Monday, May 18, 2009

How To Propagate Rue Herb Plant From Cuttings

Rue is an herb plant that you probably won't don't hear about very often because its rarely used in most Western recipes. However, it has a very distinctive aroma that I associate exclusively with Chinese green bean sweet soup, so it is a must in my household (since we're big on that particular dessert soup). The plant itself is a hardy perennial with lovely greyish green lobed leaves, and it forms bright yellow clusters of tiny blooms when flowering.

It is a very easy plant to propagate. One plant is more than enough for us since our Rue plant is very big and bushy now after many years of growth. However, fellow green bean sweet soup lovers often wish to have a Rue plant of their own, so we like to share ours by cuttings.

Here's how you can do it too.
On a healthy Rue plant, find a young green stem with at least 3-5 leaf nodes. Do not choose old, woody stems.
Cut under a leaf node. The roots will grow out from the node and base.
Keep your cuttings fresh in water while you work. I am starting to find this to be quite important, especially as the weather gets warmer.
Trim off all the lower leaves, leaving just the top two sets.
In sterile potting soil, make a deep hole with a pencil or a dibber. Insert a cutting into the hole.
Use your pencil or dibber to push soil towards the cutting so that it is buried.
Water the cuttings very generously. Place the cuttings into a bright location with indirect sunlight. Ensure that the cuttings do not dry out. While they do not have roots, they cannot obtain much moisture from the soil so they will lose moisture from the leaves quickly. The plants should take root in about 4 weeks.
Happy Gardening!
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9 comments:

Steph said...

great tips! does Rue need full sun? I don't have much luck with herbs, since I only have morning sun

carol said...

thanks for this. very helpful!

Anonymous said...

Hi, I am a very happy Rue grower of many years. I have never used it in food, but have many plants in my yard as host plants for Giant Swallowtail and Black Swallowtail caterpillars. They LOVE it! As for propagation, I seem to have gazillions of baby plants all over from seeds popping. I give them away, and feel really guilty when I have so many I must pull them out and discard. So, if the time is available, you can just let them have at it!:-) And don't forget, make sure you have a few planted for the butterflies:-) Have fun.

Betty said...

thanks for the tips. I know why it didn't work before because I always cut at the brown stem. I love this plant and the smell. Will try again

Betty said...

Can u tell me how long do u leave the cutting in water before planting?

Mytutorlist.com said...

Hi Betty,

Thanks for your comments!

You don't have to leave the cuttings in water. You just keep it in water while you are working so that they don't dry out before you have a chance to plant them. Also, the stems get a good drink of water so that they can last for longer before they grow roots.

Good luck!

Regina Dale said...

Do you cut back your rue in the winter/spring?

Picaro said...

That's is exactly why I want to use it. I bought a foot plus size Rue, had a wild growing citrus that probably was dropped from Orange seeds in my community and I saved it from being cut from the mower one more time and less than a year ago is now a healthy two footer. At the same time a friend had given me hundreds of Florida native Wild Lime seeds that are now am inch and half tall. I placed this combination close to a flowering Mexican Sunflower and bingo. Yesterday I saw a Giant swallowtail flying around them and this morning I found what seems to be two golden small size eggs on the tiny Wild Lime that seems to be a favorit for the Giant.

Am puzzled, because on the Rue, I have also found some eaten up on two of the top branches and when I look closer I found some interesting hundreds of eggs or tiny insects surrounded by what appears to be webbing. And I can't tell what they are. They look like black aphids. Am seeking information on what this tiny black eggs surrounded by webs. Do you know what they maybe? Am in Miami, Florida. I was looking to propagate the Rue. But I want to know what these black things are. If they are butterfly eggs I don't want to prune the Rue until they are finish munching. If they are Black Swallowtail eggs, I have parsley and other herbs in the family I can transfer them to. I just didn't know whether Rue had any pest I need to look out for. Any help is appreciated.

Carlos

Picaro said...

That's is exactly why I want to use it. I bought a foot plus size Rue, had a wild growing citrus that probably was dropped from Orange seeds in my community and I saved it from being cut from the mower one more time and less than a year ago is now a healthy two footer. At the same time a friend had given me hundreds of Florida native Wild Lime seeds that are now am inch and half tall. I placed this combination close to a flowering Mexican Sunflower and bingo. Yesterday I saw a Giant swallowtail flying around them and this morning I found what seems to be two golden small size eggs on the tiny Wild Lime that seems to be a favorit for the Giant.

Am puzzled, because on the Rue, I have also found some eaten up on two of the top branches and when I look closer I found some interesting hundreds of eggs or tiny insects surrounded by what appears to be webbing. And I can't tell what they are. They look like black aphids. Am seeking information on what this tiny black eggs surrounded by webs. Do you know what they maybe? Am in Miami, Florida. I was looking to propagate the Rue. But I want to know what these black things are. If they are butterfly eggs I don't want to prune the Rue until they are finish munching. If they are Black Swallowtail eggs, I have parsley and other herbs in the family I can transfer them to. I just didn't know whether Rue had any pest I need to look out for. Any help is appreciated.

Carlos