A step by step guide for growing Rosemary in pots, indoors
Let us learn the subject of rosemary growing techniques in pots, indoors, balcony, terrace and backyard of the home garden from seeds and cuttings. Rosemary is a wonderful herb which is not only delicious but also fragrant. This herb can be grown on your own easily either in the indoor locations or in the outdoor locations such as garden. It is generally simple to grow and once the formation of root takes place, this will survive for many years. Rosemary is a perennial which is edible and is frequently used in cooking. You can purchase fresh or dried rosemary at any of the grocery stores available in your locality, but you can also raise your own rosemary in your garden. Plantation of the rosemary from seed will take some time and it is essential to get a head start on the process of germination several weeks prior to the movement of herb to the outdoor locations. The main trick for growing rosemary from seed is to have a lot of patience because this is the plant which will grow very slowly when grown from seed. Once you get the harvest of rosemary, then you are all set to enjoy the rosemary plant benefits. why wait, let us dive into rosemary growing at home.
Growing Rosemary from cuttings:
- The first thing you will need to do for the plantation of rosemary is to purchase a cutting. This would be very easy to grow when you start it from a cutting instead of the plantation of seeds because the germination of seeds takes much time. After you purchase a rosemary plant, clip off some piece of 4 inches for propagation. The perfect time for this is at the end of the spring, but if you are living in a locality whose climatic conditions are warmer, then you can propagate it at the start of autumn as well. The rosemary plants which you grow from cuttings will have the same characteristics and qualities of the actual bush.
- If you love to grow a rosemary variety which you have never seen in your locality, you can also search for that variety online or you can also ask the employee of the garden center of your locality to get that for you. There are several rosemary varieties and each variety has properties which slightly differ from each other. Some of the varieties of rosemary will grow tall and bushy whereas others tend to trail. Few varieties of rosemary have flowers which are purple or blue in color whereas some have white colored flowers.
- You can also purchase a seedling or a small plant from a local garden center or nursery if you are not interested in the propagation of cutting.
- The leaves which are present at the bottom inch of the plant’s stem have to be stripped. Before the plantation of rosemary, the leaves present at the lower section of the rosemary cutting have to be removed as this particular section of the plant will be in the soil.
- It is necessary to remove these leaves as if you leave these leaves, it will cause rotting to the stem instead of the growth.
- After the removal of leaves, keep each of the cuttings into a pot which is small in size and is filled with soil along with ⅔ rd of coarse sand and ⅓ rd of peat moss. The pot has to be placed in a sunny location, but make sure that you are not placing the pot in the direct sunlight. The cuttings have to be watered on a regular basis and have to have to be kept in a place which is warm until you see the formation of roots which would take place about after 20 days.
- In order to help the growth of cuttings, you can also place the complete pot in a plastic bag. The plastic bag has to be with a few holes on the top. This will help in the regulation of the temperature and will keep things moist and warm.
- You can also take into consideration dipping the tips of the cutting of the rosemary in rooting powder for providing them with a good start.
- Now it’s time for the plantation of seedlings. Once the formation of roots takes place, you can go ahead with the plantation of rosemary in pots or in the outdoor locations like your garden. Rosemary has the capability to adapt to most of the growing conditions and is somewhat hardy. Rosemary loves to be with limestone, snow, temperatures which are high, near to the sea and all the types of soils. It will grow at its best in the climatic conditions which are hot with somewhat fairly dry weather. Select a place where you can get full sun with a climate which is fairly dry.
- You will have to make a decision if you want to continue growing it in pots or as a shrub in your garden. It can also undergo training as a hedge which is scented in a delightful manner. For the climatic conditions which are cooler, containers will be the best option as you can move them if required.
- If the plantation is done in the garden, the cutting has to be potted so that it will lead to the establishment of more numbers of roots and gains strength before the plantation in the outdoor locations. Then, you will have to select the soil which will drain well. Rosemary will suffer from rotting of the root in the soil which is waterlogged. The fragrance of rosemary depends on the alkalinity of the soil. If the soil is more alkaline, then it will have more fragrance. If you find that the soil is too acidic, you can add in some amount of lime.
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How to grow Rosemary from seed:
- Wait for the formation of seed pods and let them get dried. A rosemary plant will give rise to flowers at the time of summer or spring. When the flowers will die, there will be the growth of seed pods in the place of flowers. After the formation of seed pods, you will have to wait for their development and they gradually get dried and turn into brown color. That is the time when they are ready for harvesting.
