Rosemary

It’s said that Rosemary was worn by Greek students as garlands in their hair while taking their examinations because they believed it could strengthen the memory. Some people today even make sleep pillows that slide inside their pillowcases for the same purpose!

* Rosemary is a perennial in zones 8 to 10. It can not tolerate cold temperatures, meaning for the rest of us, we must grow it as an annual. If you are fortunate to have room in your home near a sunny window or have a greenhouse, it can be held over until the next growing season.

* Tiny pink to purple flowers grow in clusters of two or three along the branches in late winter to early spring.

* The needlelike leaves of Rosemary are 1/3 to 1 ½ inches long, growing opposite and evergreen like in growth.

* Rosemary has a strong, pungent flavor and has the aroma of pine.

* Seeds of Rosemary are very slow in germinating so purchase a plant for the best results. If you live North of zone 8, keep your Rosemary indoors until the temperature reaches at least 55 during the night. Rosemary cuttings can be taken in late summer and if you know how to layer plants, it can be done in the early summer.

* This is one herb that loves the sun! If you should over winter the plant indoors be sure it sits facing a south or southeast window.

* Rosemary requires extremely drained soil! Allow the top 1 to 1 ½ inch of the soil to dry before watering. Apply ½ inch of compost around the plant every other year if grown outdoors.

* If grown outdoors in the garden allow 1- 3 feet between plants. Container grown plants require deep pots. As your plant grows, transplant into larger pots. Mature plants may require up to a 10 gallon pot.

* Scale, mealy bugs, spider mites and whitefly are common pest of Rosemary. It is also prone to rot and botrytis blight.

* Harvest the leaves and stems anytime of the year. Snip the branch tips when you need a small amount. For a large quantity of Rosemary, cut the stems back to 2 leaf nodes above the woody growth.

* If you chose to dry Rosemary, use a dehydrator. Freezing whole sprigs of Rosemary is also an option.

* Rosemary can be used fresh or dried with pork, lamb, poultry, fish, tofu, eggs, cheese, breads, stuffing and many vegetables. Use a stem as a skewer for ka-bobs on the grill. It is wonderful cut & sprinkled on a pizza before baking too! Try it in a sugar cookie recipe.

* Flavor olive oil or lighter oils such as canola or safflower with sprigs of Rosemary.

Tips

Add Rosemary to your bath for a stimulating effect. It is used in hair rinses to darken the hair, conditions oily hair, prevent dandruff and to give hair body. It adds fragrance to potpourris and sachets.

THINK HERBS!