I read that rosemary requires good drainage, so I tried sprouting it from seed in sand. It didn't work at all.

Just looking at this sand, it doesn't look like it has good drainage to me. It gets totally waterlogged even with a small amount of added water and takes forever to dry. Is it the wrong kind of sand? I just dug it up from the local playground.

  • 2
    If you're going to grow a plant from seed, you should be using sterile starter soil or, in the UK, seed and cutting potting soil. Sand, once wet, remains solid and wet for quite a while, not to mention that where you got the sand from was hardly a sterile source. Buy some proper medium to grow the seeds in. Bear in mind also that the germination rate for rosemary seeds is notoriously low - new plants are usually produced vegetatively
    – Bamboo
    Commented Feb 4, 2018 at 18:08
  • It seems like a practical thing would be to buy a small plant as they become available in spring. If you time it right , you can use some prunings for roast lamb or chicken. Can you get enough sun in your house for rosemary ? Commented Feb 6, 2018 at 0:35
  • I buy seeds when I can as a matter of principle to fight the clone wars. Case in point: the banana. When you clone too much, all hell breaks loose. Commented Feb 6, 2018 at 0:45
  • I'm kind of putting the rosemary under a desk lamp and hoping for the best lol. But no, I'm really not. Commented Feb 6, 2018 at 0:46
  • Not getting enough sunlight that is. The lamp is on all day though. Commented Feb 6, 2018 at 10:09

1 Answer 1


Sand arrives at playgrounds already full of dirt - ours always had clay in it, which is terrible for drainage - only thing it would have grown was dirty clothes. .... If you want to grow in sandy medium, go to the hardware or home store and get a little bag of cactus soil. It does really drain! If it has to be sterile, spread in a pan and bake in the oven for say 3 hours at 300 degrees. ....... There are many plants that are commonly only grown vegetatively (and others that ought to be!) I get mad at the supermarkets' only selling "mint" - they can't be bothered with peppermint vs. spearmint, and yet the flavors are vastly different. It turns out it's not economical to spend the time planting and nurturing cuttings. Mints don't come true from seed, but growers insist on using seed and then just sell generic "mint" as though their customers are clueless. ..... I do think the suggestion to use potting mix is good - it's formulated to be kind to tiny roots - just be careful not to get it wringing wet. You can tell by its color whether you need to water yet or not. And you may yet succeed in making a new plant. I've done the impossible sometimes in my life without knowing it was impossible. (On the other hand, I've finally quit beating my head against the wall of difficult seeds, since it turns out there are other parts of horticulture were I can actually get something done. I buy my rosemary and bay plants, but grow basil and chives myself, and many flowers. And I propagate my own peppermint, thank you.)

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