Rosemary (Rosmarinus) is a member of the Jasper family. This genus is represented by evergreen shrubs and semi-shrubs. In natural conditions this plant can be found on the territory of European countries such as Portugal, Italy, Spain, Greece, southern France and former Yugoslavia, as well as in North Africa: Tunisia, Libya, Morocco, Algeria, as well as in Turkey and Cyprus.
From the Latin "rosemary" is translated as "sea freshness", this is because the ancient Greeks associated rosemary with Aphrodite, which appeared from the sea foam. However, the smell of this plant is not at all like the iodine aroma of the sea.
It is more like a combination of the smell of camphor and pine, so the closest to the truth is the Greek name of the plant, which translates as "balsamic shrub". In ancient times, it was believed that rosemary was supposed to improve memory, and in ancient Greece students often wore wreaths of rosemary on their heads. In culture, the plant has become popular because of its special aroma. It is also used in garnishes and herbal congregations, as well as in beverages, marinades, and vinegar. This evergreen shrub is heat-loving and can only be planted outdoors in regions with warm winters.
In cooler climates, rosemary can be cultivated as a container or indoor plant.
- Planting. Rosemary seedlings are sown in the last days of February or first days of March and transplanted into the open field from mid to late May.
- Brightness. Plenty of bright sunlight is needed.
- Ground. Lime, well water and air permeable.
- Pouring. Should be moderate. Water should be poured carefully under the root to avoid drips on the surface of the leaf plates.
- Fertilizer. In the springtime, a nitrogen-containing fertilizer, such as urea or ammonium nitrate, is applied to the soil on the plot. After that, every 30 days fertilize rosemary with a solution of complex mineral fertilizer. In the autumn, use those fertilizers that contain only phosphorus and potassium.
By cuttings, bush division, seeds and shoots.
- Pests. Indoors - whiteflies and aphids, outdoors - aphids.
- Diseases. The plant can get peronosporosis in winter in the room.
Properties of rosemary
Rosemary is a shrub that can vary in height from 0.5 to 2 meters. Its root system is very strong and developed, penetrating into the soil to a depth of 3 to 4 meters. The surface of grayish obtuse-quadrangular young shoots has pubescence. Perennial woody stems with peeling bark are tinged dark gray.
The sessile, linear leaf blades are leathery to the touch, with curved edges. Leaves are about 0.4 cm wide and up to 3.5 cm long, with a glossy surface on the front and pubescence on the back. Lush panicle-like inflorescences consist of pale purple, dark purple or white flowers.
The plant is a relative of the following cultivars: hyssop, basil, lavender, mint, motherwort, thyme, oregano and melissa. The upper parts of the annual shoots along with the leaves and flowers are used fresh and added to legume, cabbage, eggplant and meat dishes.
Rosemary. Propagation and cultivation.
Propagating rosemary for seedlings
When to sow for seedlings
The seed method, cuttings, bush splitting, and offshoots are used for propagating rosemary.
In regions where winters are cold, it is best to propagate this plant from seed through seedlings. Sow the seeds in the last days of February or the first days of March.
Soak the seeds in water for a few hours before sowing. When the seeds have swollen, they are sown into a saturated sand or vermiculite, and submerge them into the substrate by only 0,3-0,4 cm, and cover the container with plastic film. If you want the seedlings to appear as soon as possible, the seeds are constantly kept warm (25 to 30 degrees).
Don't forget to systematically remove the cover and moisten the substrate with a sprayer so that it is always a little moist. If everything is done correctly, the first seedlings should appear after 6-8 weeks. Immediately after this, the cover is removed, and the seedlings are moved to a well-lit place. Remember that the substrate in the container should be regularly watered, for this use warm well-drained water. Once the plants have reached a height of 70-80 mm, they are ready for planting in the open soil.
Growing rosemary at home
The first thing to do is to produce a rosemary seedling from seed, how to do this was described above in detail. Once the height of the seedlings is 70-80 mm, they are pipped into individual pots (better to take clay) that should reach 9-11 centimeters across, at the bottom there must be holes for drainage. The container should be filled with a substrate that is well permeable to air and water, to create it, the universal soil mixture is combined with vermiculite or sand. You can make a soil mixture of humus, sand, sod and deciduous soil (2:1:2:2). In the wet soil mixture is made a small hole, the depth of which should be equal to the height of the root of the seedling.
