Rosemary is an interesting and popular herb to choose when planning to start growing herbs. It is a hardy evergreen perennial plant which makes it ideal to be cultivated any time of the year.
One reason that the rosemary is an interesting choice for growing herbs is that it is considered as an ornamental plant, with different varieties giving different colored-flowers. Examples of the rosemary variety are the Blue Lady variety, named for it blue-violet flowers, and the Nancy Howard, known for its off-white colored flowers. There’s also the Pinkie variety called as such because of its pink flowers and its small leaves. Another reason that rosemary is an ideal start for growing herbs is the distinct flavor and aroma that it gives food when used for cooking.
Rosemary may be planted using seeds. However, there is a tendency for this method of growing herbs not to be ideal for the rosemary plant. The germination process is often not successful and if it is, the resulting rosemary plant does not take the characteristics of their parent plant. Thus, the preferred method is by cutting. For growing rosemary by cutting, take the following steps:
1. From the parent plant, it is ideal to cut about 2 inches from the part of the stem that’s softer as compared to the rest of the stem. This part is more viable for growing roots.
2. Prepare a rooting hormone. The rooting hormone is readily available in most gardening supplies stores in either fried or liquid form. When growing herbs, this helps the cut portion speed up the formation of its roots.
3. Remove around an inch long of leaves at the bottom part of the rosemary cutting and dip this in the rooting hormone.
4. Place the rosemary cutting in a starting mix that is well draining. The rosemary cutting does not need to be watered at this point, spraying or misting is ideal.
5. Secure a warm place for the container with the rosemary cutting but not in direct sunlight.
6. Test for root growth after two weeks by gently pulling on the rosemary cutting. Once the rosemary gives resistance to gentle pulling, substantial roots have formed.
Some would encourage trimming off the top of the rosemary cutting for it to develop into branches as it grows. Growing and maintaining rosemary requires very simple things. Growing rosemary requires sunlight, about 6-8 hours is needed for it process the required nutrients. Next is drainage. The drainage is considered to be good when the soil remains most but does not really feel wet when touched. The next requirement is good air circulation which encourages branching of the plant. Last but not the least is the well draining sandy soil. It would be good to repot once a year to make sure that the rosemary’s growth is supported by the soil.
When growing herbs, rosemary is indeed a good candidate to choose for a first experience. The requirements for growing it are easy and maintenance is simple. In the end, it provides the gardener with an ornamental plant as well as a new ingredient for cooking.