Video:Tips for Growing Rosemarywith Marie Iannotti
What's more convenient than pricking a fresh sprig of rosemary to your cooking? Learn how to grow and care for rosemary plants so it's available year-round.See Transcript
Transcript:Tips for Growing RosemaryRosemary is one of those wonderful herbs that makes a beautiful ornamental plant and a welcome culinary seasoning. Its Latin name means "dew of the sea" and rosemary is most closely associated with the cooking of the Mediterranean area.
How to Propagate RosemaryRosemary is usually propagated by cuttings. Its seeds can be difficult to germinate and often don't grow true to their parent. It is generally easier if you start with a nursery grown plant as rosemary can take some time to fill in
Start a Rosemary PlantTo start the cutting and rooting process, snip about a 2-inch cutting from the soft, new growth of an established plant. Remove the leaves from the bottom inch and dip that tip into a rooting hormone. Carefully place the dipped end into a container of dampened, well draining and sterile seed starting mix that either contains peat moss and vermiculite, or perlite.
Place the container in a warm spot with indirect sunlight. Mist the cuttings daily and make sure the soil does not dry out. In about 2-3 weeks, or once your cuttings have roots, pinch off the very top of the cutting to encourage it to develop branches.
Tips for Growing RosemaryThe three fundamentals for successfully growing and caring for your rosemary plants are: sun, good drainage and good air circulation. If you live in a frost free area, you can grow rosemary in the ground year round. Provide a sandy, well draining soil and 6-8 hours of full sunlight. Rosemary is not a heavy feeder, but fertilizing in spring with a fish or kelp emulsion will get it off to a good start for the season. Periodic foliar sprays with the emulsion will keep it looking great.
Growing Rosemary in WinterWhen the winter temperatures dip below 30 degrees Fahrenheit, rosemary plants will have to spend the winter indoors. In this case, it's easier to grow your rosemary in a container all year. Since rosemary likes it on the dry side, terra cotta pots are an especially good choice. Bring the potted rosemary inside once the temperature inches into the 30s. Your rosemary plant will still require 6-8 hours of full sun, so artificial lights may be necessary.
Protect Rosemary Plants From PestsOnce you've grown a rosemary plant, you need to save it from pests and other problems. The biggest problem with growing rosemary indoors is its tendency to get powdery mildew, a type of fungus that can develop if the surrounding air is humid and there is not enough air movement. Keep the humidity low by allowing the soil to dry somewhat between waterings, keeping the plant in sunlight, and if necessary, running a fan for a few hours a day to create a breeze. Also, be on the lookout for aphids and spider mites. Repeated spraying with insecticidal soap should take care of the problem.
Repotting Rosemary PlantsMove your potted rosemary back outdoors once all danger of frost has past. As with most potted plants, the soil in your rosemary pot will degenerate through watering and root growth. Repot at least once a year, preferably during spring. When the rosemary plant puts out considerable growth, it needs to be transplanted into a larger pot. But if you want to maintain the size of your rosemary plant, root prune it by slicing off a couple of inches of the roots and replant in the same pot.
Trim some of the top at the same time to lessen the work load of the roots and the stress placed upon the trimmed plant. Allow your repotted plant some time to regroup and it should reward you with many more seasons of snippings.
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