The first time I planted Rosemary I planted 2 seedlings that I bought at a local nursery at the end of a 4×8 foot raised bed I had. I didn’t know much about it. I cannot tell you how easy they are to grow. They didn’t need much water I rarely watered them, they just did their own thing.
Three years later they had taken over 1/2 of that bed and were gigantic. This year I moved them to 2 different places in my yard as ornamental herbs/hedge-type bushes and they are huge and beautiful.
A Rosemary plant is a useful herb that not only makes for a lovely addition to an ornamental herb garden but also adds great flavor to your cooking. Rosemary essential oil is also said to be very helpful for anything from pain relief, to hair growth, and even brain function.
This evergreen herb features needle-like leaves, dainty blue flowers, and easily grows into a lush shrub that keeps on giving.
Wondering how you can get started with this herb and how to reap the rosemary benefits from it? Then you’re in the right place because we’re going to be talking about rosemary planting, care, and harvesting tips. Let’s get started!
How to Plant Rosemary
Rosemary grows best in indirect light, well-drained soil. Damp potting soil will work well for this hardy plant. Add aged compost to the planting bed ahead of planting. Rosemary will endure poor soil as long as it is well-drained and has a pH of 6.5 to 7.0.
With Rosemary, it’s best to plant them as a cutting rather than from seeds as these can take weeks to germinate and are a little finicky.
You need to have just the right conditions to successfully plant and grow rosemary from seeds. You need to start them indoors in the spring under fluorescent light.
You’ll have an easier time growing your new plants from a nursery-grown plant or hardwood cuttings from your own garden.
This year I took 3 of my own cuttings of soft, new fresh growth from those I mentioned above. The softwood cuttings were about 3-5″ long. I stripped the leaves away up to about 2″ from the bottom of the cutting. Then did nothing more than stick them in a soil mix and water them. They have flourished ever since.
I placed the container in a warm spot with indirect sunlight and kept them watered well. Once the cuttings had new roots, I transplanted them in individual pots, you can also plant them in a raised bed or in the ground in an area that receives full sun.
If you decide to plant them in the ground, for better results, make enough space because they can grow up to 4 feet tall and 5 feet wide.
You might also like: How To Attract Birds To Your Garden
Rosemary is native to the Mediterranean region and as such, it thrives in warm areas with fair humidity. The great thing about this great herb is that it’s pretty easy to grow and care for.
All they really need to grow happy and healthy is a good amount of sunlight, proper soil drainage, and ample air circulation.
If you live in a warm area or warmer climate, you won’t have a hard time with rosemary. Just make sure that they receive 6 to 8 hours of sun every day.
If you live in cooler climates, and experience pretty low temperatures in the winter. It’s best to grow them in containers. You can use a larger pot or small pot, then bring them indoors in the coldest months and put them under bright light.
Rosemary can be susceptible to root rot that can cause fungal disease, which will delay root growth or kill your plant. So be sure to water them evenly throughout the growing season. Avoid overwatering them.
Planting beds can be fed with aged compost. This also helps slow down soil moisture evaporation.
Once established, you can harvest fresh rosemary throughout the year. Using a garden pruner ( this will give you a clean cut), take 4 to 6 inches of fresh rosemary sprigs from the tip of branches.
You can then strip the leaves using a sharp knife or sharp scissors from the rosemary stems and get your fresh rosemary cuttings. You can also set them out to dry.
This year I cut some sprigs from the woody stems, mixed it with salt, then ran it through my Ninja blender, and made Rosemary salt with the fresh cuttings, which has been a great addition to many dishes we cook.
When harvesting or pruning old or new rosemary plants, be sure to gather no more than one-third of the plant. Severely pruning them will stress them out and possibly kills them.
You might also like: How To Prune Tomato Plants
How To Extract Rosemary Oil
Extracting Rosemary oil isn’t difficult, yet it can be very beneficial. Here are the steps you need to take to make your own Rosemary essential oil from your Rosemary plant:
Take enough cuttings from your mature rosemary plant to fill a Mason Jar.
Wash your Rosemary and allow it to dry completely.
Once your Rosemary has been cleaned and is dry, then fill your mason jar with your rosemary.
Fill the jar full with Olive Oil, making sure the Rosemary is completely covered. Seal the lid onto the jar.
Place the jar in a warm sunny location for about a month, longer if it’s cooler.
Strain the oil from the jar and discard the pieces of the plant that are left after straining.
Use the strained oil to fill dropper bottles with your oil.
Store in a cool dark area for up to a year.
How to Save Rosemary Seeds
You can easily save rosemary seeds so you can replant them in the next growing season.
Once the flowers begin to turn brown and dry, remove them from the plant and place them in paper bags so they can dry for a couple of weeks.
To extract the seeds, simply shake the flowers in the bag or rub them in between your palms to separate the seeds from the chaff.
Place the seeds in a container or seed bags (this is what I like to do), label them, and store in a cool, dry place. Rosemary seeds remain viable for up to about one year so be sure to start them within that period.
I have had many people ask me how to use Rosemary. Rosemary is a versatile herb that can be used as a part of your landscaping as well as in the kitchen. Rosemary tea can be tasty and Rosemary spice is the perfect addition to some dishes.
When grown in containers, it can be pruned into topiary forms. You can also grow them as a ground cover as well as a hedge if you plant enough of them inn the ground.
As for culinary use, rosemary herb can be used fresh or dried in a variety of sauces, stews, soups, meat, and poultry dishes.
The rosemary stem cuttings can be used to flavor barbecues while the flowers can be sprinkled on top of salads or mixed in butter or cheese.
What are your favorite herbs to grow in your garden?
You can also find gardening products I use in my videos here <---
You can go to my storefront using this secure link <----
If you need seeds, this is the company I use <--- and if you use code: farmer1 at checkout, you'll get 10% off your order!
10 Things All Gardeners Need To Know:
- How To Make DIY Indoor Bug Plant Sprays
- Check Out These Herbs That Grow Well Together in any garden
- Growing Vegetables In Soil Bags Is Simple and fun
- How Much Potting Mix Do I Need? Use Our Free Calculator To Find Out, NOW!
- Amending Raised Bed Soil is easier than you thought
- Sunburn Plant Leaves how does it happen, why, and what to do
- You Can Plant Your Own Food Garden and grow year round
- The Best Vegetable Garden App Is On This List of apps that I use
- This DIY Vermicomposting Bin is a simple and fun family project