Being native to the Mediterranean, rosemary grows well in temperate climates. Plant seeds or transplants after the last frost of winter. Rosemary does very well grown in greenhouses. It can be grown in containers that are at least 12 inches in diameter. By keeping the foliage and roots trimmed the herb will last up to 4 years in a container. Rosemary is an herb that needs good drainage, about 1 inch of water a week, protection from cold temperature, as well as, protection from the cold wind. In areas where it does get cold and windy, just plant the rosemary in a container and bring it indoors during the winter. It's aromatic leaves will be a welcome scent during the cold winter months. Make sure to prune it just before setting it back outdoors for the summer. Harvest rosemary as needed, making sure to cut 3-4 inches from one branch rather than a little from multiple branches. Dry rosemary by hanging the stems upside down in a dark place. Once thoroughly dry, store in glass jars for up to one year. Pests to be on the look out for are spider mites and whiteflies.
History of Rosemary
Rosemary is a kind of wonder herb that dates as far back as 500 BC when both the Greeks and Romans used it as both a culinary and medicinal herb. The Spanish began cultivating Rosemary in the 1500's. Since then it has been used in such diverse ways as showing fidelity and remembrance, strengthening memories, warding off disease, repelling moths, as a condiment for food, and as topiaries in the garden landscape.
Uses for Rosemary
There are many great reasons to grow rosemary in your yard or garden. Now days it is most commonly used as a cooking herb. However, there are are numerous other uses for this wonder herb. Not only can it be used as a beautiful and easy to care for plant in just about any landscape, it's tiny flower clusters attract birds and bees which is desired in all gardens. Rosemary can be used as an herb in cooking, in hair and skin care products, medicinally, and as a cleaning product in your home.
Rosemary in Cooking
There are many recipes that use rosemary to enhance the flavor of food. When cooking with herbs remember that 1 tablespoon of fresh herbs = 1 teaspoon of dried herbs. Here are a few recipes that really highlight the wonderful flavor of rosemary:
Rosemary In Skin and Hair Care
Rosemary as a beauty aid has many uses: It is known as an invigorating tonic and antiseptic.
Herbal Baths: Boosts circulation and deep cleans the skin.
- Make a herbal bath infusion by using a handful of fresh rosemary in 2-1/2 cups of boiling water. Let it steep for about 10 minutes, then strain it, and add to a warm bath.
- Skin soothing bath to relieve itchy skin and achey muscles. Bring 2-1/2 cups apple cider vinegar and a handful of fresh rosemary to boil. Leave overnight, strain, and add to warm bath water.
- Place 3 tablespoons of fresh rosemary in a bowl. Pour 6 cups boiling water over the herb. Stir briefly using a wooden spoon. Make sure to tie your hair back. Hold your face about 12 inches over the steaming water and use a towel to cover your head and the bowl. Make sure to keep your eyes closed. Allow the steam to soak into your skin for bout 10 minutes. Rinse with tepid water.
Hair Rinse: For use after you shampoo. Gives hair a nice sheen and revitalizes the scalp.
- 1/3 cup rosemary, 4 cups boiling water, 1 tablespoon cider vinegar (for dark hair) or 1 tablespoon of lemon juice (for light hair). Infuse the rosemary in the boiling water, leaving there until the water is cool. Strain the water well and add the vinegar or lemon juice. Pour over hair continuously until your arms get tired. Then soak hair in the rosemary water for a couple of minutes. Dry your hair as usual.
Aromatic Uses: Use in wreaths and potpourri to add fragrance to a room naturally.
Place in linen cabinet among linens to add a fresh scent.
Remove leaves and use a a skewer for kabobs.
Scatter on barbecue to add flavor to food and to discourage insects.
Cleaning: Add a handful of leaves to 2 cups of boiling water. strain well, and pour into a spray bottle. Use to clean fixtures, refrigerator, and counter tops.
Rosemary is said to have medicinal uses such as: Aiding fat digestion
Relieving pain in aching joint
Aiding in relief of dandruff
As an antiseptic mouthwash
As you see, rosemary is a very worthwhile herb to grow. Now you know why it is a favorite herb for many people and has been used for centuries.