Growing Rosemary in Pots + Ground

Rosemary is a hardy herb that can be grown easily in the right conditions. 

Rosemary is a beautiful Mediterranean herb, but it is being grown in gardens and pots all over the world. It’s fragrant and healthy for you, but it also blooms with beautiful blue flowers in spring or summer.

It’s a very valuable herb, especially in French and Italian cuisine. Rosemary can be used as a medicine for many ailments, such as;

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  • Disinfection and healing of wounds
  • Stronger veins and bloodstream
  • Against dandruff and hair loss
  • Better memory
  • Muscle pain, rheumatism, inflammation
  • Helping slow digestion, stomach cramps, constipation, and digestive problems
  • With cold and flu, killing bacteria and helping you cough.

You can take rosemary in the form of tea, tinctures or with your food.

People with high blood pressure, pregnant women (first 3 months) or people suffering from epilepsy, should not have rosemary.

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Details for Growing Rosemary

Planting Months

Seed 6 weeks before the last spring frost

Harvest Months

Beginning of the spring (older plants)

Temperature to Plant

Soil temperature 70 F

Planting Depth

Seed 0.12 inch (0.3 cm) Cuttings 1-2 inches in the soil

Spacing

18-24 inches (45-60 cm)

Sunlight

Full exposure to the sun

Direction

South. Or full sun exposure

Drainage

Sandy, light and loamy soil, well-drained

pH Level

6.0 – 7.5

Companion Plants

Cabbage, carrots, sage, thyme, lavender, and beans

Health Benefits

Antioxidants, anti-inflammatory compounds, digestion, memory concentration, neurological protection

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Seven Steps to Growing Rosemary

7 steps to growing 2

Soil pH Testing 

You need to make sure that you accurately test your soil to give your plants the best chance. This Apera kit has ±0.1 pH accuracy, see the star ratings over at Amazon. Sandy light loamy soil with a pH of between 6.0 and 7.5 is best.

The easiest way to grow rosemary is to get a cutting. Planting from seed can take a long time, and sometimes produces unhealthy plants.

From Cuttings

You can buy a rosemary plant, reproduce it with cuttings or get it from a friend or relative. You will need to cut a few pieces (4-5 inches long), to propagate your rosemary.

When to Plant

The appropriate time for this would be in the late spring, but if the fall is warmer, you can do it in early fall.  The soil has to have 70 F (21 degrees celsius).

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Germination

The best way to germinate your seeds so that they have a great start is with a germination kit. Seeds that are grown this way produce greater results. Check the specs of the MXIC over at Amazon.

From Cuttings

You have to remove the leaves from the bottom of the 4-5 inch branches (remove leaves on the bottom inch or 2 inches, depending on the length of the branch). The bottom inch(es) of the stem will be the part submerged in the soil. Make sure you remove all the leaves on the bottom inch of the branch, to prevent rotting.

To propagate your plants, it’s better to plant them in pots (rather than directly on the garden). Fill the first third of the pot with sand and the second third of the pot with light soil or peat moss.

Placing Your Rosemary

Burry your rosemary branch(es) under the soil. You plant the bottom inch or two, from which you previously removed all the leaves. Place it in a warm and sunny spot, and water regularly. Make sure it’s not being hit by direct sunlight.

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The root will form in 3 weeks if you are successful. Another indication, that your cuttings are ready to be replanted to larger pots or in the garden is the formation of new leaves.

When the plant has new leaves (or after 3 weeks), it’s ready to be replanted to pots or the garden.

The best spot for rosemary is a hot and sunny spot in your garden or balcony. The plants are very hardy and will survive in many different conditions, but overall, they love the warmth and the sun in more dry climates. If you live in a cooler climate, it’s best to plant it in pots and keep it warm.

Transplanting Rosemary

For the optimal growth in the garden, is best to transplant your cuttings to larger pots, until they are big and strong enough to go to the garden.

Make sure you choose appropriate soil (light and well-drained, otherwise root rot can occur in plants). If the soil is too acid, you can add some lime.

When the cuttings are big enough and replanted to bigger pots or in the garden, their watering needs change. Rosemary plants don’t need too much water and grow better in drier soil. You can water them occasionally, but the plants will get almost all the moisture they need, from rain.

Lime Soil

Rosemary doesn’t need fertilizing, but it’s good if you add some lime to the soil.

Rosemary plants are hardy but can suffer the cold. If your winter is below 0 F or minus 15-17 celsius, you should bring your rosemary pots inside, to make sure the plants will survive the winter. If winters are mild where you live, you can leave it outside. Rosemary bushes grow large and can take a lot of space. You can cut the branches in spring, to shape the bush.

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Harvesting and Using Rosemary

Cut branches of rosemary when needed. That won’t affect the bush, which should keep growing. Rosemary is an evergreen plant and can be harvested all year.

Dehydrating

One of the issues people have is that their crops produce all at once. The best way to overcome this is with a dehydrator so you can store your food for years and the flavor is amazing. The best one on the market is the Excalibur with a 10 year guarantee, see it at Amazon.

Freezing and Drying

You can store your excess rosemary with freezing or drying. If you want to freeze it, place the branches or only the leaves in plastic bags and freeze. You can place it in an airtight container, where it should dry slowly and last for months.

Cooking

You can use rosemary when cooking, in salty and sweet dishes. You can add it to meat, stews, herbal bread, homemade butter and more.

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Medical Uses

Rosemary tea, tinctures, and oil can be used to treat many ailments as mentioned before.

You can make a “lotion” from rosemary oil, and olive or sunflower oil. You will need 3 drops of rosemary oil for every 10 drops of olive oil. With this mixture, you can treat inflammation and pain in muscles. Just rub it well on the affected areas.

Another way is to use it for a relaxing bath, adding 50 grams of rosemary to a liter of boiled water, let it soak for half an hour and add to your bathwater.

If you have problems with digestion or respiratory problems, you can prepare a tea with 2 grams of dry rosemary, in a cup of boiled water. Let it soak for 10 minutes. You can drink up to 3 cups a day after meals.

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