Growing Rosemary

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Rosemary is a perennial evergreen shrub with blue flowers. It is an aromatic and distinctive herb with a sweet, resinous flavor. Rosemary is ideal for a rock garden or the top of a dry stone wall. In warm areas with fair humidity, rosemary can grow into a shrub several feet in height. In fact, rosemary grows so vigorously in ideal conditions that it can become a bit of a burden, if not managed properly! 

This herb can be grown outdoors as a perennial shrub in Zones 7 and warmer. In colder areas, it should be kept in a pot and brought indoors for the winter.

Rosemary is often used for seasoning poultry, lamb, stews, and soups.



Planting


When to plant rosemary 

  • For a head start, plant the seeds or cuttings indoors 8 to 10 weeks before the last spring frost. Seeds can take a long time to germinate, so don’t give up right away!

Choosing and preparing a planting site

  • Plant in full sun.
  • The planting site should have well-draining soil. Rosemary won’t tolerate being consistently wet.
  • Be sure to give your plants enough room to grow. Rosemary can grow to about 4 feet tall and spreads about 4 feet as well.
  • In the garden, plant near beans, cabbage, carrots, and sage. Learn more about companion planting with herbs.

How to plant rosemary 

  • Plant the seeds/cuttings in well-drained soil. For best growth, the soil should be around 70ºF (21°C).

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Care


How to grow plant rosemary 

  • Water the plants evenly throughout the growing season, but be careful not to overwater.
  • Prune regularly so that the plant won’t get lanky.
  • For fresh rosemary in the winter, grow the plant indoors in a pot. Be sure to put it in bright light and protect it from cold drafts.
  • After the rosemary flowers, remember to trim the plant.
  • Be sure to get cuttings or divide the plant for next season if it won’t survive winter in your area.



Pests/Diseases


  • Aerial blight
  • Bacterial leaf spots
  • Several types of root rot

Harvest/Storage

How to harvest rosemary 

  • Snip off stems to use fresh, or hang them in the kitchen for dried rosemary.
  • During the winter, bring potted rosemary plants inside.
  • Harvest young stems and leaves for the freshest taste.
  • Harvest up to a third of the rosemary at any one time, allowing the plant to replace its growth before taking more.

How to store plant rosemary 

  • Air-dry sprigs of rosemary and store in an airtight container in the cupboard.

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