United States Edition

Rosemary      

Rosmarinus officinalis

Rosemary is a plant which belongs to the Rosmarinus genus. The origin of this plant's scientific name epithet (officinalis) means 'used medicinally'.

Rosemary is an attractive, evergreen, perennial shrub with dark green pine needle-like leaves. The underside of the leaves are silvery-grey. It’s trusses of blue flowers last through spring and summer in a warm, humid environment. It will grow to a height of between 3 and 5 feet. It makes an excellent hedge plant, is drought-resistant and coast-hardy.

Scientists at the University of Cincinnati say that the scent of rosemary is an effective memory stimulant. This herb evergreen is a relative of mint that goes well with meat, fish, bean dishes, tomato dishes and many vegetables. It is well suited for containers. It can be used to make a tea, as well as a hair rinse (especially for brunettes). It has a number of medicinal uses.

Blooms typically mature to a diameter of 0.3 cm (0.12 inches imperial) and produce a spicy fragrance, whilst displaying in these approximate colours:   Lavender blue and   Dark slate blue and   Pigment blue. The mature flowers are of a single hose-in-hose form. Leaves appear approximately as a   Cadmium green and   Camouflage green colour. Rosemary is a flowering edible herb / flower perennial, it will last at least up to several years in its native climate. Rosemary is known for its bush-like habit and growing to a height of approximately 1.20 metres (3.90 feet). This plant tends to be ready for harvesting by mid summer. Try planting Rosemary if you'd like to attract butterflies and bees to your garden. Popular varieties of Rosemary with home gardeners are Tuscan Blue, Upright, Arp, Prostrate and Barbeque.

Spain is thought to be the country of origin for Rosemary.

As Rosemary is a low maintanence plant, it is great for beginner gardeners and those that like gardens that don't need much overseeing.

This plant info is provided by the myfolia gardener's wiki. All details about Rosemary have been kindly provided by our members.

How to grow Rosemary

  • Full Sun

    +
  • Very Low

Choose a sheltered position and well-drained, slightly alkaline soil, and allow the plant lots of sun. Water in between dry downs; do not use enclosed planters. Their roots dislike being cramped up.

Use a good household potting soil mix and organic compost (not too much if it is a moist variety — this will be too strong in a pot and may contribute to root rot). Make sure it is well drained, well watered and spray the leaves with water every so often, especially if you have the heat up in the winter.

Prune the plant every autumn to keep the plant at an ideal size.

Easy to strike from semi ripe cuttings or layering from the parent plant into the the surrounding earth

Enjoys a full sun position in your garden and remember to water very sparingly. As a rough idea of the types of climates Rosemary does best in, check to see if your local area is within USDA Hardiness Zones 7 and 10. Ensure your soil is sandy and has a ph of between 5.5 and 7.0 as Rosemary is a weakly acidic soil - neutral soil loving plant. Keep in mind when planting that Rosemary is thought of as hardy, so this plant will survive close to or on freezing temperatures.

Growing Rosemary from seed

Direct seeding is not always successful. Start seeds indoors and transplant the seedlings out. Darkness will aid germination. Cover the seeds lightly with soil after sowing. Germination time 14-21 days. Sow heavily because the seeds have a poor germination rate. Some seeds can germinate up to 3 months after sowing.

Try to aim for a seed spacing of at least 0.98 inches (2.5 cm) and sow at a depth of around 0.23 inches (0.6 cm). Soil temperature should be kept higher than 16°C / 61°F to ensure good germination.

Transplanting Rosemary

Does not transplant well, so should be planted in the container it was started in.

Choose a sunny spot near a path way or border edge so its scent can be enjoyed as you pass by. Rosemary is happy in gritty well drained poor ground and once establishes can withstand sun and survive with little water

Ensure that temperatures are mild and all chance of frost has passed before planting out, as Rosemary is a hardy plant.

Harvesting Rosemary

To preserve rosemary for winter use, you can either dry or freeze it.

Air drying rosemary: To dry rosemary without a dehydrating machine, simply hang upside-down in small bunches in a cool, dark place. check that they are ready by crumbling a little in your fingers – if ready put into small airtight jars to keep until use.

