Growing Rosemary

Growing Rosemary is essential in my basic herb garden.

It is quite tender and you need to be careful over winter in colder areas.

It is evergreen and highly aromatic - quite decorative too with lovely flowers.



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It is possible to grow rosemary from seed (sow outdoors in mid spring) but it is quicker to take cuttings in early Spring from the old plants.

You can also layer or divide - explanation in Gardening Terms section

Just take off a few sprigs about 6"/15cm with a 'heel' attached, strip off the bottom leaves, dip in rooting powder and put into potting compost - cover with a plastic cloche or a polythene bag tied round the rim of the pot.

Leave for a month or so - don't keep pulling to see if they're rooted :-) and then harden them off gradually through late Spring to plant out in the Autumn.

Rosemary needs a sunny, sheltered position (against a wall if possible) in a light, well drained soil. It needs lime, so if your soil is not suitable, then a few crushed eggs shells, some garden lime or powdered chalk should be worked into the soil around it.

Rosemary needs winter protection in colder climates - for this reason, it is suitable for bringing indoors. On the down side, it can grow quite large over time - up to 5ft high - so bring one of your spring cuttings inside.

Added bonus here, is that if the worst happens to your garden rosemary, you have the replacement to harden off and plant outside next year.

Rescue Remedy for Rosemary
If you're lucky enough to inherit a herb garden with rosemary growing in it, but it's out of control, don't worry.

Thoroughly weed the surrounding soil - if the plant is very leggy, then dividing the plant would be in order.

This would give the plant a much needed boost and encourage lovely green shoots again.

You could also layer the growing rosemary bush and once those plants had established, you could dispose of the old plant.

I don't like throwing old plants away - so to be honest, I'd dig it up and plant it a bit deeper somewhere other than the herb garden as it is a lovely evergreen shrub with beatiful flowers and delightfully aromatic leaves - a good value plant in my opinion.

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