Cuttings, fragrant

One thing that I do every autumn as the first freezing temperatures are forecast is take cuttings of plants with fragrant foliage. I keep them in a jar of water in the kitchen window, just to have them available for an occasional rub and sniff.

Sometimes I get a bonus and the cuttings actually root, but my main goal is not to produce new plants -- it's the fragrance! This year I preserved only two different plants from my own garden this way, but one from my mother's as well.


Starting with the must-have every year: rosemary.

I took cuttings at two different times of this one, the first before the cold weather set in, and the second after we had already experienced freezing temperatures a few times. The second cuttings are not dying, but not rooting:

This doesn't surprise me, as the rosemary cuttings I took last winter (or was it during the growing season?) seemed to take forever to root, maybe a couple of months.

The first cutting though rooted so fast, and really needs to get into some soil:

My second must-have foliage fragrance is patchouli (Pogostemon cablin, isn't it?):

These cuttings were taken too late, once the plant was forming flower buds already. They still smell great, but I want more foliage, not blooms.

Only one of the two has formed roots, but I should plant it up and see what happens. Maybe I won't have to buy this one again in the spring!

Last up is Artemesia 'Tangerine':

This was a plant that I had in my garden and rooted a cutting and made a new plant to put into my mother's garden in the Chicago area. My plant has since died, as I believe a bamboo shaded it too much and it got smothered by some globe thistle. My mother's plant is thriving though, so I grabbed a cutting and since it has rooted...

...I should have it back in my garden again this year!

I don't consider this one's fragrance to be in the same class as either rosemary or patchouli, but it's a strange, strong aroma -- as most artemesias have -- that I don't know if I like. I'll let you know later this year after it's successfully growing and has more leaves that I can rub.

Do you have any favorite fragrant foliage that you preserve in the winter?


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Mark and Gaz  – (January 26, 2015 at 11:49 AM)  

Nice to see that you will be able to reintroduce that Artemisia again in your garden, and from the same genes too! There's an artemisia here called 'Lad's Love' that apparently makes a boy attractive to a girl (or another boy!) when rubbed on the neck...

I've preserved some Pandan leaves in the freezer, I'm not sure if that counts though :)

Salty Pumpkin Studio  – (January 26, 2015 at 5:18 PM)  

Alas, no rosemary indoors here this winter. It is my favorite for scents next to mint.

Anonymous –   – (January 27, 2015 at 7:33 AM)  

You've hit upon one of the things I most miss during the winter: touching and smelling my garden. What a great idea - I'm running outside now to snip some rosemary and lavender on this snowy day.

outlawgardener  – (January 28, 2015 at 12:56 AM)  

I miss the fragrance of basil in the winter and sometimes buy it at the grocery store to leave on the counter and smell. Rosemary is a favorite and fortunately, it is hardy here and can be rubbed year round outside. Mine is blooming as we speak! I don't see patchouli in the nurseries here but smelled a plant years ago and was in love with the fragrance!

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