Is Rosemary An Outdoor Plant

A perennial evergreen shrub with blue blooms, rosemary. The flavor is sweet and resinous, and it is a distinctive and aromatic herb. How to grow your own rosemary plants is provided here!

About Rosemary

The Mediterranean native rosemary thrives in warm climates with moderate humidity, where it can develop into a shrub that is several feet tall. In fact, if given the right environment, rosemary grows so quickly that, if not carefully controlled, it may actually become a bit of a burden.

In Zones 7 and warmer, this plant can be cultivated outdoors as a perennial shrub. It should be kept in a pot and taken inside for the winter in colder climates.

For optimal results, grow your plants in full light. The soil where the plants will be planted needs to drain well because rosemary can’t stand being constantly damp. The ideal soil should have a pH between 6.0 and 7.0, be loamy, and be moderately rich (add compost before planting to boost nitrogen levels).

Make sure your plants have enough space to grow. Once planted, rosemary can eventually reach a height of around 4 feet and a horizontal spread of about 4 feet.

Is rosemary a houseplant or a garden plant?

Large, shrubby rosemary is usually planted outside, but potted plants can be brought inside if you give them careful care. Rosemary benefits from a lot of sunshine and a regular watering schedule that keeps its loamy soil moist without becoming soggy.

How is a rosemary plant cared for outside?

It’s understandable why the International Herb Association named rosemary Herb of the Year in 2000. This fragrant evergreen serves as an essential kitchen herb as well as a garden ornament and an aromatherapy ingredient.

In areas of the world with moderate winters, rosemary grows as an evergreen perennial shrub in the Labiatae, or mint family. Its Latin name, Rosmarinus officinalis, which alludes to its Mediterranean origins, means “dew of the sea.”

But the climate where I reside is nothing like that of the Mediterranean. The growth circumstances for rosemary are not the best here in Minnesota, but I still persist. However, it can be difficult to cultivate rosemary inside in the winter. It is simple to over-nurture and over-care for indoor rosemary. I let the soil dry out before giving the plant a good watering because too much moisture will harm the roots and make the plant die. Rosemary needs to be exposed to the south, and my kitchen window is the ideal location for this.

I noticed that there is a lot of variation within the genus Rosmarinus when I first started learning about rosemary. The several varieties provide a variety of plant forms and flower colors, as well as a selection of foliage colors and somewhat distinct flavors (both leaves and flowers are edible).

Propagate by cuttings

The majority of rosemaries are clones or cultivars that are propagated through cuttings. When growing rosemary from seed, poor germination and considerable plant variety are usual outcomes. Cuttings always produce plants that are identical to the source plant. Rosemary is simple to grow, and occasionally roots will appear in a glass of water on a warm windowsill. The optimum time of year to take cuttings, in my experience, is in the late fall and early winter.

Cut 2-1/2-inch stems from new growth on an established plant to obtain cuttings (see Propagating rosemary). Instead of plucking the bottom leaves off, snip them off and then cover the bottom 1/4 inch of the plant with hormone rooting powder. Put the cuttings in a container with an equal mixture of perlite and peat moss. On sunny days, lightly spray the cuttings.

Propagating rosemary

Cuttings typically take 14 to 21 days to take root, while bottom heat will hasten this process. Transplanting the cuttings into 3-1/2-inch pots is possible once they have rooted. In order to promote branching, pinch the uppermost terminal bud.

Good drainage and full sun keep rosemary thriving

The primary conditions for growing rosemary in a garden are full sunlight (six to eight hours each day) and sufficient drainage. The addition of well-rotted manure to the soil in the garden will promote new growth, but it is typically not necessary.

Prior to planting, lighten up heavy soils because proper drainage is crucial. In southern areas, mulch should be used to surround rosemary plants to keep the roots cool. Choose a mulch that drains quickly, such as white sand. A liquid fertilizer based on kelp can be used in the spring to feed mature rosemary plants that have been in the ground for several seasons.

I suggest planting rosemary in a clay container here in the North during the summer and taking it indoors for the winter. In fact, you have to overwinter rosemary indoors if you live in a zone 6 or colder. Although I have observed rosemary surviving in Minnesota down to around 25 degrees Fahrenheit without suffering any damage, I would bring plants inside before it gets that cold.

Bringing rosemary indoors

When the temperature falls to 30oF in the fall, it’s time to bring rosemary indoors. It takes good sunlight—the more the better—and ideally a southern exposure for rosemary to grow successfully indoors. If the plant is huge, rotate it once a week to ensure that all of its surfaces get sunshine. If you can’t boost natural light, think about utilizing artificial light as wiry growth is sometimes an indication of insufficient light. Plants can also be pruned to promote bushiness. Because of poor airflow, powdery mildew can occasionally appear on indoor plants. If this occurs, run a tiny (3-inch) fan for three to four hours a day. In comparison to upright kinds, I’ve found that creeping varieties flourish and tolerate dry interior air better.

