Rosemary is one of the most fragrant herbs you can ever find. A native plant in the Mediterranean, rosemary has many uses other than cooking. You can use it as a natural air freshener, as an essential oil, and as a tea.
Because rosemary grows as a small shrub, you can plant it in front of your home. It’s an attractive display so you can also use it as a garden decoration. This plant can grow up to three feet tall and 5 feet wide. The bonus part is you can use it to control pests in the garden.
Unfortunately, rosemary does not do very well in very cold situations. So if your area experiences even just mild winters, your garden may not be truly suitable for growing rosemary. You can maybe still grow it, but it will be a bigger challenge.
Many people fail at growing rosemary. It’s because it’s one of the more difficult herbs to grow, unlike other herbs such as basil. You can cut the stems of rosemary and propagate them. However, there’s a high chance your rosemary may die. That’s unless your clump is mostly fresh and leafy. For better and safer results, plant the rosemary seeds instead. Here’s how to grow rosemary from seed.
How to Grow Rosemary from Seed
Step 1: Fill your pot with well-drained or loamy soil. Rosemary naturally grows in sandy or rocky soil. Sprinkle your seeds then add another half an inch of soil to cover them. Keep the pot indoors or in a cool place until the germination process has not started yet. Since the germination process likes to take its time, it is best to plant the seeds about three months before the warm weather arrives. That way, you can make full use of the sun, which rosemary is very partial to.
Step 2: Wait for two weeks or up to a month for your seeds to sprout. Rosemary seed germination normally takes longer than some herbs like mint and basil. Once they grew a few inches tall, move the pot to a well-lit area in your house. As was already mentioned, rosemary loves sunlight.
Step 3: Water your rosemary once a week. You shouldn’t water them frequently because they are sensitive to drainage. It’s best done by just keeping the soil moist. Clay-based soil is not suitable for rosemary because it does provide excellent drainage. Most of the time, you don’t even have to pour water on the plant. Spraying is most often enough. Some gardeners even go as far as watering their rosemary plants only when the soil it is in dries out.
More Rosemary Care Tips
Take caution in transplanting your rosemary. Rosemary is notorious for dying when you move the locations. It’s one of the plants that are sensitive in terms of changing places. There’s proper timing in transplanting your herbs. For rosemary, many gardeners were successful in moving them in the fall.
When the soil is overwatered, your rosemary plant may not survive. You will know it’s dying if the needles begin to shed and if your plant suddenly turns brown. You can still use them but take caution in using them for cooking. After all, dried rosemary leaves should come from freshly picked rosemary.
If you live in a place which experiences winter, it’s best to relocate your plant indoors before the first day of frost. Rosemary hardly endures cold weather and they always end up dying in the winter. Still, there are gardeners who were able to revive their rosemary by placing them in full sun.
For those who are curious about how to grow rosemary from cuttings, it’s worth noting that there’s an ideal measurement in trimming the stem. Double-check the stem before cutting it with your shears. It should be around three inches long, not cutting down to the base. If you need more info on how to grow rosemary from cuttings, check this guide.
Tips in Harvesting Your Herb
The best time to harvest your rosemary is during spring and summer. Around this time, most rosemary plants should have grown abundantly because they already get lots of sun exposure. When it’s in season, you don’t have to worry if the sprigs will grow back once you cut them.
You can use your rosemary fresh or dried. Apparently, many people prefer dried herbs but fresh rosemary is still a good choice especially if you’re looking for some minty and wood-like aftertaste with your dishes. You can incorporate rosemary in almost any dish, from baked treats to dinner dishes.
Dried rosemary is ideal when making soups and stews. To dry your herbs, simply tie up your sprigs in a bundle and place them in an area with good ventilation. Aside from air-drying your rosemary, you can also put in freezer bags and store them in your fridge for future use.
How to Harvest Rosemary Seeds
A rosemary plant will grow blue flowers around the spring and summer. Wait for the flowers to die back and in their place will grow the seed pods.
Once the seed pods develop, you are up for a air bit of waiting. That is the thing about growing rosemary, it involves a lot of waiting. Wait for the seed pods to dry out and turn brown. Then you can harvest them.
Collect the seed pods. You can simply pinch them with your fingers. Air dry the pods by putting them in a paper bag. Keep the paper bag open and place it in a cool, dry place with a lot of ventilation. The seed pods are ready when they are totally brown and contains no moisture.
To separate the seeds from the seed pods and other plant matter, put the pods on a towel and fold the towel onto itself. Rub the towel with your hands, this will separate the husks from the seeds. Open the towel and pick out the seeds from the other plant matter.
Seal the seeds and store them in a cool dry place. The seeds can be stored for up to a year as long as they remain cool and dry.
Rosemary Seeds Benefits
With its variety of uses, rosemary is no doubt one of the most versatile plants in the world. You can sprinkle them on grilled meat or roasted potatoes. You can use them for making tea or infuse them in water to give it a healthier twist.
Did you know that simply inhaling rosemary can instantly alter your mood? That’s why it’s often used for making essential oil. When used as an oil, rosemary can help provide better body circulation. It also improves the skin by reducing signs of aging. Rosemary essential oil can be purchased but you can also make yours from home. Just combine your fresh rosemary with olive oil and store it in a jar.
Just a fun fact, rosemary is often used as part of the bouquet in weddings during the Victorian era because it signifies remembrance. Other than that, it also denotes the love and loyalty of the husband and wife. Indeed, there’s more to rosemary than its uses.
Rosemary is a powerhouse of a plant. It has a ton of uses. It is a culinary favorite for its flavor and aroma. It does not hurt either that it adds a little bit of an aroma therapy to your garden. Plus, it wards off pests so it protects the garden.
The key to growing rosemary is to plant it in an optimum location and season. When it’s planted in the best spot, you don’t have to worry much about caring for your plant. Rosemary seed germination may take some time, especially if you live in cold temperatures. But with enough knowledge about its proper growing technique, you will be able to see your rosemary thrive regardless of weather conditions.
Now that you have an idea of how to grow rosemary from cuttings and from seeds, you will have a better idea of how to care for them. It’s best to know about the amount of sunlight they need, their preferred soil, and an ideal climate.
Rosemary seeds benefits are impressive because it’s good for brain health, it aids with digestion, it helps fight stress and cancer, and it also relieves pain among others. Beyond these things, it’s worth noting that rosemary is great for body circulation.
In short, you may find growing rosemary challenging, but the benefits far outweigh the obstacles you will face in the process.