Rosemary is a gorgeous and extremely fragrant herbal plant, with needle-shaped, nearly pine-like leaves and fairly purplish-blue blossoms. The herb originates from the Mediterranean, with a gorgeous Latin name meaning”Dew in the Sea”. Indeed, wild Rosemary can be located along the sea cliffs in Spain, Italy and Greece.
As you can imagine, Rosemary loves to live in a bright, somewhat sandy surroundings with occasional sea breeze. When it does not apply to your herb gardening, do not worry, as Rosemary is easy to grow as long as there is at least 6 hours of direct sunlight, together with well-drained soil and decent circulation.
Rosemary maintenance is simple but we need to be cautious in watering. Over-watering is the largest cause of death for this herb, as this will result in root rot in addition to powdery mildew, which can seriously weaken the plant. Here’s a practical advice: don’t plant Rosemary alongside the sprinklers since this is usually where the water collects and soil gets soggy.
Air flow is important also because otherwise, a moist, poor circulated environment won’t just attract powdery mildew, but also annoying pests like spider mites and aphids. If happens, simply spray with insecticidal soap.
Rosemary isn’t particular to the sort of soil as long as it’s well-drained. Generally, soil with a slightly alkaline pH (6.0-7.5) is terrific for the plant. Also, fertilizer isn’t necessary but you can opt to add fish/kelp emulsion in spring and the herb will flourish beautifully.
Rosemary is difficult to grow from seeds and it’s quite slow growing in the seedling stage. Instead, propagation by division is significantly better for effective herb gardening. Snip 2 inches from new growth springs (the soft, non-woody part), dip it in rooting hormone, and gently plant it into well-drained soil like perlite and peat moss. After two weeks or so, you can check whether follicles have come out by gently tugging on the cutting edge. Alternatively, you can set the cutting in a jar of water and change water every couple of days. It takes longer for the origin to appear, normally around four weeks. Once the origin arises, pinch off the central stem to promote side growth. Follow the Rosemary care tips above and your plant will flourish year after year.
Harvesting Rosemary is simple. Cut a few sprigs and hang it upside down in a warm, dry location. When completely dried, put them in a bag and rub the leaves from the stem. You may even maintain the leaves intact and set the entire sprig on your roasting and remove it if the food is served.
Rosemary as Culinary Herb
You might not realize, but Rosemary is a part of the bigger Mint family, together with well-known herbs like Basil, Oregano, Marjoram, and Lavender. It’s a bitter-sweet, somewhat piney taste, and is excellent as seasoning for all kinds of meat. Specifically, I find that Rosemary proves particularly helpful in roasting lamb, as its taste counteracts the richness and fattiness of the meat. At exactly the exact same time, it does wonders in improving vegetables which range from tomatoes, spinach, peas and even mushroom.
Rosemary as Medicinal Herb
In ancient Greece, Rosemary was used as a magical plant to enhance memory. In the 16th century, Rosemary was widely used as a disinfectant and the herb was burnt in hospitals to kill germs. It was also used as a medication to aid gas, indigestion, toothache, headache, coughs and even baldness! Nowadays, Rosemary extract is used in making tinctures and insect repellents.
Besides the medicinal and culinary uses, Rosemary extract is commonly used in perfume, hair rinse and bath oil, and dried Rosemary leaves and flowers are made into cute potpourris! The use of this terrific herb is endless – just let your creativity shines!