Olive Herb – How To Propagate The Edible Shrub

If your garden neighbor admires the olive herb and asks you for a little plant, you can easily fulfill his request. After all, if you know how effortlessly propagate the Mediterranean plant, you will not shy away from the promise. We will tell you possible methods. Choose for yourself which one suits you!


Four promising methods of propagation
At the end of many paths awaits a young olive herb. For its propagation is possible through:

  • Cuttings
  • Division
  • Seeds
  • Cuttings

Propagation by cuttings

In spring, olive herb can be propagated by lightly woody cuttings that have not yet flowered:

  • cut 15 to 20 cm long shoots from the mother plant
  • remove the foliage from the lower half
  • get propagation pots (7,00€ at Amazon*) with drainage holes
  • fill with nutrient-poor soil, add some sand
  • put 3-4 shoots in each pot
  • place warm and light
  • after approx. 14 days transplant rooted young plants into their own pots
  • Until next spring, a young olive herb still needs to overwinter warmly indoors. Meanwhile, its substrate is kept slightly moist throughout, but not fertilized. On a frost-free day in the spring, you can plant the olive herb in the bed.

Division of the hardy shrub
If, as desired, the olive herb has received a sunny location and the modest care, it will grow more and more in size. This opens us the easiest way of propagation: division.

  • dig up the mother plant in the spring
  • divide with a spade
  • at least one shoot must remain on each part
  • remove damaged roots
  • sprinkle wood ash on wounded areas
  • plant in new location and water

When planting, keep at least 30 cm away from new plants. After rooting, the plant will quickly regrow in width. An application of compost to start the new existence has proven effective.

Sowing purchased or collected seeds
Santolina viridis, as its botanical name is, forms seeds after flowering. After drying, store them until February, when sowing starts. Retailers also offer seeds of this herb.

  • Put seeds in a bag filled with sand
  • stratify at 5 to 7 °C for about 4 weeks
  • either in the refrigerator or outside
  • then sow in potting soil
  • do not cover with soil, only press down lightly
  • prick out young seedlings
  • plant out as soon as the plants are strong enough
  • Lowering as a fourth alternative

Holy weed, also a common name for olive weed, can be propagated as follows if flexible shoots are present.

  • Score the shoot with a knife
  • then bend flat to the ground
  • cover with soil, tip should stick out
  • fix the shoot with stones if necessary
  • wait until rooting has taken place
  • separate the young plant from the mother plant and replant it

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