in order to make clean cuts to the roots. Start with a large-tined
garden fork and wiggle it down into the clump of foliage at the
point you wish to divide. Sometimes, especially if the soil is
loose and malleable, you can pull apart and separate a clump away
from the main clump with just the fork. It is also helpful to
use two forks, back-to-back, to tease apart the divisions. Fleshy
roots (horseradish and lovage) should be forked out, then sliced
apart with a sharp knife before replanting. Bulbous roots of chives
can be pulled apart or separated with a trowel.
woody-centered herbs, such as rosemary, you will need to make
a clean cut with a spade or shovel straight down through the foliage
and roots to completely divide the plant. If the center has died
out, cut shovel-width divisions of vigorous growth from around
the edges, and lift them out of the ground. Dig up and compost
the woody center. Subdivide your clumps if you really want a lot
of plants. Replant and water the divisions as soon as possible.
is a very easy way to propagate. At the beginning of the growing
season, choose a branch near the base of the mother plant that
is flexible enough to be bent to the ground. Strip the foliage
from the part that will touch the ground, about one third of the
branch from the top down. Bend a wire into a U shape and pin the
branch to the ground. Keep the soil moist until roots are set.
At the end of the season, cut the branch away from the mother
plant and plant it in its new location.
cuttings to get a lot more plants in the spring or take cuttings
in the fall to have plants over the winter. Choose healthy growth
that is mature but not woody (it still bends but is not too succulent)
and not in bloom. Cut stems 3 to 4" from the tips with a razor
blade or sharp knife. Strip the leaves and small branches to half
of each stem, and insert immediately into a moist, very light
medium, such as a ready-made soil-less growing mix. Some cuttings,
such as scented geraniums, root best if allowed to callus over
for 8 hours in a cool place. Do not allow leaves to touch or overlap.
Water gently to firm the soil around the stems, and cover with
a clear plastic bag. Set in bright light but not direct sunlight.
Mist the plants daily to maintain high humidity. Remove any dead
matter immediately. You can tell the plant has rooted when it
resists a light tug and when new growth appears. From cutting
to rooting should take between 2 and 3 weeks. At this point, remove
the covering and water normally for a few days before transplanting.
this handy table for quick reference: Click