With thin, dark green leaves and pale blue flowers, Rosemary is a popular and attractive herb. It is an evergreen shrub, that grows up to 3-6 feet tall. Rosemary plants are members of the mint family. They grow wild in the Mediterranean region. It is a perennial in warm areas. It is susceptible to frost and therefore, is grown as an annual in many parts of the country.
Young plants can be grown like houseplants until they get big. Then, move them outside to their permanent summer home. They will look and grow well in your garden, or along the house. Try growing Rosemary in big containers on your deck.
Rosemary bushes are started from seed. The seed is hard to start. Soak Rosemary seeds in water a few hours before planting. We recommend starting indoors on propagation mats, to improve germination success. Start seed indoors six weeks before the last frost.
If you want to grow and enjoy them as houseplants, start them indoors even earlier. After they sprout, place them in a warm, sunny window. When transplanting outdoors, space plants three feet or more apart. In warm areas where there is no frost or freezes, pick a place where the plant can grow for many years.
Days to germination: 15-25
Plant height: 24-72 inches tall.
How to Grow Rosemary Shrubs:
Growing Rosemary plants is very easy. They prefer full sun to partial shade. They will do well in almost any soil. They tolerate dry soil conditions and drought. They should not require water during droughts, but add water if they appear to wilt. They usually do not require fertilizer, except for container grown plants.
Once your Rosemary shrub reaches a couple of feet, don’t hesitate to bring out the shears and shape it. Be creative if you dare!
Harvest leaves and use fresh, as needed, in the summer. As autumn arrives, harvest leaves in the morning, when the oils are at their peak. Spread leaves out to dry in a cool, well ventilated area. Or, pick and freeze immediately.
If you are growing Rosemary in containers, you can over-winter plants in a greenhouse in some areas.
Main Cooking Uses:
The leaves are used fresh, dried, or frozen in many recipes. It commonly is used on meats (beef, chicken, ribs), stews, sauces, and soups. Brew some fresh Rosemary in tea, adding a few fresh or dried leaves.
This herb has been used to treat both stomach aches and headaches. It can help to ease gastro-esophageal reflux disease. It is also believed to aid in memory retention.
The oil of Rosemary is used in perfumes and cosmetics. It has also been used as a moth repellent.