Growing Rosemary – Discover How to Grow Rosemary
Rosemary is an excellent evergreen shrub to decorate a border or patio; for the latter it may be grown in large pots or tubs. Although it is not completely hardy it is well worth growing, especially in small, sheltered gardens in towns, where it will benefit from the extra warmth. Besides its well known use with lamb, it may also be used when grilling poultry,, and other meats, and in stews; if added to a barbecue fire, it will scent the air.
You can grow Rosemary very easily – it is usually raised from pot-grown plants obtainable from nurseries and garden centres. While one or two well-established bushes will be enough for most families, always keep a reserve of a few cuttings growing on in case of disaster over winter. Plant in a sheltered, sunny site in well-drained in autumn or spring.
Propagate by taking cuttings from a growing Rosemary plant in late summer or early autumn. Cleanly cut off two or three 50-75 mm (2-3 in) ends of stems, trim off the lower leaves, and dip the cut ends in rooting powder. Now insert the cuttings, to the level of the lowest remaining leaves, around the edge of a small pot filled with cutting compost. Firm the stems gently and water the cuttings in. Keep the cuttings protected throughout the winter in a frame, under cloches, or inside a shed beside a window. Keep the compost just moist. In the spring, gradually harden the Rosemary cuttings off and plant them out where they are to grow or in larger pots filled with potting compost.
Recommended varieties: The following have little to differentiate them from the culinary point of view, but vary in habit or flower colour. Rosmarinus officinalis, the type plant, grows to about 2 m (6-1/2 ft), but usually less, and bears lilac-blue; ‘Albus’ is white flowered; ‘Fastigiatus’ (’Miss Jessup’s Variety’, ‘Jessup’s Upright’), grows compactly upright; ‘Roseus’ bears lilac-pink flowers; ‘Severn Sea’ is a dwarf with gracefully arched branches and brighter-blue flowers
Site: Sunny, sheltered
Plant: Spring or autumn
Harvest: All the year as required