Plant of the Week - December 15th 2018

You can’t mistake the look and the fragrance of the Rosemary plant - which by the way has become a very popular Holiday plant, as well as growing for its culinary uses.   Although Rosemary will tolerate colder temps, it cannot tolerate them for long periods of time.  So it’s commonly grown in containers so it can be moved indoors during the winter (when temps get into the 30’s consistently) and back outdoors during the summer.  But growing Rosemary indoors over the winter can be a little tricky, so here are a few quick tips.

To be successful indoors, your Rosemary needs three basic things:  -Full sun / extremely bright light or as much sunlight as you can give it / 6-8 hours if possible.  And rotate the plant regularly so all sides receive equal sunlight.  In some cases, a grow light may be needed for supplemental lighting.   -Good drainage.  Rosemary likes to stay on the drier side, but will need a good soaking every now and then.  So make sure the soil drains well.  Water well, let the soil dry out close to totally dry, and then soak again.  But make sure it’s close to totally dry before watering again.  Don’t allow it to stay totally dry for long periods / nor stay too wet for long periods.  If your plant is in a plastic pot, transplant into a terra cotta pot.  This allows for even better drainage, and the weight of the pot helps to keep the larger plants from falling over.   -Good Air circulation.  If the surrounding air is humid at all or no air circulation, powdery mildew will appear on the leaves and can severely weaken and possibly kill the plant.  In some cases, a small fan may be needed to keep the air flowing around the plant.  Watch for this white powdery substance to appear on the needle like leaves.   Additional notes:  -Rosemary grows best indoors at cooler temperatures.  -Keep an eye open for any insect problems like spider mites or aphids.  Insecticidal soaps will help keep them under control if needed.  – Rosemary is not a heavy feeder, so feeding in the spring will get it off to a great start when it’s moved back outdoors.  –And yes, you can use your Rosemary over the winter.  Keep your harvest simple and try just removing the newer growth.

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