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Growing Fragrant Rosemary Herb Plants in The Garden or The Kitchen

Updated on March 20, 2015

Blue Flowering Rosemary

Care and Growth of Rosemary Herb Plants

Rosemary (rosmarinus officinalis) is a perennial shrub native to the Mediterranean region. These fragrant, drought-tolerant plants get blue flowers in late winter, early spring are evergreen and put up with tough growing conditions. These are the herbs you use in the kitchen, so easy to grow - and delicious!

Care and Growth of Rosemary

Delicious and Drought Tolerant Herb

Rosemary (rosmarinus officinalis) is a perennial shrub native to the Mediterranean region. These drought-tolerant plants grow slowly to six feet tall, but are generally seen much smaller. Rosemary plants like full sun but can be grown in light shade. These are the herbs you use in the kitchen, they're easy to grow - and delicious!

Rosemary can tolerate regular garden water, but will happily survive in drought conditions. Although, if it has been 120 degrees in your area, you might want to step up the watering for a few days.

Rosemary is also subject to root rot, so do not let the plants sit in a wet pot. In the garden, if your soil is heavy clay, or retains a lot of water, you should make sure the soil is dry before watering again.

Rosemary has fragrant, sticky, needle-like leaves in deep green which grow on short stems. Mature rosemary branches are brown and have a thin papery covering that looks like peeling bark. Rosemary plants are easy to grow in containers and can also be used for bonsai.

Rosemary can be shaped into small cone-shaped trees for Christmas, or grown inside of mesh cages and shaped into fantastic topiary creations. Normally rosemary has a draping growth habit and will be seen hanging over pots, or tumbling down slopes.

Pinch the tips of the branches to encourage shrubbier growth - and use the fragrant leaves in your dinner.

Rosemary blooms in winter and early spring. Flowers are usually blue, but white and pink varieties can be found at specialty nurseries or online seed catalogs.

Rosemary is a good choice for container gardens, herb gardens or desert gardens.

Rosemary Lore and Uses

Some common names for rosemary include, Dew of the Sea, Compass Weed and Elf Leaf. In medieval lore, rosemary was used to promote good health, healing and protection. It can be burned as an incense whole and has been used as a substitute for frankincense.

Rosemary branches were also hung over doorposts to keep thieves away, and worn to relieve depression and improve mental powers. In Victorian times, rosemary was used as a symbol of remembrance and even carried by brides on their wedding day.

Today promising research is being done on rosemary's ability to improve mental capacity and mood. Research on asthma, skin conditions and scalp issues are promising.

Rosemary in the Kitchen

Rosemary plants are a valuable herb in the kitchen. You can use rosemary fresh from the garden, just pull the leaves off the woody stems.

Rosemary tastes good with cooked meat, simmered in soups or stews or snipped over vegetables.

Serve a spring of rosemary in olive oil for dipping with French bread.

Layer slices of bread with fresh rosemary then warm slightly. The essential oils will seep into the bread and the springs can be eaten raw.

© 2008 Laura

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    • jadehorseshoe profile image

      jadehorseshoe 5 years ago

      Great Tips. I grow my herbs indoors.

    • profile image

      HERBMASTER 8 years ago

      I can smell rosemary now right off this page. Enjoyed your work.

    • steveffeo lm profile image

      steveffeo lm 8 years ago

      Excellent lens and welcome to the Organic Gardening group

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 8 years ago

      Beautiful lens. Our large rosemary bush has become a butterfly hatchery this year. The caterpillars secure themselves and go through the metamorphosis process. It's pretty amazing to see butterflies take off on their first flight.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      I have just recently bought a small rosemary plant and found some very helpful tips here. Great site. Thanks for the tips.

    • SPF profile image

      SPF 9 years ago

      I love growing this herb too. It's pretty, fragrant and yummy!! Welcome to the Backyard Habitat group!