Learn to grow, care and harvest Rosemary plant

Rosemary is one of the favorite spices for chefs around the world. The needle-like shape and distinct aroma of the leaves is one of the major reasons it is fancied in cuisines in most areas around the globe. This well-loved aromatic plant is easy to grow too. If you are also one of the admirers of its flavor and want to have it in your home garden you are at the right place. This article includes everything you need to know while growing rosemary at home.

 

Introduction

Rosemary (Rosmarinus Officinalis), belonging to the Lamiaceae family, originated in the dry and rocky areas of the Mediterranean region of the world, which lies in the south of Europe, west to Asia, North to Africa, and East to North America.

The generic name Rosmarinus is a Latin word composed of ‘Ros’ meaning dew and ‘Marinus’ meaning sea.

Rosemary plant variety is mostly cultivated in the gardens of warm climatic zones.  And, is extensively cultivated in Europe.

Morphology

Rosemary is a perennial bushy shrub ranging from 4 to 7 feet in height, i.e, nearly a meter to two.

The plant bears blue flowers along with radiating distinct aroma, sweet and resinous flavor.

Rosemary has opposite leaves and nearly square-shaped stems with smooth edges. The leaves tend to curl slightly under the leaf blades. The dark green leaves resemble a needle-like appearance and are about 1 cm in length.

Rosemary is a highly fungal-resistant plant variety.

 

How to plant Rosemary?

While cultivating rosemary following things should be well considered:

Climate and Environment

Rosemary is a highly versatile plant with an ability to grow both in hot and cool climates. Although it does well in cold regions, these need to be protected from frost in the winter season.

Compared to the cold season, rosemary does well in hot seasons. It thrives best in areas receiving 6-8 hours of sunlight daily.

Soil Conditions

Rosemary prefers well-drained loamy soils that are slightly alkaline, ranging in between 6-7 ph. Moreover, a site undisturbed by tillage operations is ideal for rosemary cultivation.

It does well even in areas with less nutrient availability and poor soil conditions, but adding fertilizer to the soil is still a plus for its growth. Also, coffee grounds are best for rosemary cultivation for the plant’s best yield of seeds, leaves, and flowers.

Irrigation 

Water your rosemary every 1 or 2 weeks, depending on the soil conditions. Insert a finger to the soil crust 1-2 inches deep, if the soil feels moist, do not water but water if the reverse happens.

Since rosemary suffers root rot, do not overwater the plant and let the plant dry after every watering.

 

Where should I put my Rosemary?

The region with good air circulation is best for rosemary cultivation.

During winter, place the plant near a windowpane, receiving plenty of sunlight so that the sun will never be inadequate and the plant could forever be safe from frost.

 

How to propagate Rosemary?

Cuttings are the best means to propagate rosemary. For that, cut around 3 inches length of rosemary and remove leaves off the lower portion for about 1.5 inches. Plant the cuttings and water them.

You can also plant rosemary seeds and propagate them. Perform hydro-priming, i.e., soak the seeds in water before planting seeds in the soil.

 

How to harvest Rosemary?

Harvesting of Rosemary is very easy.  It should be done mainly in summer and spring when the plant grows the most.

Take a small pruner or scissors and cut the leaves along with branches i.e, 4-6 inches from the top.

Now, strip off all the leaves and it is ready to be used. However, care should be taken to not cut the plant more than one-third at a time, as doing so will cause stress to the plant.

Moreover, rosemary can also be stored by drying it in a dry, dark, and well-ventilated area. The leaves normally dry within 10 days, which then should be stored in airtight container.

 

Major Insects and Diseases:

Spittlebugs

Symptom: These bugs affect plant tissues by piercing the tissues and sucking on the juices. Firstly, the plant growth reduces, and leaves get highly distorted. As soon as the leaves distort, fruit production is hindered.

Control: The nymphs of spittlebugs are present inside spittle shells, and no spray of insecticide will work on their destruction, so it is best to spray a blast of water to detach the nymph shells from parts of plants and control spittlebugs.

 

Mealybugs

Symptom: Leaves stunting, chlorosis, defoliation, and wilting.

Control: Spray the mixture of 70% or less solution of isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol and water.

mealy-bugs

 

Aphids

Symptom: Yellow spot discoloration usually occurs on the ventral side of a leaf. The leaf later dries out and wilts. Some aphids lead to gall formation and cause distortion, curling, and deformation.

Control:   Natural or organic sprays like soap and water mixture, neem oil, or essential oils. Also, natural predators like ladybugs, green lacewings can be used to control aphids.

mites

 

Thrips

Symptom: Leaves stunting and distortion, yellow speckled areas on leaves along with black spots, small insects on the ventral side of the leaves can be observed.

Control: Spray the soap water solution in the areas you notice thrips or their eggs.

 

Root rot

Symptom: The roots of rosemary become brown and soft instead of firm and white while the foliage and stems die back. The tissues on the tip die first, which gradually increases to the stem, and the entire plant dies at last.

Control:  Use sterilized scissors to chop the rotting roots.  Prune the infected parts. Wash the pot with a bleach or water solution to kill fungus or bacteria if available.

 

Health Benefits

1. Rosemary is highly anti-oxidant and rich in anti-inflammatory compounds.

2.Rosemary is known to help in boosting the immune system and memory performance.

3. Rosemary is also considered a cognitive stimulant and boosts alertness, intelligence and increases focus.

4. Popular as dressing ingredient to garnish and season in various dishes, such as soups, casseroles, salads, chicken,  pork, etc.

5. Rosemary is the best Ayurveda medicine to treat headaches and improving digestion.

6. Also, its extracts can be useful to make fragrant and essential oils.

7. It can also be used as insect repellants like mosquitoes, carrot flies, and cabbage moths.

 

Hope you liked the article. If you have any suggestions, feedback, or questions regarding plantation, growing, and care of rosemary plant, please comment down. Happy Gardening!

 

Do you want to have a plant with beautiful leaves? Read easy planting methods of Pothos Plant.

Yushika Subedi

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