Rosemary

Rosmarinus officinalis
Characteristics
Category Shrub
Size 8' x 5'
Flower Color Blue, Lavender, White, or Purple
Flower Season Spring Fall
Exposure Full Sun
Water
Growth Rate
Hardiness 12°F
Notes:

Description

Rosemary is a hardy evergreen with needle-like, deep green, fragrant foliage that grows three to five feet high and three to eight feet wide. It is popularized as a landscape plant and offers edible leaves that when dried are used in cooking and for medicinal purposes. In the spring and again in fall, it produces attractive blossoms in blue, lavender, white, or purple. Bees, butterflies, and some birds are attracted to its small blossoms.  Use this versatile shrub as a foundation, border, low growing hedge, culinary herb, and transition or container plant. It is a good choice to use against a hot wall or in dry locations for erosion control on steep slopes and in rock gardens. Its attractive green foliage makes it a nice winter contrast plant. Use the dwarf cascading variety ‘Prostratus’ to creep over walls and drape over surfaces. Other varieties grow upright and have variations in flower color and taste. Rosemary works well as an herb in vegetable gardens. Oils extracted from the plant have been used for many centuries for antibacterial and holistic purposes, and the leaves give a nice scent to lotions, perfumes, soaps, and sachets. Rosemary originated in the Mediterranean region where it grows in dry, sandy, or rocky soils.

Maintenance

Rosemary likes well-draining soil with full sun and reflected heat. It is extremely drought-resistant, but likes additional irrigation during the hot, dry season and does not like to be over-watered. This plant is very hardy into the teens and below. New growth may freeze if exposed to low temperatures. It benefits from occasional fertilizer applications of ammonium phosphate in early spring. When needed, prune woody growth out of mature plants to keep them lush and increase side branching.