Rosemary is an evergreen shrub from the mint family. Rosemary plant was originally found in Egypt. Later, in the 14th century, the plant was started using for cooking and therapeutic purpose in England.
Rosemary is extremely effectual to improve memory. It also increases the concentration power
It prevents the cancer cells from growing
It calms the muscle pain
It intensifies the hair growth
It consists of antioxidants, thus it builds strong immunity
The plant extracts help in weight loss
Rosemary improves the skin texture
Essential Requirements to Grow Rosemary plant
The pungent tasted rosemary is not at all difficult to cultivate. You can grow it even in a pot.
Soil: Rosemary plants cannot survive in wet soil. These shrubs require slightly acidic to neutral loamy soil with pH ranging from 5.0-8.0 for proper growth.
Sunlight: Whether you want to grow the rosemary plants in containers or the garden, make sure there is sufficient sunlight for at least 6-8 hours a day. It is ideal to provide partial shade during the afternoon in extremely hot climate zones.
Temperature: This herb grows well in moderate summers. If the temperature falls below 30°C in winters, you can keep the pots indoor near the windows receiving maximum sunlight. When kept indoors, these shrubs can stand temperatures up to 80°C.
Container Size: The rosemary shrubs can grow up to 4ft tall and 4ft wide. Your pot should be 12 inches or wider in diameter and 12 inches deep to allow enough space for the roots to grow and support the plant. Use clay or Terra cotta pots for rosemary with several holes at the bottom.
Steps to Grow Rosemary Plant at Home
Here is the detailed guide on how to grow the rosemary herbs at home.
These aromatic plants grow very well in containers. There are two ways to cultivate rosemary in pots. You can either use seeds or stem cuttings from another existing plant.
How to Grow Rosemary from Seeds
To grow rosemary from the seeds, you need to sow them in a small seedlings tray. During the germination period, it is preferable to keep the seeds trays indoors.
Depending on your requirement, keep as many trays as possible. Only 20%-30% of the seeds will germinate successfully over 15-25 days after sowing the seeds.
Step 1: Seed Germination
You can start the germination process when the soil temperature is around 27°C-32°C in your area. Put the germination mix (made of sand, vermiculite, peat, and barks) on the trays and put the seeds about ¼ inches below the surface covering them with the rest of the mix
Step 2: Potting Mix
Rosemary plant roots cannot grow in soggy soil, so add sufficient sand to the soil to allow good drainage. Check the pH level of the soil to ensure it is within the range of 5.0-7.0. You can mix some lime to the soil to increase the pH level to attain the required range.
Add organic compost (4 inches from the surface of the pot) on the top of the soil.
You can remove the seedlings from the trays after 8-10 weeks. Remove the germination mix carefully from the roots without tearing them. Now you can place them in the pot in a good loamy and acidic potting mix.
Care Tips for Rosemary Plants
Watering: Watering right is the key to the success of growing rosemary plants at home. Over watering can make the soil marshy destroying the plants.
These perennials require watering once a week in winters. However, you need to water the pots twice a week during the spring and summers. When growing in the full sun during summer, these plants propagate quickly requiring more water.
Check the soil by inserting your finger up to 2 inches. When the soil feels dry enough, it is time to give moderate water supply to these shrubs.
The roots of these plants thrive well in dry and drained soil but the plant absorbs moisture from the air. During dry winters, when you keep the plants indoors, make sure there is sufficient humidity to prevent the leaves from drying out.
Re potting: The degeneration of soil can retard the growth of your herbs in the containers. For best plant growth and aroma of the rosemary, consider repotting them in fresh soil every year preferably during the spring season.
Fertilizer: Rosemary plants grow well without any fertilizer. However, if you experience retarded growth or pale yellow leaves, you can use an all purpose fertilizer for reviving the plants. Avoid using too much of nitrogen based fertilizers to prevent insects from attacking these shrubs.
Pruning: The best time to prune the rosemary plants is during spring. Prune carefully to remove the slender shoots and the thin branches growing downwards for proper plant growth.
Diseases: Generally, rosemary plants do not contact diseases except powdery mildew. Prune the plants once in a year properly to allow sufficient air circulation to avoid diseases. If the conditions persist, you may use fungicides to restrict the mildew from spreading.
Insects: You may find scales, spider mites, and mealy bugs on the rosemary plants. It is highly recommended to use organic insecticides to keep the bugs away.
If you are staying in a cold region, move the rosemary plant pots indoors during winters. These plants cannot tolerate chilling weather conditions. You can place the pots at the windows receiving good sunlight throughout the day.
Harvesting and Preservation
There are various ways to use rosemary in foods and beauty products. You can put fresh herbs into chicken stews and soups. Most often, people preserve them in dried form for greater shelf life.
To harvest the rosemary in dried form, cut sprigs of about 2-3 inches from the upper branches during the pruning season. This allows enough time for the plants to grow before the winter.
Tie the clipped sprigs with a thread and hang them for drying at a clean and dry place. It takes about 10 days for the leaves to become completely dry and compatible for storage. Remove the leaves from the branches and preserve them in an airtight jar to preserve the aroma.
Simple Ways to Use Rosemary at Home
Today, the rosemary herbs are used in several recipes for seasoning, cosmetics, medicines, tea, room fresheners, etc. Chew it raw or sprinkle it on your food, this fragrant herb gives you an array of benefits:
- Infused Vinegar
Apple Cider Vinegar 1 bottle
Fresh Rosemary- 4-6 sprigs
Garlic- 2 cloves
Take a clean and dried wine bottle (must be larger than vinegar bottle, having enough space for the spices).
Wash and dry the rosemary herbs properly. With a narrow stick, place them properly inside the bottle.
Add the rest of the ingredients and close the lid to ensure it is completely airtight.
Shake the bottle every day and place it under the sun for the next 10 days.
After 10 days, you can use the infused vinegar in salads, marinades, and other recipes.
- Infused Cooking Oil
You can take any white oil or olive oil for infusion. The process is very simple. Just take 6-8 sprigs of fresh rosemary plant and put them in your oil container. Seal bottle cap tightly and keep it for fermentation under the sun for about a week. You can start using this oil for regular cooking to get an added flavor.
- Soups, Stews, and Sauces
You can put gardens fresh rosemary in soups, stews and while making sauces at home.
- Bread and Pizza
If you are baking bread or pizza base at home, add a pinch of dried rosemary in the dough to get an exciting flavor.
- Rosemary Infused Beverages
You can put rosemary herbs in the detox water; add them to your regular lemonade drink, etc. Rosemary herbs enrich the taste of the grapefruit water or other fruit-infused drinks during summer.
- Rosemary Iced Tea
1 sachet iced tea
Some ice cubes
Honey (as per taste)
Lemon- 1 slice
Rosemary- fresh leaves
In chilled water immerse the rosemary leaves and set aside for 15 minutes. Now add the rest of the ingredients and squeeze the lemon juice into the mixture. Stir well and serve chilled for the ultimate refreshment in summer.