Are you interested in knowing about the benefits of rosemary and how to grow it? Get all the information you need from the health benefits to cultivation and aftercare practices.
Rosemary is an evergreen herb that is native to the Mediterranean. People recognize it for its fragrant smell that is quite distinctive. You can use it in drinks, such as teas, where you can reap its many health benefits, or you can use it to enjoy its scent in body products. Let’s take a look at the benefits of rosemary and how to grow it in a few simple steps:
What is Rosemary?
This herb belongs to the mint family and like many in this category, such as the oregano and lavender varieties, it boasts of a strong aroma. This feature makes it ideal for use in dishes such as chicken and lamb. It is also rich in iron, Vitamin B6 and calcium which makes it an excellent addition to one’s diet. If you get it from the store, you will find it in dried form as a whole or as a powder. If you plan on using it in teas or other liquid products, it is best when fresh or dried, but whole.
People love using this herb for its medicinal properties. In the past, people relied on it to boost hair growth, deal with muscle pain, curb memory loss, as well as boost the immune system. These benefits have continued to exhibit themselves over the years, and for this reason, people widely plant this herb. You will find it in many homes, either in the indoors or the outdoors. The great thing about it is that it is quite sturdy and where you offer it the protection it requires, it can thrive in any climate. This factor works for you where you have a wooden shed as you can adjust the conditions to suit the herb.
This perennial plant has a lifespan of over two years and can help you with improved concentration, slowing down brain aging and aiding digestion. Be careful when ingesting this herb as high doses can lead to vomiting, pulmonary edema, comas, and other severe conditions. As is the case with everything, the key to enjoying rosemary lies in moderation.
When it comes to planting rosemary, you have many options as to where you can start and grow it. It does not take up much space and will grow even in the indoors, such as your wooden shed. Once its roots establish, it is quite hardy and will survive for many years. Here’s how to do this:
Starting the herb
With many plants, you find that the options are often seeds or cuttings. In this case, the best way forward is the use of cuttings. Seeds take a long time to sprout, and in most cases, only a few of them survive. Cuttings are hardy, as long as you get them from established plants, and they often mature with ease. You can get a cutting from a friend, or you can get one from the local nursery. The ideal size of the cuttings should be four inches. It is important to note that the cuttings will result in qualities similar to those of the original bush. For this reason, be sure to choose clippings from a bush whose features you want.
You might find that you are unable to get the variety you want from a friend or the local nursery. In this case, you can look up the options available online and can get cuttings from another nursery. These herbs have many varieties. Some tend to be bushy and they grow quite large, which may not appeal to someone who wants to plant them indoors. Others tend to trail. Some have white flowers, others have blue, while others have purple. Go through the options and see what works for you.
Also, where you wish to start with something other than cuttings, you have the option of small plants or seedlings which you can get from the local nursery. Buying these will take away the waiting period and will allow you to enjoy the herb sooner than you would with a clipping.
Get your cuttings towards the end of spring as this is the ideal time to plant the herb. However, where you live in a warm region, you can schedule the planting towards the start of autumn. Where you plan on growing the rosemary indoors, any time will do as you can always alter the conditions to meet the requirements.
Take the cuttings and get rid of the leaves towards the bottom of the stem. An inch of space will suffice before inserting the leafless part into the soil. The importance of removing the leaves is that they can lead to rotting once they are in the soil.
Each cutting will require a small container which you should fill with 2/3 coarse sand at the bottom followed by 1/3 peat moss. Place the clipping in the pot ensuring it is in a location with access to the sun. Note that the sun should not be direct as this can affect the growth of the herb. Ensure that the cuttings get water regularly as you wait for the roots to form. This process should take about three weeks.
You can speed up the process by placing the pot in a plastic bag with some holes at the top for air circulation. This will increase the temperature and ensure that the clipping is moist and warm. You can also dip the tips of the cuttings in rooting powder before planting them, as this will stimulate their growth.
Once the roots form, you can transfer the plants to the outdoors or larger pots in the wooden shed. At this point, they can put up with snow, high temperatures, and other harsh conditions. However, it is essential for the soil to be well-draining, otherwise, the roots can rot. You should also balance the acidity of the soil by adding some lime in cases where the conditions are too acidic.
Rosemary does best in moderately dry soils, and as such, frequent watering is not necessary. If it is in the outdoors, it can survive on rainfall. Fertilization is not required but some lime addition will help. If your winter temperatures tend to be below zero degrees Fahrenheit, consider placing the pots in the wooden shed in the cold months to protect the plants from damage. Pruning may be necessary where the bush becomes bigger than is necessary.
Given its evergreen nature, you can enjoy its leaves all year round. Enjoy!