Once you learn how to grow rosemary, you will have a lot of joy with this wonderfully aromatic and aromatic plant.
Rosemary is a staple food for any avid cook and is also very attractive to bees and other valuable pollinators. Whether you’re putting a pot of rosemary on the patio or lining entire paths, growing your own plants will be a feast for everyone.
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“Rosemary is certainly one of the most special and versatile culinary herbs. It is powerful to season all types of meat, especially lamb, as well as fish, tomato dishes, beans and lemon sauces, ”says Judith Hann in her book Herbs: Delicious Recipes and Growing Tips to Transform Your Food.
‘Rosemary can look very beautiful, is problem-free and, once planted, ideally in spring in well-drained soil, often lasts for decades.’
There are several different types of rosemary that you can grow, but Miss Jessopp’s Upright is a favorite because of its looks and taste. Other popular varieties are Benenden Blue, Lady in White, the Prostratus Group, Mallorca Pink, and McConnell’s Blue.
Since it is an evergreen shrub, if you learn how to grow rosemary, you will be provided with this delicious herb 12 months out of the year.
How do you grow rosemary successfully?
To successfully grow rosemary, you should consider where the plant comes from and whether your garden has the right conditions. Rosemary comes from the Mediterranean area and should therefore ideally be in a sunny, sheltered location.
Perhaps surprisingly, rosemary is quite frost hardy. The plants need well-drained soil, however, and are unlikely to thrive on heavy clay or boggy soil.
“Although it takes temperatures as high as 5 ° F (minus 15 ° C), rosemary absolutely hates sitting in cold, wet soil, so sharp drainage is key,” says famed gardener Monty Don in his Blog.
If you live in zone 6 or lower, you will need to bring rosemary indoors over the winter or grow it as an annual.
How to grow rosemary from cuttings
Learning how to grow rosemary from cuttings is the best way to grow new plants quickly. “Rosemary can be easily propagated from coniferous cuttings,” says Hann.
The best time to take cuttings of rosemary is in the spring, after the plant has flowered. However, many gardeners have had success in the summer and fall, as long as the plant is not actively blooming.
Just cut off shoots with no blooms – it will take about 3 to 5 inches – just below a branch point or leaf knot. It is important to use a sharp, clean blade or secateurs.
If you can’t plant your cuttings right away, you can keep them out of direct sunlight for a short time in a sealed plastic bag.
To root your rosemary cuttings, remove most of the lower leaves and place those clean stems in gravelly compost high in vermiculite. Either place several cuttings in a larger pot or in a seed tray using one per module.
Many gardeners first dip the stems in hormone root powder to speed up the rooting process and ensure that more plants are successful. This isn’t strictly necessary, but it can increase your chances of getting stronger, disease-free plants.
Water the freshly planted cuttings and place them in a greenhouse, cold frame or on a windowsill. Check regularly that the soil is constantly moist and never dries out.
In about four weeks, check your cuttings to see if they have started rooting. You can do this by pulling on them very gently and when you feel resistance, roots have formed and your cuttings are ready to be planted.
Pot them into individual containers with clay-based compost. Keep watering and when the roots fill the container, pot it back down to a larger size. The rosemary plants should be ready to be planted in their final place in the garden the following spring.
See: Ideas for small vegetable gardens – from layout designs to the best plants to grow
How to grow rosemary from seeds
“Rosemary grows well from seeds sown in spring, pricked into individual pots and planted the following spring,” says Monty Don.
Growing rosemary from seeds can be a great solution if you are patient and want lots of plants – maybe to line a path. However, germination takes a while and has a low success rate, so sow four times as many seeds as you want plants.
Start sowing indoors, at least three months before the start of the growing season. Use well-drained compost, ideally with lots of vermiculite or perlite. Wet the mixture, but don’t get it drenched. Sprinkle the seeds on top and cover them with a thin layer of potting soil. Spray the surface with water and place it in a propagation box or cover it with a plastic bag or foil.
As soon as seedlings appear, about 14-28 days later, remove the cover. Put the seedlings in a warm place with direct sunlight and keep the soil moist.
Once the seedlings are at least 3 inches, pot them or plant them out when the weather is warm enough.
How long does it take to grow rosemary?
It takes about a year for a new rosemary plant to go from seed to finished position outdoors. This can be shortened to around six months if you are growing rosemary from cuttings.
How to grow rosemary indoors
You can grow rosemary indoors if you live in a very cold area or don’t have a garden. It is certainly best to start plants indoors, but once they are established you can also store them indoors so they can be readily available for culinary use.
Rosemary grown indoors needs a sunny spot, such as a light window sill or a conservatory. You will need to keep harvesting the stems for cooking to keep the plant to a manageable size.
Where does rosemary grow best?
Rosemary grows best in a sunny, sheltered spot in well-drained soil. “Shrubby herbs like rosemary prefer soil that is not too acidic,” says gardening expert Leigh Clapp.
If your soil is heavy clay or very acidic, consider growing rosemary in pots.
How to grow rosemary in a pot
“The less winter-hardy rosemary varieties are best grown in pots, especially in cold areas,” says Hann.
Choose a pot that is at least 12 inches in diameter and has adequate drainage holes.
“Always use well-drained soil wherever you plant rosemary and mix some sand with the compost. Do not pour over and only feed after flowering, ”adds Hann. “In freezing weather, you may need to protect them with fleece.
How do you care for a rosemary plant?
It is very easy to care for a rosemary plant, as long as you have the right type of soil and the temperature doesn’t drop below 5 ° C.
Always go on the underwatering side rather than overwatering, as rosemary comes from a naturally dry climate.
“Feed with additional nitrogen fertilizer for good leaf production,” says Leigh Clapp. “It’s a good idea to mulch them to control weeds and hold in some moisture in the summer.”
The main challenges that rosemary can attack are frost damage and rosemary beetles.
Frost damage can be avoided by covering the plants with fleece or by bringing them indoors over the winter. If damage occurs, cut off the affected stems.
If rosemary beetles are present, it is best to remove them by hand before they reproduce as they can leave plants unattended. Check the plants regularly to see if there are any bugs.
See: How to grow garlic – a step-by-step guide on how to grow cloves
Another potential problem is a fungal disease that thrives in damp, damp conditions.
“Help your plant resist fungal infections by maintaining good air circulation around and through the bush,” says gardening expert John Negus. “Remove any weeds or leaves and branches of other plants that touch it, and prune any straggly old branches in the bush.”
To get rosemary, he benefits from the occasional plum. “It doesn’t require much attention and only needs a plum once a year,” says Hann. “I cut back my plants when the winter flowers are over, but rosemary can also be cut in the fall. I grow it as a fan shape against south walls and as a standard. ‘