You can grow rosemary plant indoors

Cut, overwinter and care for rosemary correctly

A popular spice in Mediterranean and southern cuisine is rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis). Similar to basil, the woody herb belongs in the basic equipment of every herb garden. Rosemary is a wonderful mint family (Lamiaceae) from the Mediterranean region, of which there are numerous crosses and breeds. They differ in flower color, growth habit and, interestingly, frost hardiness. Rosemary is actually sensitive in our latitudes and can be damaged outside in winter. In its home around the Mediterranean, rosemary grows on stony rock formations, in bushes or on dry shrub edges as an evergreen subshrub. The shoot tips usually remain herbaceous and soft. It forms a dense, bushy growth and can reach a maximum height of 1.5 to 2 meters. Its aromatic leaves are linear, leathery and tightly arranged in opposite directions on the branch. A distinctive feature are the often rolled up leaf edges. The intense aroma of the leaves is the reason for its popularity. The tubular flowers are of great interest to insects. They sit in whorled inflorescences in the leaf axils of the upper shoot tips and appear in a protected culture in early spring from March. A little later, from May, rosemary bushes bloom outdoors. Depending on the variety, the aromatic shrub can bloom blue, pink, white or purple. Rosemary owes its botanical name to the light blue flowers. Translated, it means "dew of the sea" and is supposed to refer to the light blue flowers that look like dew drops from a distance. There is no reliable reference to a name, but all the more guesswork.

Rosemary was already valued as an aromatic plant in ancient times. The leaves were considered a substitute for spiritual incense smoking. Greek scholars tied wreaths of rosemary around their necks to help them focus. In the Middle Ages, rosemary can be traced back to Charlemagne, who grew the shrub in his home. Its importance as a stimulating and strengthening medicinal plant increased steadily and continues to this day. The Mediterranean herb is firmly anchored in the kitchen in particular. Its slightly bitter note refines numerous dishes, e.g. fish, meat, vegetables, potatoes or mushrooms. The rosemary aroma is so intense that it should only be used sparingly. In many parts of the world, rosemary is a symbol of friendship, loyalty and remembrance. On the one hand, wedding couples used to wear bouquets or wreaths in order to have a happy marriage. On the other hand, mourners put sprigs of rosemary on the coffin as a memorial.

Rosemary is an excellent example of how much botany changes through molecular biological studies. A closer relationship to sage has been suspected for many decades. The latest research has shown that the relationship is much more pronounced. Rosemary is not only familiar, but a sister of the type species Salvia officinalis. That means that the genus was independent for a long time Rosmarinus in future as a sub-genus of Salvia led and rosemary scientifically as Salvia rosmarinus will be referred to.

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How is rosemary planted correctly?

As a Mediterranean coastal plant, rosemary loves full sun and protected locations. Warm, hot locations do not mind the Mediterranean spice. Rosemary has proven to be extremely heat-tolerant. Cold, drying winds are dangerous in winter. Outdoor cultivation is only advisable in mild wine-growing climates or in sheltered places. Rosemary usually grows reliably behind protective walls or in courtyards and forms magnificent bushes. In an open location or in regions with a greater risk of frost, we recommend growing pots and pots on the balcony and terrace to be on the safe side. If necessary, the plants can move to the bright winter quarters at any time and spend the cold season protected.

The earth must be as permeable and stony as possible, and by no means too humus. Rosemary grows on both neutral and calcareous soils. A range between 5 and 8 is recommended for the pH value. Acid soils are to be limed up or crushed rubble to be buried. Very firm soils are loosened before planting and coarse gravel is added. Safe water drainage is imperative.

Outdoor plantings are made in spring so that the subshrubs can get used to the location over the year. Although there are now some robust, so-called frost-hardy varieties, pot culture is generally advisable for the first few years. Although frost-hard rosemary varieties can withstand 20 ° C below zero with protection, they must have a few years under their belt and have a certain trunk size. Therefore, frost-hardy rosemary varieties should also be cultivated in pots for the first three years. Sandy or permeable potting soil is used as the substrate. The permeability can be increased if you stretch high-quality plant substrate with sand or clay granules. There must be drainage holes at the bottom of the pot to drain off excess water.

Rosemary seeds can be sown on the windowsill or in the greenhouse from March. After a few weeks, seedlings form, which are separated with the formation of cotyledons and grown as young plants.

Rosemary is repotted every three years at a young age, and every five years as an older plant. It is more advisable to use a mineral substrate right from the start and more often to replace only the top soil layer.

How is rosemary cared for?

Rosemary tolerates heat and brief periods of dryness without any problems. Watering is done moderately without ever causing wet feet on the rosemary. Economy is also the motto when it comes to fertilization. Two or three doses of herbal fertilizer or horn shavings in the spring provide the plant with sufficient supplies. Planted specimens do not need any additional nutrients because they get by with what the soil offers them.

How to properly cut rosemary

In the spring after flowering, bulky twigs are cut out and the rosemary plant cut into shape. Further pruning measures are combined with regular harvesting, during which herbaceous shoot tips are cut off.

How is rosemary overwintered?

As much caution is required when it comes to watering and fertilizing, the more important protective measures are in winter. Rosemary in the bucket is brought to the frost-free winter quarters in winter. Temperatures just above freezing point are sufficient. This makes garages, sheltered sheds or the unheated greenhouse an option for wintering. As an evergreen plant, light should be provided in winter. The cooler the plant is, the darker the winter quarters can be. Watering is only sporadic in winter when the finger test feels dry. As soon as the temperatures become pleasant in March, the rosemary can be put back on the terrace.

If the rosemary is in the bed, the root area is covered with a layer of autumn leaves and foil before winter. The evergreen shoot is wrapped and secured with light-colored frost protection fleece. You should make sure that the floor is dry and not permanently wet. Stagnant root moisture leads to a safe end in winter.

How do you propagate rosemary?

The pure type of rosemary can be sown. All cultivars can be easily propagated by green cuttings in late spring. Under dammed air, the cuttings take root within a few weeks and develop into new young plants.

Rosemary has few diseases or pests to fear. A wrong or too humid location leads to root rot. Another fungal disease can be powdery mildew, which occurs after weather changes in summer. Warm temperatures and high humidity attract aphids. Dry air, on the other hand, creates silvery dots on the leaves that are triggered by spider mites.

What is the use of rosemary?

Rosemary enjoys a high status both in gourmet cuisine and in natural medicine. Numerous hearty dishes, such as meat and fish, vegetables and potatoes, soups and stews or grilled dishes, have a pleasant, slightly bitter note from rosemary. Rosemary sprigs flavor herbal oils and vinegar with other herbs. The decorative lip flowers are also tasty. They look great as a garnish on the salad plate.

What is the effect of rosemary?

In naturopathy, rosemary is known for its strengthening, antispasmodic, analgesic and digestive effects. Its uses are versatile, e.g. for depression, exhaustion, headaches, digestive problems, wounds and inflammations.

How do you properly harvest rosemary?

Rosemary is an evergreen that provides aromatic foliage year round. Whole shoot tips are harvested instead of individual leaves. This indirect pruning stimulates branching and a dense growth.

How is rosemary dried?

The simplest and most commonly used method of preservation is drying. Longer shoots are cut off and tied together in bundles of a maximum of ten stems. You hang them upside down in an airy, shaded place. After three to four weeks, the needle-like leaves are so dry that they break off the branch and can be filled into light-tight glass or ceramic vessels.