Rosemary Plant Care

A sun-loving shrub whose aroma conjures up images of the Mediterranean. The leaves of rosemary, which look like needles, can be picked at any time. Rosemary can be grown in pots, but keep in mind that this perennial herb can get very big and needs to be potted in new compost every couple of years.

How to grow rosemary at home

Rosemary is best started from ready-grown plants in spring. Plant in a sunny, sheltered position in well-drained soil as they hate wet roots in winter. Alternatively, grow in a 30 to a 60-cm container filled with soil-based or multi-purpose compost.

How to plant rosemary

Make sure the ground isn’t frozen or covered in water before planting rosemary in spring or autumn. Choose soil that drains well and is sunny and protected. Dig a lot of bark, grit, or leaf mould into cold clay soils to improve drainage. or use a container to grow your rosemary.

Rosemary thrives in soil-based, peat-free compost in containers. For better drainage, place crocks on top of the pots.

Caring for rosemary plants

During dry spells, give rosemary plants plenty of water and feed them with a general fertiliser. Bring plants under cover to protect them during cold winters.

Rosemary is a plant that can tolerate some drought, but in a dry summer, it will need to be watered frequently. After flowering, it will need to be cut back to prevent plants from becoming straggly, but it requires very little maintenance. 

Protecting your rosemary during harsh winters and in cold regions is good practice. Plants grown in containers should be raised onto pot feet to protect them. Add a thick layer of mulch to the base of ground-grown plants and cover the branches with a sheet of horticultural fleece.

Harvesting rosemary

Although rosemary can be harvested at any time of the year, its flavour is best when fresh and tender in the summer. Snip shoots as necessary to maintain the plant’s attractive shape.

Hang rosemary sprigs in a warm, dark, and well-ventilated area to dry. Remove the leaves once they have completely dried and store them in an airtight jar.

Storing rosemary

Since rosemary is an evergreen, it can be purchased fresh year-round. It freezes but drys well (on a baking tray in the airing cupboard).

Growing rosemary: problem-solving

Late frosts can damage rosemary growth, resulting in its death or distortion. Remove any damaged growth and, if frost is expected, cover the bed twice with horticultural fleece to fix this. 

On the underside of the leaf and along the midrib, small, yellow scales may appear. They produce honeydew and suck sap, both of which encourage sooty mould. Use biological control in the greenhouse to fix this. 

Another frequent issue is the rosemary beetle. The greyish-white larvae and the small oval beetle with metallic green and purple stripes are a problem. The pest is prevalent in plants, where it swiftly removes leaves from stems. Regularly inspecting the plants and manually removing beetles is one option.

6 Essential Tips for Growing Rosemary Indoors

Repot Your Rosemary

Repot or plant your rosemary plant in the ground or in a container that is one size larger once you have it.

Use Containers That Have Good Drainage

Choose a container for your rosemary that has adequate drainage holes so that any excess water can drain out. Empty the saucer under your rosemary an hour after watering if there is still water in there; otherwise, root rot could occur.

Pay Attention to Potting Mix

Use a high-quality edible plant-specific potting mix. The ideal one has little fertiliser and allows for good drainage.

Water Rosemary When Soil Feels Dry

When the soil’s surface appears dry in the summer, water rosemary. Overwatering can lead to rotting and insect problems, so make sure the plant isn’t sitting in waterlogged soil.

Provide Plenty of Light

When growing rosemary, the woody-stemmed herb needs to be grown in a warm climate during the summer and in a slightly cooler but bright climate during the winter.

Regulate the Temperature Inside Your Home

Keep your indoor temperatures between 15 and 20 degrees Celsius during the day and at least 5 degrees cooler at night for optimal growing conditions.

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Updated on April 12, 2023

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