Saturday, 8 June 2013

HOW TO GROW ROSEMARY



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Rosemary is a low maintenance plant that is a great culinary herb, but it is well worth growing as a shrub for its appearance alone.  This perennial plant will last for many years in your border and is very easy to look after.  Its needles can be finely chopped and used in a variety of dishes. 


Rosemary is a native plant of the Mediterranean and Asia and will survive a lack of water for lengthy periods of time. With its slender, pine like needles it has a profusion of small flowers that appear from late spring, ranging from dark blue to pale blue through to white. 

Propagating Rosemary 

The best method of propagating Rosemary is by taking cuttings in mid-May or June.  Ensure you select a healthy looking plant with lots of new growth on it. Using a sharp knife or secateurs cut off one of the new shoots just below the leaf join to a length of  7.5 cm.  Alternatively you can tear a shoot off from the stem and trim the heel to remove most of it. Remove the leaves from the lower 4 cm of each cutting. 


Fill a 9 cm pot with potting compost and insert three cuttings down the side of the pot. There is no need to add rooting hormone to the cutting.  Water well and cover the pot with a plastic bag or place in a propagator to maintain moisture levels.  Alternatively you can mist the foliage three times a day with water.  Place the pot in a warm position such as a windowsill, out of the direct sunlight.  The cuttings will be ready to plant out in approximately 8 weeks.

Maintenance 

Rosemary prefers a light, sandy soil but will tolerate most soil conditions as long as they are not water-logged. The best time to plant out is in May.  Select a sunny, sheltered position and add 1 cm of sandy soil or sharp sand to the bottom of the planting hole.  Back fill with soil and water gently.


Rosemary grows extremely well in pots and containers, but because rosemary is a deep rooting herb ensure the container is large enough for the plant.  Use a potting mixture of 1 part sharp sand and 4 parts potting compost.  Container grown rosemary is more likely to be affected by severe frost so move to a more sheltered position during the winter.

Lightly trim back the plant after flowering to maintain a compact size and shape.  Water only when the compost is very dry.

For related articles click onto:
Feeding plants
Growing Garlic in Containers
Growing herbs
Growing herbs on a windowsill
Growing herbs in pots
Herbaceous borders
How to grow garlic
How to grow lavender
How to build a cold frame
How to grow basil
How to grow coriander
How to grow garlic
How to Grow Ginger
How to grow lavender
How to grow mint
How to grow parsley
How to grow parsley
How to grow rosemary
How to grow thyme
How to make compost
How to propagate using division
How to propagate from seed
Plants for free
Preparing a seed bed
Potagers
Watering plants

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