Gardening Tips | How to Grow Rosemary Plant

Garden Tips: How to grow Rosemary from Lavender Farm NZ.

Rosemary, a perennial evergreen shrub adorned with sturdy, needle-like leaves and charming blue flowers, belongs to the mint family. Its culinary versatility shines in Italian and Mediterranean cuisine, appearing in various dishes, vinegars, and oils.

Growing rosemary is a breeze. Given the suitable soil and water conditions, it can flourish into a lush, expansive evergreen hedge, particularly in warmer regions. Let's delve into the essentials of cultivating this remarkable herb.


Exploring Rosemary Varieties: A Guide to Different Types

There are four main types of rosemary varieties:

  • Tall and Upright: Examples include Tuscan Blue, Miss Jessups Upright, Genge's Gold, and Portugese Pink.
  • Low and Spreading: Varieties in this category include Blue Lagoon, Collingwood Ingram, Lockwood de Forest, Rosea, Wendy's White, and Benenden Blue.
  • Prostrate: Prostrate varieties include Santa Barbara and Huntington Carpet.
  • Other Species: There are also other species of rosemary.

Tuscan Blue Rosemary:

Our lavender farm proudly grows the Tuscan Blue variety of rosemary, known for its tall and upright growth habit. Tuscan Blue rosemary features deep green foliage with a silver-white underside, creating a striking visual contrast. This variety is highly aromatic, with a robust fragrance that fills the air with its refreshing scent.

Tuscan Blue rosemary is prized for its versatility in culinary use, adding a delightful flavor to various dishes. Additionally, its fragrant foliage makes it a popular choice for crafting aromatic sachets and herbal remedies. With its vigorous growth and resilience to harsh conditions, Tuscan Blue rosemary is a valuable addition to any garden or landscape.

Rosemary: Essential Plant Information

  • Name: Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis and cultivars).
  • Plant Type: Evergreen shrub, often with upright branching.
  • Height: Typically grows to 1–1.5m, but can reach heights of over 2m.
  • Foliage: Features small, needle-like leaves measuring about 3cm in length and 3mm in width. Leaves are dark green on top and silver-white underneath, with curved edges. Possesses a strong aromatic scent.
  • Climate: Flourishes in warm and cool temperate climates but may struggle in humid tropical areas. Requires protection if temperatures dip below –10˚C.
  • Soil: Thrives in well-draining soil and can tolerate alkaline conditions with a pH of 7.5 and above.
  • Position: Prefers full sun exposure but needs shielding from cold winds. Adequate air circulation is vital, particularly in humid environments.
  • Flowering: Produces small flowers in various blue and white shades, blooming profusely from late winter to summer.
  • Feeding: Requires minimal feeding, with an annual application of controlled-release fertilizer being sufficient.
  • Watering: Drought-tolerant but benefits from occasional watering during dry spells.

How to Grow Rosemary Plant?

Optimal Sun Exposure

Rosemary flourishes when it basks in 6 to 8 hours of sunlight daily. Choose a well-lit spot in your garden or on your windowsill to ensure it gets the light it needs to thrive.

Ideal Soil Type

Rosemary prefers well-draining soil with a sandy texture and an alkaline pH. This combination offers the best conditions for healthy growth. However, rosemary is remarkably adaptive and can tolerate various soil types, making it a versatile choice for many gardens.

Water: Striking a Balance for Rosemary's Thirst

  • Drought-Tolerant Nature: Rosemary is well-known for its drought tolerance, making it a resilient herb even in arid conditions. When planted in the ground, it can often thrive with infrequent watering. However, it's essential to strike a balance, as overwatering can lead to root rot and adversely affect the plant.
  • Sensitivity to Drainage: The key to keeping your rosemary happy is good drainage. Excess water around its roots can be a significant problem. Well-draining soil and pots equipped with drainage holes are vital for preventing water-related issues.
  • Potted Rosemary Care: For potted rosemary, water the plant when the surface of the soil becomes slightly dry. While it's drought-tolerant, you should never allow the soil to become entirely dry. Always aim to keep your potted rosemary at least slightly moist to promote robust growth.

Cold Hardiness: Rosemary's Resilience in Chilly Climes

Rosemary can be a robust addition to your garden year-round, especially in frost-free regions. It thrives in the great outdoors, offering fragrant foliage and culinary delight. However, it's important to know the limits of rosemary's cold tolerance.

  • Year-Round Growth: In frost-free areas, you can keep rosemary in the ground without worry. It will flourish, providing a constant source of aromatic leaves for your culinary adventures and aromatic pleasures.
  • Temperature Threshold: Rosemary is resilient, but it has a breaking point. When temperatures dip below -6°C (20°F), this herb can exhibit signs of damage. Leaves may discolor or curl, and overall growth may be stunted.
  • Indoor Shelter: To safeguard your rosemary during harsh winter conditions, consider bringing potted plants indoors or providing them with adequate cold protection. This ensures your rosemary remains healthy and vibrant, ready to thrive in the spring.

Prune with Precision: Rosemary's Seasonal Trimming

  • Ideal Pruning Period: Rosemary is amenable to pruning throughout the spring and summer seasons. Trimming during this period, especially in sunny conditions, stimulates the growth of robust new foliage and maintains the plant's overall health.
  • Timing Matters: Avoid late-fall or winter pruning, as it can divert the plant's energy toward growing tender new growth rather than fortifying the existing, hardier foliage. Protect your rosemary's vitality by pruning at the right time.
  • Precision in Pruning: Be cautious not to cut below the lower leaves, as excessive removal of green foliage can harm the plant, leading to the development of woody branches. Prune with care to ensure your rosemary thrives and remains vibrant throughout the year.

With these tailored guidelines, you can ensure that your rosemary gets the right balance of sun, soil, and water, promoting its healthy development and enhancing its culinary and aromatic potential.

What Are the Key Guidelines for Growing Rosemary?

Here is a quick summary on growing rosemary:

Sunlight: Rosemary thrives with 6 to 8 hours of daily sunlight.

Soil: Opt for sandy, well-draining, alkaline pH soil, though rosemary is adaptable to various soil types.

Water: Drought-tolerant, rosemary should be sparingly watered in the ground, avoiding waterlogged roots. For potted rosemary, keep the soil slightly moist but not entirely dry.

Cold Hardiness: In frost-free regions, grow rosemary year-round; however, protect it indoors when temperatures drop below -6°C (20°F).

Pruning: Trim rosemary during spring or summer for healthy new growth, avoiding late fall or winter pruning to encourage robust, established growth.

As a lavender herb farm in New Zealand, we also grow Rosmarinus officinalis Tuscan Blue Rosemary. The plant gives not only the deep mauve flowers to look at, we also use the foliage to make our smudge stick for burning to invite positive energy to your house. If you would like to learn more about our farm, click to read more and Discover Our Farm.


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