Insects are typically not a concern when rosemary is grown outside. However, aphids and spider mites are more likely to be a problem indoors. When this occurs, spray the rosemary plant frequently with an insecticidal soap until it recovers.

The ideal indoor temperature for rosemary growth is a cool 60°F. Increased humidity should be avoided because it encourages the growth of powdery mildew.

Container gardening is a cinch

Rosemary grows well in containers outside, particularly in an easterly location where it receives full sun until midday. Make sure the container you’re using is large enough to prevent drying out during the day if it receives all-day sun. One part sterilized soil, one part peat moss, and one part perlite make up a high-quality potting soil. This mixture ought to offer plenty of drainage. The roots are kept a little bit drier during rainy spells by a small layer of gravel in the pot’s bottom, which also aids drainage.

I like using rosemary as a specimen since it may be a sculptural plant with an unusual form. However, it also thrives when grown in containers with other herbs and flowers. Curry, society garlic, “Red Rubin” basil, bay, garden sage, curly parsley, and thyme are the ingredients I use to prepare it.

Two times a year, rosemary in large pots needs to be transplanted. When the plant is big enough to need a bigger pot, take it out of the container and trim about 2 inches from the bottom and outside edge of the soil and roots. Make sure to prune back a portion of the plant’s top while performing this type of invasive trimming to make up for the root pruning. After that, you can repot the plant in the original container. Both transplanting and using an organic fertilizer twice a month will encourage new growth.

A sample of rosemary cultivars

Since many years ago, my husband and I have grown rosemaries in greenhouses and gardens, selecting plants with good upright growth, dark-green leaves, and good flavor and scent. We debuted “Shady Acres” in the summer of 1999; it was called after our herb farm. These qualities of this rosemary match what we were seeking for. It grows rather quickly from cuttings and is simple to propagate. I clip the top growth of the plants when they are in 3-1/2-inch pots to promote branching. A strong, bushy plant soon emerges. The dark green leaves of “Shady Acres” grow up to 1 inch long while remaining close to the branch and are rarely floral. It’s a fantastic culinary herb with a powerful aroma and a lot of flavor.

Rosemary cultivars are unending, and many of them are available by mail order. ‘Majorca Pink’ is one of the greatest pink-flowered cultivars. It grows in an unusual way, with long branches that become older and arch downward.

The flower stalks of “Nancy Howard” develop into a huge, airy plant with virtually white flowers. The pink blossoms on the “Pinkie” dwarf bush rosemary gave it its name. ‘Pinkie’ grows tightly and compactly, with tiny leaves. Beautiful specimen “Miss Jessopp’s Upright” has light-blue flowers on a multi-stemmed plant. This plant has a maximum height of six feet.

The erect, open-growing plant known as “Huntington Blue” has pale-blue blooms. On tall, arched stems, the leaves can get as much as an inch long. My rosemary shrub ‘Silver Spires’ has variegated leaves that range in color from pale yellow to white and green that I bought last year. Green sprouts do occasionally appear, but these should be removed.

Try “Shimmering Stars” if you’re seeking for a topiary-worthy plant. This rosemary trailing plant has pink flower buds that open to medium-blue or lavender flowers.

Look for “Blue Boy” if you want a rosemary that grows well in a pot or planter with other herbs. It develops as a tiny bush with leafy clusters at the ends of the stems. It has tiny leaves that are 1/2 inch long and pale blue flowers.

The compactly growing Rosmarinus officinalis ‘Joyce De Baggio’, also called ‘Golden Rain, has blue blooms. Light yellow stripes can be seen in its new leaf growth, which turns green in the summer. ‘Dancing Waters’ is a small, compact shrub with erratic growth that has dark-blue blooms. Flowers are a medium blue-violet color, and leaves can reach a length of 3/4 inch.

The Washington, D.C., Cathedral Herb Garden is where the term “Herb Cottage” first appeared. It is a very attractive plant with dark blue flowers and compact, upright growth. It has also gone by the name “Foresteri.”

The lovely spreading shrub “Severn Sea” develops an erect habit with branches that arch as it grows bigger. It has deep blue blooms and bright green foliage. Norman Hadden brought it over from Somerset, England.

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Can rosemary survive in the open air?

