Rosemary is a shrub with fragrant, evergreen, needle-like leaves and white, pink, purple, or blue flowers. Rosemary is used as a decorative plant in gardens. In addition, the leaves are used to flavor various foods, and their essential oil is used in perfumes.
Botanical Name: Salvia rosmarinus
Rosemary can be propagated using seeds and cutting.
Propagation from Seeds:
Use seeds to grow rosemary as the last option because the germination time is long and the success rate is low. Also, it takes a lot of time to grow harvesting size.
Propagation From Cuttings:
Take young non-flowering stem cuttings from a healthy rosemary plant. They should be about three to four inches long.
Remove the bottom leaves, leaving the top leaves. Then dip the ends of the cutting into a rooting hormone solution and plant them.
Choosing a Pot
The container size depends on the type of rosemary you're growing. You can grow trailing rosemary varieties in smaller pots, whereas upright ones require medium to large pots. Start with a 6-8 inches deep pot; once the plant outgrows it, shift it to a 12 inches deep pot.
Choose a location that gets at least 6 hrs of direct sunlight. In a hot climate, keep it in an area protected from the harsh sunlight of the afternoon. While growing indoors, choose a south-facing window.
Water regularly and let the topsoil dry before watering. Rosemary doesn't like wet and soggy soil, so avoid overwatering.
Use a good quality, organic potting mixture. The potting media should be loose and well-draining. Add organic manure while planting to enrich the soil.
Rosemary doesn't require heavy fertilizers. As a result, it can grow in poor soil when growing on the ground. But while growing in containers, add adequate fertilizers.
You can use a slow-release fertilizer to help your plants get off to a good start. Alternatively, you could use some well-rotted compost.
You can also use half-strength balanced liquid fertilizer like 10-10-10 once every three to four weeks, depending on how healthy your herb is growing. Remember, it's optional to fertilize regularly if your herb is already thriving. And over-fertilization can reduce the essential oil content o the herb.
Rosemary can grow throughout the year in moderate regions where winters are not harsh.
Pests and Diseases
Pests commonly found include whitefly, scale, mealybug, and spider mites. Use organic insecticides to keep these insects at bay.
Powdery mildew and root rot are common diseases. Good aeration and proper watering can help you prevent these diseases.
Pruning is essential to maintain the bushier growth of the plant. Remove all the dead, damaged, and crossing stems.
Cut back no more than one-third of the active growth spring if the plant has overgrown and has become woody.
You can harvest the rosemary when the new shoots are neither too hard nor too soft. Such springs have the best flavor. Don't harvest more than about 25% of the plant. Over-harvesting can cause irreversible damage to the plant.
Dr. Vandana K.