Carefully remove the plant from the container, taking it together with an earth clod, and plant it in a pot in a pre-prepared hole. Tamp down the substrate lightly around the plant.
Brightness and temperature
The planted bush should be placed on a south-facing window. To keep the crown of the rosemary plant beautiful and not lopsided, regularly turn the container with the plant around its axis by 180 degrees once every 7 days. In spring and summer, it is recommended to move the bush to fresh air (terrace, garden or balcony) if possible.
With the onset of autumn, once the air temperature starts to drop to minus 1 degree, the plant is moved into the house. Airing the room where the rosemary is located is undesirable, as the cold air from the window can harm it. However, if there is no air circulation in the room, then mold can appear on the shrub. To avoid this, a fan should run in the room every day for 3-4 hours. In winter the air temperature in the room should be below 16 degrees, and the humidity level at this time the shrub needs low.
Aphids and spiders can settle on the plant in room conditions. If you notice pests, treat the plant with a solution of an acaricide or insecticide. Remember that several treatments may be necessary to eliminate the pests completely.
Make sure the potting soil is always slightly moist (not damp). You can tell when a shrub is poorly moist by looking at the lower leaves: They turn yellow.
If there is too much moisture in the soil mixture, the leaves will begin to fall off.
Wetting the substrate in the pot is recommended with a watering can with a long and narrow spout, because water should not get on the surface of the leaves, as this can cause the appearance of mildew. Before watering, the water should stand for at least one day and the temperature should be close to room temperature.
For the growing season from March to September the plant needs to be fertilized with mineral fertilizers, which must include calcium. Fertilizing is done regularly twice a month.
In wintertime you should not fertilize the plant at all or do it much less often (once every 4-6 weeks). Planting and care.
Growing rosemary in the open air
Growing rosemary in the open air is also possible. Choose a well-lit place that is well protected from gusts of wind. The soil should be light, loose, air- and water permeable and preferably calcareous.
Sprouts are planted outdoors in the middle to late May after the warm weather and by this time the seedlings should be about 70-80 mm high. If you plan to grow large bushes, then when planting seedlings, keep a distance of half a meter between them. And if you do not plan this, then it is enough to keep a distance of 10 centimeters between the plants. The planted bushes should be watered.
Growing rosemary in your garden is not as hard as it might seem.
It has to be taken care of just like any other garden plant, in particular by systematically watering, feeding, weeding, pruning and also by ripping up the soil in good time. Remember that the first flowering of this type of plant cannot be seen before the second year after planting outdoors.
Bushes of straight rosemary from the age of two years should be cut at 3-4 internodes on the last year's growth and this should be done in April. Prostrate rosemary does not need trimming.
Rejuvenation trimming should be done once every 7 years by cutting all stems to ground level.
In the spring time, formative pruning is also carried out. You can form the plant in the form of a cube, ball or miniature tree (e.g. in the form of a cypress). Very popular among gardeners is broom-shaped rosemary bonsai.
This shrub is heat-loving, so it can die in the middle latitudes in winter. In order to preserve the plant until spring, it is dug up and planted in a container, which is transferred to a well-lit and cool (no higher than 16 degrees) room. If you cannot dig out the rosemary, cut it off at ground level and cover it with a layer of dry leaves or sawdust, then make a tent of fir branches around it.
Rosemary is known for its drought tolerance, but it still needs timely and proper watering. If the plant feels a lack of moisture, it will cause its lower leaf plates to start to turn yellow.
And because of regular stagnation of liquid in the ground, part of the root system of the shrub dies off, and there is also a flight of its leaves.
Pouring should be moderate. Water should be poured gently under the roots because if the water drips on the leaves, mold may develop.
In the springtime, nitrogen fertilizer should be added to the soil in the area and this is a good starting point for rosemary growth. And then throughout the growing season, systematically apply complex mineral fertilizer to the soil once every 30 days.
In the fall, use fertilizers that do not contain nitrogen but should contain plenty of phosphorus.
What to grow on the plot after rosemary?
This plant is a perennial, but if you decide to remove it from the plot, then you should dig up the bush and clear the soil of plant residue. Dig the soil and add compost or humus. Onions, carrots, and garlic would grow well in such an area.
