Rosemary

Botanical name: Rosmarinus officinalis

Rosemary is an herb that has many uses. It can be used to flavor food, as a decoration, and even as a medicine. This versatile herb is a must-have in any kitchen. Rosemary can be used to flavor meats, vegetables, soups, and even bread. It is also a beautiful decoration for any table.

Rosemary plant growing in a garden

The rosemary herb plant is a hardy perennial shrub. It has needle-like leaves which are dark green and glossy on the top, and light gray underneath.

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis, and Salvia rosmarinus) is a perennial herb with fragrant, evergreen, needle-like leaves and white, pink, purple, or blue flowers.

It is native to the Mediterranean region and is a member of the mint family.

Rosemary basics

Position

Thrives in full sun.

Soil

Prefers well-draining, slightly acidic to neutral soil.

Hardiness

Moderately hardy.
Zones: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11

Watering

Drought tolerant once established

Harvest

Harvest sprigs year-round, from one year after planting

Flowers

Blooms in late spring.
Blue, pink or white flowers.

Common varieties

There are two common growth forms of the rosemary plant, upright rosemary, and prostrate rosemary.

Some common upright rosemary varieties include:

  • Tuscan blue. A large shrub that grows up to 7 feet tall. Sky-blue flowers.
  • Beneden blue. A smaller shrub, that will grow to around 2 feet tall, and 4 feet wide.
  • Majorca pink. Has bright green leaves with pink-purple flowers.

Prostrate rosemary, also known as creeping rosemary, grows horizontally and will trail downwards if grown in a pot or hanging basket. This variety has less flavor than the upright varieties. Try ‘Prostratus’ or ‘Irene’.

Growing rosemary

You can grow rosemary from seed, but the easiest way to propagate this herb is to grow it from cuttings.
>> How to Grow Rosemary From Cuttings

Position plants in a well-sheltered area, with well-draining soils that gets full sun for at least half of the day.

If you live in a cooler climate, consider growing rosemary in pots, which can be taken inside to overwinter. Or plant a cold-tolerant variety like ‘Arp’.

Growing tips

  • Plant in well-draining soils and ensure you do not overwater it.
  • Lightly prune to promote new growth in the spring and summer.
  • Add 2-3 inches of mulch in the fall to protect from falling temperatures.

Rosemary plants will be ready to harvest once they are close to a year old.

To harvest sections for cooking, clip a 6-inch section of new growth (these have better flavor). Always leave

>> How to Harvest Rosemary

Uses for rosemary

Rosemary is a herb that has a long history of use in cooking and medicine. The herb is native to the Mediterranean region and has been used for centuries in that part of the world.

Rosemary has a strong, resinous flavor and can be used to flavor many dishes from meats to vegetables to desserts.

Its piney scent comes from its essential oils, some of which are the same as those in pine trees, which makes it perfect for making Christmas decorations.
>> How to Make a Rosemary Wreath

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