All about Rosemary

all about rosemary

One of the must-have herbs in the garden has to be rosemary. The smell reminds me of walks in the Mariola mountains back home in Spain, where it grows wild amongst the thyme, lavender and other medicinal herbs.

I love growing rosemary, not only for its lovely scent but I also think it’s a very attractive plant.

rosemary plant

Sowing and growing Rosemary

I have never attempted to grow rosemary from seed. Having researched how to do this, I think it’s best to buy ready young plants as the seeds apparently take ages to germinate. It seems to be very hit and miss growing rosemary from seed, and I’m all for making things easy.

You can also grow it from cuttings taken right after flowering. Cut a fresh shoot that hasn’t flowered and remove all leaves on the lower half of the shoot. With a sharp knife, make a clean cut just below a leaf node. You can dip it in rooting powder if you wish or just place it directly into a pot filled with gritty compost mix. You can insert several of these shoots into the same pot.

rosemary plant in pot

Water the pot and place it in a warm sheltered spot. You can also pop a clear plastic bag over the cuttings to keep them moist. Keep checking them and airing if necessary to avoid mould.  After a few weeks you can check if they have produced a root system. If they have, they are ready to be potted on to a bigger pot. Repeat this process as the plant grows until it’s big enough to be planted out.

I grow several rosemary plants in pots and containers and they all do well, but I do find that they grow larger and stronger planted in the ground.

Plant care

One mistake I made was not cutting back the rosemary right after flowering. The plant can become quite big and woody if you don’t regularly cut it back every year. Rosemary likes good drainage too, they hate sitting in soggy soil, so make sure you add grit or sand to the soil if needed. We have clay soil in our garden and our mediterranean plants seem to like it but we added grit and a little gravel to aid drainage and they have done well.

Rosemary is winter hardy but it can struggle in wet weather. Plant it in the sunniest most sheltered spot in your garden and it will thrive.

rosemary flower

Why plant rosemary in your garden?

There are a lot of reasons why you should grow rosemary in your garden:

  • it provides evergreen interest all year round
  • it has lovely flowers that bees and pollinators love
  • can be grown near paths or seating areas to make the most of the beautiful scent
  • has many uses in the kitchen
  • can thrive in pots and containers
  • it has medicinal properties

Medicinal claims

Rosemary is said to be high in antioxidant, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory compounds and

  • may help lower blood sugar
  • can improve mood and memory
  • supports brain, vision and eye health
  • promotes digestion
  • promotes hair growth

These are just some of the claims I have come across.

In some countries it is believed that rosemary improves memory and concentration. It was also considered to be a symbol of friendship and loyalty and was used for stomach upsets, headaches, indigestion and nervous tension.

rosemary in medicine

Some countries used it as an infusion to prevent baldness.

More recently, the German Commission E, which examines the safety and efficacy of herbs, approved the internal use of rosemary for digestive issues. And they also approved the external use as supportive therapy for rheumatism and circulatory issues.

There isn’t enough research though to substantiate these claims and caution is advised when using any natural remedies.

flowering rosemary

Do you grow rosemary in your garden? And do you use it in cooking or infusions? I would love to hear what you grow in your garden and if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask!

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