Freeze rosemary: pack ice cube trays with rosemary leaves and then cover with hot water (the hot water should blanch the rosemary quickly and keep the colour nice and green). Place in the freezer for at least 24 hours, then place in freezer bags and store to defrost when required. Alternatively, blend rosemary leaves in a food processor with oil to a smooth paste consistency, then pour into ice cube trays. After 24 hours, remove from the trays and place into freezer bags and store frozen until required.

Seed Saving Rosemary

Let the rosemary plant flower. After flowers have fallen off, there should be bell-shaped pods (seed pods) on the plant where the flowers were. Hold out one hand, palm open, under branch with pods, and use the other hand to lightly brush the branch – the loose pods should fall off. Once dry, crush the seed pods and sift the seeds from the other plant material.

Companion plants for Rosemary

These plants have been known to grow well alongside Rosemary so consider planting:

Plant rosemary near parsley1, sage1 2, carrots1 2, beans1 2, onions, cabbages1 2, garlic1, broccoli, etc to help them grow stronger and healthier. You can plant rosemary just about anywhere in the garden because it has no known enemies in the plant world.

Plant between rows of cabbages and other brassicas to deter cabbage moths.

It repels bean beetle & many bean parasites.

Repellent plants for Rosemary

These plants will not grow well with Rosemary so avoid planting these within close proximity:

tomatoes1

Common Rosemary problems

These problems, diseases and pests are known to affect Rosemary plants:

Honey Fungus

Rosemary Leaf Beetle. This is a metallic green and purple striped beetle, the larva will eat Rosemary leaves

Rosemary Etymology

  • It is said that the Virgin Mary had draped her cloak over this bush and placed a white flower on top of her cloak. In the morning the flower turned blue and thereafter the plant was called Rose of Mary.
  • The botanical epithet is from the Latin officinalis meaning “used medicinally”
  • The common name means “remembrance”

Rosemary Folklore & Trivia

  • Tradition says that rosemary will grow for thirty-three years, until it reaches the height of Christ when he was crucified, then it will die.
  • Sprigs of rosemary were placed under pillows at night to ward off evil spirits and bad dreams.
  • Rosemary planted in each corner of the garden will keep away evil spirits.
  • The wood was used to make lutes and other musical instruments.
  • It is a symbol or remembrance and friendship, and is often carried by wedding couples as a sign of love and fidelity.
  • It is recommended to grow rosemary by your garden gate to welcome those who enter.
  • Rosemary in a floral arrangement means “remembrance”.

Other names for Rosemary

Romero, Pilgrims plant, Mary's mantle, Compass weed, Foxtail rosemary

Latest Rosemary Reviews

  • 06 May 2012
    Reviewed

    Kevalsha Kevalsha's Rosemary Irene was Reviewed day 378

    Rosemary flowers are an intense lavender color.

    3 stars

  • 08 Apr 2012
    Reviewed

    Kevalsha Kevalsha's Rosemary Irene was Reviewed day 350

    This plant has grown very fast for a rosemary.

    5 stars

  • 06 Nov 2011

    Loratika Loratika's Rosemary was Reviewed day

    This is another plant that I put in a pot and then never fertilized it and rarely watered it. I did alright, but I noticed that if I did give it a little bit of attention, it did real well.

    I recently propagated it by cutting 3” off the tips of 4 bran

    4 stars

  • 26 Sep 2011
    Reviewed

    Russell Russell's Rosemary was Reviewed day 1395

    Just about everything in our poor soil, cold winters, hot summers, and constant wind has died, but the Rosemary has flourished with no care at all. Perfect for our Zone 9a Queensland climate.

    5 stars

  • 11 Jul 2011
    Reviewed

    Loratika Loratika's Rosemary was Reviewed day

    It requires little care & still manages to do well in my zone 10B. Can be watered by rainfall, but if it starts to look a little dry, I just water it. Very fragrant. Makes a nice bush too!

    4 stars

See all Rosemary reviews and experiences »

Rosemary care instructions

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