All About Growing Rosemary
If you have ever desired to try out your green thumb and try growing rosemary, then you have come to the right place. Rosemary is an extremely fragrant plant that is widely used across the globe for its smell, décor, and culinary properties, making it a wonderful plant to have around. And with this popularity comes an ease with which you can find plenty of information and assistance about rosemary and how to care for it. If you want rosemary in your garden or yard, then this article will help you and provide you with the knowledge you will need to do so.
Rosemary is a perennial herb that, like spearmint, is native to the Mediterranean region. Its botanical name is Rosmarinus officinalis, and like its cousin spearmint named above, it is a member of the mint family. Because it was found near the Mediterranean Sea, the Romans named it “rosmarinus”, which means “dew of the sea” (hence its current name). The herb itself has short, broad evergreen leaves, with white, pink, blue, or purple flowers during its blooming season. Rosemary can be upright or can trail along the ground, and rarely reaches more than six and a half feet tall.
Growing rosemary is easier than most people might think. For starters, this herb needs a neutral alkaline setting, preferably soil with a pH from 7 to 7.8. This plant can be susceptible to frost, and needs an open, sunny environment – which means extreme northern locales are out of the question. It also needs an environment that is not overly humid, because too much humidity can negatively impact this plant. The soil needs to be well drained as well; too much water in the dirt will cause the plant to become waterlogged and weak.
Using cuttings and not seeds will also aid you in growing rosemary. Although you can use seeds (and if you do, April is the best month to plant them), you will get faster results if you use cuttings from mature rosemary plants. This also helps you figure out exactly what type of rosemary you will get, and will spare you the irritation of trying to germinate seeds that just do not seem to want to sprout.
When growing rosemary, you should take care with a couple of things. The first is the humidity, as mentioned above. Too much humidity in the air without a sufficient breeze will cause a white, powdery mildew to form on the leaves. This mildew will not kill the plant, but it will make it weak. You should also look out for spider mites and aphids that love to eat rosemary. You definitely do not want insects to damage your herbs.
There are many benefits and advantages to having rosemary as a part of your garden. For example, it is a great addition to your culinary stockpile. Mediterranean cultures use rosemary extensively because its bitter taste can really compliment a wide variety of foods, especially in Greek and Italian cuisine. Also, rosemary has very high amounts of iron, calcium and vitamin B6, and also has carnosic acid, which can help fight Alzheimer's and other diseases by combating free radicals in your body. There are numerous other antioxidants in rosemary that can help you live a healthier life if you incorporate rosemary as a spice into your regular diet.
In conclusion, growing rosemary is a worthwhile activity which can result in a great addition to your garden. Whether you are eating it for the health benefits, or just using it to spice up your food, rosemary is a welcome plant in any household and is sure to add a nice aroma and flavor to your growing habits.