Rosemary is one of the easiest and most satisfying herbs you can grow in the home garden. It is a fragrant and beautiful ornamental, with a thick covering of light blue, deep blue, white or pink flowers in the spring, depending on the variety. As a culinary herb, rosemary adds an earthy flavor to meats and other hearty foods. Its scent is both fresh and exotic, making it popular in homemade soaps, skin and hair products.
Rosemary creeps, spills, sprawls and twists so there is sure to be someplace for it in your garden or landscape. Though it’s not too fussy, rosemary does prefer soil that drains well. If your garden soil contains a lot of hard clay, amend it by mixing in some sand and compost with a trowel.
If growing the plant from seed, remember that rosemary seeds can be difficult to germinate. Give them the best start by planting them in a light growing medium, indoors. Transplant seedlings outdoors only when the threat of frost has passed. Keep seedlings evenly watered until they are established. Mature rosemary needs little or no additional watering other than what nature provides.
Plant rosemary in a sunny spot. It is drought tolerant plant that will do well in full sun, but the versatile rosemary will also perform in some shade. It is not necessary to prune rosemary, but an occasional trim won’t damage it. If you need to cut back your rosemary plant, prune it in winter when growth slows. Remove the needles from the trimmings and save them for use in cooking or crafts.
Harvest a few sprigs of the herb whenever you need them. New, tender stems have the best flavor. Cut anywhere along the stem with a sharp knife or kitchen shears. Share some rosemary by propagating cuttings when the plant matures. Cuttings taken from new spring growth have the best chance to root. Remove the needles from the bottom 2 inches of stem, and place them in a pot with growing medium. Place the cuttings in a sunny window and keep them evenly moist. They will be ready to transplant in about 8 weeks.