How to Propagate Bog Rosemary (Andromeda polifolia)

How to Propagate Bog Rosemary (Andromeda polifolia)

This guide is meant to teach you how to propagate bog rosemary (Andromeda polifolia) and hopefully make it easier for you to sell them at your own nursery.

Hardiness Zone: 2-8

Soil Type: Acidic, Organic Peat, Sand, Muck

Water: Above Average, Plant in Wet Spot

Exposure: Sun, Partial Sun, Shade

Bog Rosemary (Andromeda polifolia) is a zone 2 perennial shrub most commonly found growing in bogs within the boreal forest range.

It is a low-lying evergreen shrub that bears pink bell-shaped flowers during spring. It makes for a very desirous ornamental shrub if you can manage to give its specific growing conditions.

Bog Rosemary leaves are linear to lance-shaped, with curled inward, entire margins (smooth). They grow on the stems in a simple structure with an alternate arrangement.

Cool Fact: Bog rosemary leaves contain andromedotoxin, a powerful poison that keeps them safe from hungry animals.

Bog Rosemary naturally propagates by rhizome and by a sort of natural layering where low-hanging branches spreading far enough will root and grow into ‘neighbor’ bushes.

Best Ways to Propagate Bog Rosemary

Method: Ground Layering

Andromeda polifolia is a low-lying shrub that naturally spreads by ground layering.

A good way to propagate bog rosemary is to plant it deeper than normal into the ground. When you do that, its branches will be closer to the ground and have more chances of rooting naturally.

Alternatively, you can select the longest branches and bury them underground yourself. Hold them down with a landscaping pin and eventually, they will root. Afterward, you can separate the branch from the main plant and transplant it.

Ground Layering

Method: Sowing

You can also propagate bog rosemary by sowing seeds. In acidic compost, sow seeds from February to March, in a lightly shaded propagation bed. Surface sow, so only slightly cover the seeds.

Within a month or two, the seeds will germinate. At this point, you want to immediately separate them into individual pots.

Keep them in a well-ventilated area since the seedlings are prone to damping off (getting a soil-born fungal disease).

Online, buy bog rosemary seeds at profseeds.

Method: Cuttings

You can also take cuttings from half-ripe wooden stems. Cut them at about 5-7cm each with a heel from July to August.

Finally, frame your cuttings in shaded propagation beds. Since bog rosemary grows slowly, cuttings can take up to 15 months to grow into respectable plants.

How to Ready Bog Rosemary for Sale

After your propagated plants are large enough for sale, transplant them into a pot with well-drained, moisture-retentive, lime-free, humus-rich soil.

Keep them in a shaded area of your sales showcase.