How to grow rosemary from seed is described in detail above.
However, this is not the only way to propagate such a shrub. It can also be propagated by clippings, cuttings and partitioning.
Prepare cuttings in September/October and use annual stems. Cuttings should be 8 to 10 centimetres long and have 3 to 4 internodes. Cut off all the leaf laminae from the lower part and give the lower cut a root-stimulating preparation.
Plant the cuttings for rooting in a container filled with loose and light substrate that is permeable to water and air and has been sterilized in advance (a mixture of vermiculite and peat can be used, for example). Take the cuttings to a warm place away from direct sunlight.
Make sure that the potting soil in the container is always slightly moist, and the cuttings themselves should be moistened with water from a sprayer every day. When the cuttings grow new leaf blades, they are transplanted into individual pots, reaching a cross section of 70 to 90 mm. Prune the heads of the cuttings 7 days after transplanting so that they will grow more vigorous and showy.
Rosemary from cuttings How to grow rosemary
To propagate rosemary with cuttings, select shoots that are very close to the ground. The shoots are ducked to the ground, then secured and buried with soil so that the top of the stem remains above the surface. Provide regular watering so that the soil around the shoots is always slightly moist. Once the stem starts to grow, cut it off from the parent plant and plant it in an open pot or soil.
Splitting the shrub
Rosemary is most commonly propagated by splitting the shrub at home.
Once the shrub is taken out of its container, its root is divided into parts. Note that each division should have stems and roots. Sprinkle charcoal powder over the cuttings and plant the pieces in individual pots.
Diseases and pests
Rosemary is very resistant to pests and diseases when grown outdoors. However, a shrub growing at home is sometimes affected by false powdery mildew in winter and whitefly and aphids can also settle on it.
To get rid of pests, gently soap the bush, and then wash it under a warm shower. And the surface of the substrate in the container must be covered with a film, so that soapy water does not get into it. To prevent the appearance of false powdery mildew, do not allow excessive increases in humidity levels in the room and the soil mixture in the pot. And experts also advise, use a fan in winter to create indoor air circulation.
Rosemary species and varieties with photos
There are only 3-4 species of rosemary in nature, but only the medicinal rosemary is cultivated by gardeners and florists.
A description of Ordinary rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), or medicinal rosemary, can be found at the beginning of this article. The following varieties of upright rosemary medicinalis are the most popular in culture:
- Benden Blue-the stems in the compact bush have an arc-shaped shape;
- Albiflorus-the color of the flowers is white;
- Roseus - flowers colored with a pink hue;
- Seven Sea and Tasken Blue - bush height of these varieties is not more than half a meter.
This species also has a variety called prostratus or prostrate rosemary that grows to a height of 0.5 m and can grow to a width of 1.5 m.
The foliage of this variety resembles spruce needles, namely, it is leathery dense bright green, and in the center of it there is a vein of white shade. During flowering, it produces small lilac or blue flowers. Gardeners often use it as a groundcover. This species has several popular varieties:
- Corsica Prostratus;
- Venzano Prostratus;
- lavenderthis shrub is slow growing and decorated with small deep green leaves and blue colored flowers.
Rosemary properties: benefits and harms
Therapeutic properties of rosemary
From ancient times, rosemary has been a symbol of prosperity, abundance and longevity.
That is why newlyweds were given a gift in the form of a sprig of rosemary at their wedding. It was also used as a medicinal plant with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, choleretic, tonic and wound-healing properties. This plant has been used during the treatment of rheumatism, hypotension, exhaustion, sciatica, sexual weakness, and it has also been used for menopause. Also, this shrub is used in the treatment of some heart diseases, colds, and it also helps to rejuvenate the body and stimulate blood circulation. It is also used as an effective remedy against cellulite and obesity.
Rosemary oil is highly valued. It is used to treat boils, acne, infected wounds and eczema. It is extracted from the leaves, young shoots and flowers by steaming them. Rosemary is also used in cooking as a seasoning and is used, for example, in meat and fish dishes, sauces, salads, and teas.
Rosemary Medicinal Properties
Rosemary and also products made from it (infusion, tincture, decoction and oil) should never be used by pregnant women.
It is also highly discouraged if you are prone to seizures, epilepsy, hypertension, children under 9 years old and people with hypersensitive skin..