Are you thinking about cooking a delicious vegetable stew for dinner this evening? Bring more flavor and aroma to the dish with the addition of some fresh rosemary. Rosemary is a wonderful herb to add to your cooking, and it’s easy to grow in the garden.
Why pay for dried or fresh rosemary when you can pull it out of your garden and save money on your seasonings? Rosemary grows readily indoors or outdoors, and fresh rosemary keeps in the fridge for a few days.
Rosemary grows into thick, huge hedges in the right environments. However, you don’t need a huge bush to get enough rosemary for your cooking.
The beautiful thing about growing rosemary is that you don’t need an herb garden. Placing the plant in a small pot in your kitchen window is all you need to have a never-ending supply of the herb for your meals.
The Latin name for rosemary, “Rosmarinus officinalis,” translates to “the dew of the ocean,” and its a staple in traditional cooking in its countries of origin around the Mediterranean. Rosemary is suitable for planting year-round in warm conditions. The hardy herb also does well in the cold, but you’ll need to plant it in the ground during the early spring after the soil thaws.
However, you can grow rosemary year-round on your kitchen windowsill if you have the right lighting conditions. This post gives you tips and tricks for growing rosemary indoors.
Tips and Tricks for Growing Rosemary Plants Indoors
Rosemary is like any other herb; it requires a few essentials to thrive in any environment. The fundamentals for life with any plant or herb are air, soil, water, and light, and it’s possible to give rosemary everything it needs to thrive in an indoor environment.
Lighting Conditions for Growing Rosemary Indoors
You can place your rosemary bush on the windowsill or east or south-facing window in your home. Typically, most kitchens are in this position, making it the best location for placing the pot. Your rosemary adds a visual aesthetic to the kitchen while keeping the fresh herb at arm’s length for including in your recipes.
Rosemary needs at least six to eight hours of light each day. It can stand the direct sunlight, but be careful placing it too close to the glass windowpane. The glass may amplify the heat of the sun’s rays, causing the window-facing part of the plant to burn.
Soil Conditions for Growing rosemary
Rosemary thrives in loamy soil that drains well. Make sure that the pot has drainage holes on the bottom. If the container doesn’t drain properly, it will waterlog the soil, causing the development of root rot in your rosemary, killing the plant.
Watering Your Rosemary
Rosemary likes to dry out between watering. Its native Mediterranean lands experience long dry spells during the summer, and rosemary is reasonably drought-resistant.
To check if your rosemary needs water, press your finger lightly into the soil. If it’s dry under the surface, the plant needs water. Typically, around an inch per week is sufficient to keep your rosemary in excellent health, producing plenty of sprigs.
Rosemary grows slowly in the wintertime, so its water requirements aren’t as heavy as during the summer months.
Humidity and Temperature Conditions for Rosemary
Rosemary enjoys warm temperatures, but humidity isn’t essential. Leaving the plant in your kitchen next to the window is all it needs to thrive.
Fertilizing Your Rosemary
Rosemary plants are not heavy feeders, and they don’t need soils with many amendments. User a good quality potting mix, and you shouldn’t have to worry about adding additional fertilizer during the year.
However, if the plant slows the growth and the quality of the prigs starts to decline, add some liquid fertilizer, high in nitrogen. The extra nitrogen feeds the plant, supercharging its growth. Fish or kelp emulsion also works as a great fertilizer, but it might make your kitchen smell.
Is it Worth it to Purchase Your Rosemary Plant from a Nursery?
All you need is one small rosemary plant to grow all the herbs you need throughout the year. However, you’ll need to ensure you purchase an established plant from the nursery for the best results with your indoor herb garden.
It can take rosemary several years to establish itself and fill out to the point where it starts producing healthy amounts of springs. However, when it gets going, you’re going to have all the rosemary you need. You’ll also have plenty to give away to your friends and neighbors; who doesn’t love fresh rosemary?
Rosemary grows readily, producing springs quickly in the right environment. If you keep maintaining and caring for the plant, chances are it’s going to reward you with a considerable harvest. You get fresh rosemary, week after week, during the growing season, and throughout the winter.
While a nursery-raised plant might cost you a few more dollars than starting a cutting yourself, it’s worth it to fast-track the production process; we want fresh rosemary available in a few weeks, not a few years.
Propagating Your Rosemary Plants
If you have an established plant, you can propagate it to make cuttings for additional plants to give away as gifts. All you need to do is take a cutting measuring around 2 to 3-inches from the tip of the branch.
Strip away about a quarter of the sprigs, and dip it in rooting powder or gel. Place the cutting in a small container of soil, covering the area with the rooting hormone.
Place the container with the rosemary on the windowsill, and let mother nature do the rest. Your rosemary cuttings will take around two to three weeks to root and establish themselves. Once rooted, you can transplant them to bigger containers and hand them out to friends and family.
To get the rosemary to branch out into a big bush, pinch off the tip, and it creates more branches on the plant.
Potting and Repotting Rosemary Indoors
If you’re growing rosemary in containers indoors, you avoid all the harmful weather conditions of the wintertime. There’s no need to weatherproof your plants. However, if you live in an area that gets very cold in the winter, you might have to move your rosemary bush from the kitchen to the lounge.
Leaving it in the kitchen may drop the temperature too far, stunting growth. Moving it to a warmer room like the kitchen or the lounge helps it keep growing in the winter months.
You’ll need to replace the soil in the pot each year to keep your rosemary in good health. Soil degrades over time, with the bush soaking up the nutrients. It’s possible to replace them with the use of fertilizer, but repotting the herb in fresh soil spurs faster growth in the plant.
The early springtime is best from repotting your rosemary. During this time, the plant is recovering from the dormancy period of the winter when the light gets low. By repotting in the spring, you supercharge growth in the plant as the sun starts to strengthen and inspire new development in your rosemary bush.
Harvesting Your Rosemary
When your rosemary plant starts producing, you’ll have enough of the fresh herb for your cooking and all your neighbors. Typically, fresh rosemary is our top choice for use in cooking, but dried rosemary is also fantastic – especially if it’s from your bush!.
Use a pair of sharp kitchen scissors or gardening secateurs to clip off a four to six-inch length from the bush. Rinse it under the tap and shake off the excess water. Strip the sprigs from the stem, and store them in the crisper drawer of your fridge in an airtight container.
Over-pruning the plant in a single session is a bad idea and stunts growth. Ensure you don’t remove any more than a 5th of the total plant volume with each pruning session.
Common Pests and Diseases Affecting Rosemary
Growing rosemary indoors means that you should have no problems with pests or diseases. However, the plant can experience infestation or infection. Here is what you need to look for when assessing the health of your rosemary bush.
Powdery mildew can occur on indoor and outdoor rosemary bushes., the primary cause of this pathogen is a lack of airflow around the plant. Leaving the rosemary bush next to an open window resolves this issue.
Rosemary is a fairly pest-resistant plant. Most pests and insects will only start to invade an unhealthy rosemary bush. Therefore, if you conduct proper maintenance and care, you should experience any issues with troublesome insects.
The spider mite is a common problem with rosemary. These little critters weave spider-like webs between the sprigs that are somewhat easy to spot. You’ll find the mites lurking on the twigs, sucking the juices out of the plant to survive.
It’s easy to treat pest infestations like spider mite using natural solutions like neem oil. Take the plant outside, spray it down with diluted neem oil, and the spider mites will disappear overnight.