Rosemary is a very fragrant and versatile herb. It can be used to infuse olive oil, is common in a variety of Italian recipes, and makes a great addition to marinades, among other things. While rosemary is typically easier to grow outdoors, with the right precautions it can be grown indoors and enjoyed year round.
Planting Rosemary Indoors
Rosemary plants can be found at most nurseries and garden stores. It is much easier to start with a small plant than with seed. Rosemary does very well in containers. The plant will require a clay pot with good drainage so that the soil does not retain too much water. Rosemary requires a lot of sun, generally six to eight hours every day. A warm, south-facing windowsill is typically a good option.
Maintaining Rosemary Indoors
Rosemary does not require too much care and should not be watered too frequently. It is generally best to allow the soil to dry almost completely and then water thoroughly. Large rosemary plants should be rotated weekly so that all sides of the plant receive enough sunlight.
Pests are often a greater threat to rosemary indoors than out. Aphids and spider mites are common offenders, but this can typically be remedied by spraying the plant with a mild insecticide.
Powdery mildew can also be an issue and while it wont kill the plant, it will hinder its growth, The best way to prevent mildew is to keep plants away from any humidifiers that may cause too much humidity. Running a small fan near the plants can also help to encourage air circulation and prevent mildew.
Be sure to use the herbs that you grow. Clipping rosemary for use in the kitchen is a good thing and will help to plant to continue to branch and grow.
Once you have rosemary growing indoors, you’re sure to want more. Most varieties of rosemary are cultivars; this means that they are best propagated by taking cuttings from existing plants. It is easier to grow healthy plants from these cuttings than from seed.
To propagate rosemary, first snip a two and a half inch stem off the top of any healthy rosemary plant. Use scissors to carefully snip off the bottom leaves and dip the bottom into a hormone rooting powder. This is available at most nurseries and garden stores. Place the cutting into a container filled with equal parts peat moss and perlite. Place in the sun and mist with water regularly. The cutting should develop roots in two to three weeks and can be transplanted into their permanent clay pots.