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Effect of different sizes of stem cuttings and substrates on the propagation of rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis L.)

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Rosemary presents difficulties in sexual propagation because it does not flower easily and, when it does, the seeds present low viability. Likewise, the rooting of stem cuttings of rosemary is slow. The objective of the present work was to evaluate the effect of different sizes of stem cuttings and substrates on the propagation of rosemary. Three stem cuttings sizes of 6, 8 and 10 cm were taken from the apical part of one year old plants and rooted in 4 different substrates: black soil (SN), burn rice husk (CAQ), mixture of burn rice husk and black soil in 1:1 volume proportion (M), and Canadian peat moss (TRC), making a total of 12 treatments with 4 repetitions each one. The dry and fresh weight of stems and leaves were affected mainly by the substrate type. The size of stem cuttings affected proliferation of roots and stems. The TRC had a significant effect on fresh and dry weight of rosemary plants. The Canadian peat moss accumulated a high moisture contents making the highest relative water content (CRA) in this substrate. The fresh and dry weight of roots was influenced mainly by the size of stem cuttings. The best size of stem cuttings in rosemary propagation was 10 cm in all substrates. The substrate M was the second best one and had a significant benefit when compared with SN and CAQ.
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Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) is a woody, perennial herb with fragrant evergreen needle-like leaves and a lovely fragrance. Leaves are finely chopped and used to flavour dishes. Rosemary propagation is done through either seed or stem cutting. Seeds of rosemary are rarely used in propagation as they are slow to germinate, taking 3–4 weeks before emergence with a poor germination rate of 10–20%. Propagation of plants from cuttings,enables a large percentage of the cuttings to produce roots quickly, and using a rooting hormone increases the success rate of creating new plants. This study was initiated to determine the best growth media and growth hormone for use in rosemary propagation. The trial was laid out in a two factor randomized complete block design (RCBD) with four replications. Four growing media (1) vermiculite, (2) top soil/manure/sand mixture at ratio 10:3:1 (top soil mixture), (3) top soil only and (4) sand, in combination with four growth hormones (i) Baby Bio (Roota²), (ii) Roothom H, (iii) Anatone 3 and (iv) control were evaluated. A significant difference was observed with the use of growth hormones, with the highest mean root number observed in the sand media in combination with Roothom H (48.73) while the control (no hormone) gave the lowest in vermiculite (9.34). Roothom H gave the best performance in mean root numbers across the four media treatments and therefore is recommended to stimulate root growth in cuttings.
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