- You can also purchase the seeds of rosemary from garden stored and nurseries if you are not having a rosemary plant for harvesting them from.
- The seed pods will be tiny and you can also take them off from the rosemary plant by gently picking them off making use of your fingers. As you are collecting the pod, you will have to keep them in a cup small bowl to put them all together.
- The pods have to be brought to the indoor locations and then you have to move them to a paper bag. The bag has to be left to let the airflow. The bag has to be placed in a place which is dry and warm and it also has to be placed far away from direct sun for 7 to 15 days. This will provide the seeds and pods with some amount of time to complete the process of drying.
- The pods will be dry when they turn completely into brown color and all the moisture is gone.
- The seed pods have to be placed on a tea towel which is tidy. The towel has to be folded over the seed pods and has to be rubbed by keeping it in between your hands. This will lead to the separation of seeds from the seed pods and it will also take off the flower matter and husks. Now, the towel has to be opened and the seeds have to be collected. These seeds will be small, brown and they will have the shape of the egg. The pods and the other matter of the plant have to be discarded.
- The seeds have to be transferred to a paper bag and the bag has to be sealed for keeping the seeds inside it. You can also go ahead and store the seeds up to a time span of one year as long as they are dry and cool. A basement or a root cellar would be the best location for the storage of the seeds.
- The seeds of rosemary will take longer time to undergo the process of germination and growth of seedlings will be slow. The transplantation of seedlings to the outdoor location can be done at the middle of the spring season, but they have to be started in the indoors before three months of the last frost date.
- You can also check for the weather forecast sites to know the last expected frost date depending on the locality you are residing in.
- Rosemary is the one which will grow in a natural way in the soil which is sandy and rocky, so the seeds will do their best in the potting mix which is loose and also light and the main thing is that it should not consist of any soil. The potting medium which is good for rosemary will consist of vermiculite, peat, bark, perlite, mixes which are sand-based.
- Rosemary will not have a very high rate of germination, so you can raise your success chances by the plantation of several seeds in each and every individual cell. The seeds have to be laid on the top of the potting soil medium without even pressing them into the soil.
- Once the seeds are placed on the soil medium, make use of a spray bottle for misting the seeds with a few sprinkles of water. This will help in settling the seeds in the soil medium and for preventing them from being knocked.
- You will have to dust a very little quantity of regular potting medium on the complete surface of the growing medium for covering the seeds. Then, the soil has to be misted with some more sprinkles of water for making it damp. You will have to make the soil moist, but make sure that you are not making it wet.
- You can also use the growing domes which are made of plastic, or you can also start covering the tray with a layer of plastic wrap. This will also maintain the warmth and moisture and help the seeds for germinating faster. The plastic has to be left on the tray until the sprouting of seedlings takes place and will push up across the soil.
- The process of germination will take almost 2 to 4 weeks.
- The seeds of rosemary will require both light and warmth to undergo the process of germination, so it is essential to get a place which is sunny for the sake of seeds. The seed trays have to be placed in a bright spot which gets direct sunlight on a daily basis.
- The best temperature for the germination of rosemary would be in between 20 to 27 °C.
- The trays can also be placed on a heating mat for maintaining the warmth of the rosemary seeds if you are living in the climatic conditions which are cool or of the seeds are not getting sufficient amount of light.
- Make use of a spray bottle for moistening the soil when the top of it starts getting dried out. Rosemary is susceptible to damping which is a disease which is caused due to mold and fungi. You can also choose prevention of it by watering in a minimal way.
- The seedlings of rosemary will do their best if you will not transplant them until their establishment is done completely, the risk because of frost is no more present and the ground has time for becoming warm. If you have started the seeds in the indoor locations prior to 3 months of the last frost, the rosemary should be prepared to plant in the outdoor locations.
- You can go with the transplantation of the rosemary directly into the garden or you can also grow it in a pot so that you can bring it to the indoor locations at the time of winter.
- Rosemary will require an adequate amount of direct sunlight to survive. The rosemary plant will do its best in a place which gets at least 6 hours of sunlight on a daily basis. This is mainly true if you are growing rosemary indoors through the winter.
- Prior to the plantation of rosemary, the soil has to be tilled up to a depth of about 12 inches. For the improvement of drainage of the soil, you will have to go with the addition of at least 4 inches of sand, compost which is aged or the manure which is rotted to the garden bed and this has to be tilled into the soil.
