Rosemary is a lovely evergreen herb to grow in the garden or indoors. It is highly versatile in the kitchen and extremely easy to please. For our young gardeners, they will be able to enjoy the wonderful scent that it has to offer and also use rosemary to practise the art of growing from cuttings.
Growing Rosemary – The Basics
Can rosemary be grown from seed?
Rosemary can be grown from seed but it takes an extremely long time to do and for young gardeners, this could be a little frustrating. If you are looking to plant rosemary, you are better off in buying it from a nursery or garden centre.
What you will need to grow rosemary?
Compost, rocks (for the bottom of the pot) and pots.
Is rosemary suitable to grow in containers?
Rosemary does very well at growing in containers. Ensure that the pot has good drainage and is placed in a good sunny position. During hot and dry patches, you will want to ensure that the plant is kept well watered.
Is rosemary suitable to grow in the ground?
Rosemary also like to be planted in the ground. If you are planting a new plant outside, ensure that it is planted either in the spring or the autumn so that it has time to settle before the extreme weather or the summer or the winter.
Like being planted in a container, it will enjoy a nice sunny position with well drained soil.
Growing rosemary indoors
If you are looking to have a herb indoors over the window or simply as an ornamental plant for the kitchen, you cannot go far wrong with rosemary. Because it is a wonderfully versatile and low maintenance herb, it is also perfect for young gardeners.
You will need to ensure that the plant has a nice sunny spot with soil that is well drained. Other than ensuring that the plant is watered, all you need to do is pick it as needed and nature will take care of the rest.
Growing and Caring for Rosemary
Where does rosemary like to grow?
You will want to ensure that the soil that rosemary is planted in is well drained and in a sunny position.
How often should I water rosemary?
If you are growing the rosemary in containers, you will want to make sure that it is kept well watered, the same goes for a new plant in the garden until such time that it has settled in. Once the roots have established, it will need less water if planted in the ground but ensure it gets a good drink during long dry spells in the summer.
How easy is it to grow rosemary?
Easy! Rosemary is an extremely easy herb to grow. Once it is planted, there is very little to do other than pick it and enjoy it!
How to take rosemary cuttings
There really are two ways of getting a rosemary plant.
- Buy one from a garden centre or nursery
- Take a cutting and grow one from an already existing plant
Whilst it may sound difficult to grow a rosemary plant from cuttings, it really isn’t. And if it fails the first time, you will still have lots of your rosemary plant left to try again. Even as experienced gardeners, sometimes things go wrong. Here’s some simply steps to growing new rosemary plants from cuttings.
CAUTION: This process uses sharp equipment. ADULT SUPERVISION is required at ALL times.
1Prepare the compost
2Cut a stem of new growth from an existing plant
Using a pair of scissors cut a shoot of new growth from your plant which is approximately 15cm in length. It needs to be this long because you will be planting the bottom into compost for the roots to grow.
3Remove the leaves from the bottom part of the plant
Carefully take the leaves off the bottom part of the plant. You will want to ensure that there is at least 7cm of leaves removed from the bottom of the shoot
4Cut the stem below the leaf node
Using a sharp knife, cut the stem just below the leaf node. This is where the leaves were before they were removed.
5Use rooting hormone on the stems
Gather all of the stems that you have prepared and dip the bottom of the stems into the root hormone.
6Place rosemary into the pots
Either place the stems into one pot for separation later or you can put them into a a seed tray for easy transferring later on. Personally, I think they look quite good in a pots.
7Water the rosemary
Water the stems well and place indoors in a propagator.
8Check for root growth in around 3 weeks
After a few weeks, check for root growth and development. If development is present, the soil should be held together.
9Carefully separate the new plants
One there is sufficient root growth, carefully separate out the small rosemary plants into individual plants
10Repot your new rosemary plants and allow them to flourish
Plant each of the small plants into their own individual pots. Keep them watered and increase the pot size as they grow.
How do you harvest rosemary?
Harvesting rosemary is easy. Gently pull the springs away from the main plant and them use them in the kitchen.
How do children get involved in growing rosemary?
Rosemary is a great herb for children to grow. Because it is so low maintenance, even a beginner gardener can experiment with rosemary and also get the benefit of a lovely scented herb. Whilst there isn’t much to do, there are still some basic gardening skills that can be practised with rosemary. For those more advanced, taking a rosemary cutting is a good introduction into this area of gardening. Ensure that children are supervised if using sharp objects.
Preparing the ground
Rosemary is certainly a plant that will enjoy nicely drained soil. This is true of whether you are planting in containers or the ground. If you are planting into the ground and you know that your soil does not have good draining, you may want to mix in some leaves, bark or grit to loosen the soil up.
Once the ground or container has been prepared, it is time to plant your nice new plant. If you are planting in the ground, dig a hole large enough for the roots, you can use the plant in the pot to gauge if your hole is big enough. Once it is, remove from the pot and place into the ground. Fill in around the roots. You will want to give the plant a good drink to settle it in.
These isn’t anything much more fun than going out into the herb garden and picking some herbs for the kitchen. Show children how to pick the leaves/shoots from the plant. It won’t take long before they are experts in getting the rosemary for the Sunday roast dinner!
If you are interested in growing other herbs indoors, check out our article on herbs that can grow indoors.