Although we cannot state with certainty that any herb alleviates sadness or despair, we are always uplifted when we run the fresh aroma of rosemary through our fingers. We are affected by its signature scent of pine trees along the seashore in the early evening breeze. Even though we are far from the sea and have to endure the chilly days of February, the drears and dulls are blown away.

The Mediterranean climate in the south was moderate enough to support rosemary, so the Romans brought it to England. The word derives from the Latin ros marinus, which means sea dew. It flourished during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, with every garden having one or more bushes that were frequently groomed into fancy or symmetrical designs. Invigorating baths, insect and moth repellent, mouthwash, and liniments were some popular uses for the essential oil of the leaves and flowers.

As a culinary herb, rosemary is less well-liked in the United States than it is in Europe. A rosemary sprig (and occasionally a sage branch as well) is frequently included with purchases at butcher shops in Northern Italy, where it is highly-liked. It is regarded as being good with fish, poultry, and roast meats in Italy. In order to roast lamb and kids, rosemary branches are typically placed on the fire. Additionally, stews, bean meals, potato dishes, and some desserts use it. In place of dessert, it is also offered with the cheese course and is finely diced and sprinkled over Pecorino cheese that has been drizzled with Tuscan olive oil.

The scent of rosemary is a blend of pine, balsam, and ocean air. Because of the tannin and camphor in it, it has a mild bitterness and pepperiness that pairs well with bland dishes like potatoes or beans as well as foods high in fat. Although some find rosemary’s flavor to be highly overpowering, many appreciate the warmth and richness it adds to heavy foods and the spice it imparts to more delicate fare. With the exception of use with cheeses, dried rosemary can often be substituted for fresh.

To preserve the oils in the rosemary, it must be dried in the entire needle. However, to avoid the unpleasant sensation of chewing on pine needles, the rosemary should be ground or tied in cheesecloth. Although the amount of dried herb used is typically one-quarter that of fresh, the strength of the herb varies substantially.

How to grow rosemary in warm and cool climates

It is possible to grow rosemary in pots with the following care even though it is a true Mediterranean plant and won’t endure extremely cold winters. Maintain the plants in suitable-sized containers and transplant them as necessary. Give the roots plenty of room before transplanting. For the ideal mix for growing Mediterranean herbs, combine humus and potting soil with a combination of perlite, large-grained sterile sand, granite dust, and/or chicken grit for adequate drainage and aeration.

In the summer, place the plants outside and be sure to give them plenty of water. Bring the plants to a safe place close to the house about one month before the first anticipated frost. I only bring my rosemary plants indoors when it will be below 30F and keep them in a safe area close to the home. Then I take them into my passive solar greenhouse, where it is fairly chilly. Up until the last minute, they would be better off in the fresh air outside than in the dry heat indoors. Rosemary has to have access to light in the home or garden since she likes it. In my Zone 7 garden, I transfer the plants back outside as soon as the really cold weather has passed—typically in March.

You are fortunate if you can grow rosemary outside all year round, those of you who live in warmer climates. The pictures demonstrate how well-off they are in Texas. There are a few hardier types, such “Salem,” “Hill Hardy,” and “Arp,” that you can try to overwinter in the central United States, but I haven’t located anyone who has successfully done so in the northern states. We wrap our rosemary plants in a few layers of Reemay (floating row cover) if it is going to be extremely cold and below zero to prevent them from freezing and drying out. This has served us well thus far and allowed us to sustain them over a lengthy, bitter winter.

Cuttings are the best way to make more rosemary

The best approach to start rosemary is from a cutting because seed germination is sluggish. Most providers of herbs or nurseries carry rooted cuttings. The best herb for cooking is Rosmarinus officinalis, which is also the simplest to produce. There are many different R. officinalis kinds, and all of them, whether they have thin or thick leaves, pink or blue flowers, or a pine aroma, can be used successfully in cooking. All varieties of rosemary work well in cooking. Discover which types you prefer by getting to know them. The different varieties have various smells, varying flavors, and quite distinct physical qualities, such as plant and leaf size, variegation, blossom color, and cold-hardiness. Regularly spritz and water rosemary, and fertilize both inside and outside every several months. Let the plants dry between waterings when the amount of sunlight and indoor daytime temperature decrease. Rosemary holds up nicely against brick or stone in temperate environments. The southern United States and the Mediterranean region are home to several amazing plants that grow up against buildings and barns and spread by layering. It develops attractively as a free-standing shrub but needs extra care to prevent a scraggly appearance. If the right conditions for growth are provided, it can grow into a hedge. R. officinalis var. prostratus, a low-growing delicate cultivar that grows from 10 to 12 inches tall and spreads readily, produces an excellent ground cover.