Rosemary, the fragrant, Mediterranean herb that everyone loves, learn how to grow your own in this handy article!
Rosemary is a woody and versatile herb with fragrant, evergreen leaves similar to hemlock needles. Growing rosemary is quite beneficial as the leaves and oil of rosemary are also used in making medicines.
Rosemary, also scientifically known as Rosmarinus officinalis, is a member of the mint family Lamiaceae. Its extracts have several benefits such as being hepatoprotective, containing antifungal chemicals, antioxidants, and antibacterial agents. It is commonly used as a spice, and its oil is used in food and beverages.
Rosemary plants require a minimum of around 20°C to thrive and produce a good amount. If you live in a region with a colder climate, you can consider planting rosemary in containers inside where it will be warmer.
How to Plant Rosemary
When growing rosemary from cuttings in your back garden, firstly ensure the temperature of the soil is around 20°C. The best time to plant rosemary from seeds is in the late spring to avoid all frost.
There are different varieties of rosemary available in the market. Some of them grow tall and bushy while others tend to trail, and the colours of flowers vary between purple, blue, or white. Make sure you choose according to your requirements and conditions.
Plant your seeds or cuttings in well-drained soil. It is essential to strip the leaves from the lower section of the cutting to avoid the stem rotting. Now, you need to sow the seeds or cuttings into a small pot filled with ⅔ coarse sand and one-third peat moss. Make sure you position the pot in a sunny place, but not in direct sunlight.
Keep watering the growing rosemary cuttings regularly to help the roots form. After the roots have formed, it is time to shift the plant to the outdoors, unless you’re keeping them inside for temperature reasons. Rosemary is good at adapting to most growing conditions once they have passed the vulnerable stage.
How To Care For Rosemary Plants
Make sure you don’t overwater the plant as rosemary grows well in drier soil. Rosemary is not a herb that needs fertilising, however, adding a little lime to your soil wouldn’t go amiss.
If the outside temperature is cold and the temperature is 0°C or below, then consider bringing the plant indoors because the branches can get damaged with heavy snow in winters. You can wrap the branches in cotton if you wish to leave them outdoors.
Pruning is important with rosemary as the bushes tend to grow quite large and take a lot of space in your garden. You’ll need to cut the branches to help them retain the desired shape and ensure they don’t spread out too far.
How To Harvest Rosemary
You can harvest rosemary all year round as it is an evergreen plant. This is excellent, you can pick sprigs of rosemary leaves as per your requiremenst.
If you want to freeze rosemary, you can place them in the freezer using storage bags. You can also store the leaves in airtight containers and this can keep rosemary fresh for several months.
Got a whole load of rosemary and want to try something new? We’ve found some amazing new recipes to try with your bumper crop!