- This is mainly necessary if your soil has a high content of clay as rosemary will require soil which drains well.
- For digging holes in the soil which are sufficiently large, you will have to make use of a spade or do it manually using your hand. This has to be done for the accommodation of the root balls of rosemary. The holes have to be dug at a distance of at least 20 inches from each other. One rosemary plant has to be placed in each of the holes and it has to be covered with roots with soil which is fresh.
- Rosemary is a bit resistant to drought and will not like to get watered too much. But it is also very essential that the roots should not be dried out. When the soil’s top dries out, the plant has to be watered in a thorough manner for soaking the soil and its roots.
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Care and maintenance of Rosemary:
- Rosemary is a plant which will prefer soil which is drier, so make sure that you are not overwatering it. It would love to be in a garden which receives average watering. It would love to get most of the water in the form of rain.
- There is no need to worry about fertilizing when you are growing rosemary. Rosemary is not a herb which requires fertilizing. Anyways, ensure that there is some amount of life present in the soil.
- The pots in which the rosemary is present have to be brought to the indoor locations at the time of winter if you are residing in a locality where the climatic conditions are cold. Rosemary is a plant which is hardy, but it will suffer if the climatic conditions are too cold. In such situations, the branches of rosemary undergo damage when there is heavy snow on them. In order to make sure that the rosemary plant thrives across winter, it is the best thing to bring the plants to the indoor locations.
- Pruning of rosemary is not required for the plant’s health, but the bushes of rosemary will grow somewhat larger and take up a lot of space in the garden. The branches have to be cut back for a few inches every spring for helping them to restore their shape.
How and when to Harvest Rosemary:
- The sprigs of rosemary have to be picked as per requirement. The bush will keep growing happily. As rosemary is an evergreen plant, you can harvest it all across the year.
- The sprigs have to be stored in a place which is cool and dry. You can also freeze the rosemary by keeping it in the bags for food storage and then storing it in the freezer/ As an alternative, the leaves can be stripped from the stems of the rosemary plant and then start storing them in the jars which have airtight lids. If it is stored in this way, rosemary will gradually dry and they can be stored for several months.
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Facts about growing rosemary:
- Rosemary growing in the home garden is as easy as other herbs.
- Rosemary can be grown both in pots and also in the garden. Most of the rosemary plant varieties will grow their best in the soil which is well-drained, slightly acidic and also loamy. The preferred pH of the soil should be in between 6 to 7. Rosemary should get at least 6 hours of sunlight on a daily basis. It will grow at its best when placed in full sun.
- The main key for growing rosemary in pots is watering it properly and the best option for the determination of the plant requires water is to touch the soil with your finger. If you feel that the soil is dry on the top, then it means that it is the time for watering. Watering has to be done to the plant in a deep manner, then allow the pot to drain in a free manner and never allow the pot to stand in water.
- If the rosemary is watered too much or too little, it will cause death to the leaves and they turn into dark brown color. The soil has to be soaked in a thorough manner when you are watering it and then let it dry completely before you water it again. When the climatic conditions are rainy, rosemary can be planted in the soil which is sandy for aiding the drainage.
- Root rot will affect the roots of the rosemary. It will make the parts of the plant to die. The root rot which is advanced will not have any cure, but if you find it early and let the soil to get dried out, there would be recovery for the rosemary.
- If you see any sort of curling in the young leaves of rosemary, then it means that the humidity present in your grow room is very high. To avoid this, you can just open the door and allow some air in. If you see that the old leaves of rosemary are curling, it means that something is wrong in the roots. Most probably, it could be due to slight root rot. You can reduce the risk of root rot by avoiding the watering for four hots before you switch off the light.
- If there is any lack of the essential nutrients, then it would cause a rosemary plant to have the leaves which are yellow. The most common reason for the rosemary leaves to turn yellow is due to the deficiency of iron. If the pH of the soil is too high, then there would be the presence of iron in the soil, but your rosemary plant will not be able to make use of it. The pH of the soil has to be checked by making use of a soil pH test kit.
- Sometimes, you will be seeing a white powder on your rosemary plant and it is generally called powdery mildew. This is the most common ailment which occurs to plants. This is generally caused by several different types of fungi which are closely related to each other. Powdery mildew is one of the most common issues with the growth of rosemary and all the pants which are grown in indoor locations.
That’s all folks about growing rosemary herb from seed and cuttings. Happy herb gardening!.
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