How to grow Rosemary

Rosmarinus officinalis

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.

In mild tropics it is suited in medium to high altitudes and propagation is by cuttings.Fine sandy loam loam is excellent for Domero plant since it rely on natural soil conditions.This plant needs no application of artificial fertilizer for it is very sensitive to anything that is not true part of Nature.Cuttings should be placed in shaded areas with mild temperature 20-30C To ensure high survival rate.three weeks or more is required period before roots develop.Well rooted cuttings can be transferred to sunny position for hardenning of the seedlings.

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 1.50 feet (46.0 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.

How long does Rosemary take to grow?

These estimates for how long Rosemary takes to sprout, grow and harvest are from real observations from real gardeners, right around the world.

Days to Germination How long does it take Rosemary to germinate?
12 days

Average 12 days | Min 6 days | Max 25 days (52)

Days to Transplant How long until I can plant out Rosemary?
+ 53 days

Average 53 days | Min 18 days | Max 364 days (10)

Days to Maturity How long until Rosemary is ready for harvest / bloom?
+ 195 days

Average 195 days | Min 73 days | Max 1316 days (17)

Total Growing Days How long does it take to grow Rosemary?
= 260 days

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, Domero



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