Rosemary plants are one of the easiest herb to grow once we understood what they need. As a novice gardener in 2015, I could not say the same as I was a serial killer of rosemary plants bought from nurseries, even though I followed their instructions of care faithfully. I did not understand then the why but now I do.
- Nursery plants are potted in cocopeat. As this medium retains water, it is not suitable for rosemary. Follow soil mixture instructions below by fellow gardeners
- Rosemary tolerate sun very well
- Can be grown outdoor as long as soil mixture does not retain water
- Easier to grow from cutting than seeds
- Do not need much fertiliser, use any in mild form only
- Do not need to water everyday
- As they grow, trim often (cut stem) to encourage bushier growth
- Suffered roots rot easily if roots are constantly moist
These were thriving rosemary plants grown by fellow gardeners, outdoor , in our natural elements (rain, wind, haze) since 2015.
Without any sunny spot to grow, your rosemary probably will look like mine. They were transplanted outdoor as there was not much sun in my balcony gardens. Starting from seeds were more difficult and slower.
Rosemary plants are easier to propagate from cuttings than starting from seeds. My first rosemary cuttings were from Terence Low’s (NakedGreens group admin) and rooted in tap water.
2018 August 25 – From above cuttings, our plants have multiplied and still thrived today.
TIP – Trim often to encourage new branches. Use leaves for cooking, stems for rooting
How to Root Cutting Tips
Jack Yam, a member in our Facebook gardening group (SG Farming in Apartments), perfected the rooting method for rosemary, and had a pictorial tutorial on how to root them.
These were what he said –
- Trimmed away the leaves from mid to bottom of the stem
- Support the cutting so that only 1 cm of the roots’ end is in water
- Cutting root better in bright sunlit area
Rooting from living plants from gardens had a higher chance of success than grocery bought.
Netcups support stems and prevent mosquitoes access to stagnant water if they fit well and sealed access with correct fitting sponge.
Netcups for smaller reservoirs available in SHOP !
Soil Mixture Tips
If rosemary plants are grown in areas where there is no shelter from rain, the soil mixture must be customized to allow rain to flush out as fast as possible.
The trick is mixing the soil, to be less soil! 😀 More sand, more pebbles, only 30% soil, the rain/ water must flush out as quickly as it arrived. How to get the soil mix right? Play with your mixes – Mix and match your soil one lazy afternoon, dip in a pail of water n see if it drained in one minute! 😀 Add more pebbles etc if they do not drain well. Lastly, the base of the pot is best lined with pebbles or rocks to aid draining as well.
Other gardeners also generously shared tips on how to propagate and keep rosemary plants thriving for years. So my thanks to all of them for sharing.
Rooted in liquid, Grow in liquid (HYDRO, using nutrients)
As fussy they are in soil and needed the right mixture to prevent water logging, they thrived even better in liquid base.
For our indoor gardens in 2018, we are growing more plants (herbs, vegetables, lavenders, strawberries etc) in liquid base as they are lighter than soil and do not strained our windows.
Hydro Rosemary Journey from cutting –
The process of rooting cutting whenever we used this herb never stop, because we can never have too many rosemary in this home or for our workshop’s participants (whenever available) ! So here we go again on December 11 2018!
Rooted in liquid, Grow in Soil Method
Sthh Sthh from Plant Community Singapore shared how to root Rosemary from store bought herbs :
Sthh Sthh used his own mix of nutrient solution too.
His recipe is : NPK 21-21-21, a dash of epsom salt, and a teaspoon of seachem flourish trace minerals into 3 litre of water. EC about 2000. (I am clueless here as well, not being familiar to commercial fertilizers! )
STHH STHH also shared how he watered and adjust the soil media needed for a dry loving plant like rosemary and even lavender! Deep Water Soak Treatment –
STHH STHH – How I water my rosemary and thyme, very deeply. Entire pot is submersed in a basin of water. Then pot is lifted to drain.
If water does not completely drain in less than 1minute, your medium is too dense for rosemary or thyme. Time to add some grit. Many options are available – sand, pebbles, perlite, whatever that aid good drainage.
If your water does not soak deep into the soil, the roots of the plants will stay close to the surface, and if so, you cannot skip watering your plants every couple days, which also increases humidity, which is a killer for rosemary and lavenders here in SG.
Deep watering helps plants to establish better roots, and watering will be required only once a week, or twice a week when it gets hot. For suspected fungal infection, or for aeration of soil, you can add a little hydrogen peroxide.
And that is how STHH keep his rosemary plants so well. Please remember to only water these plants when the soil is dry.
Agnes Yang on Feb 8 2016 shared how she root her rosemary cutting (from a live plant) –
Ms. Yang used a syringe to draw a small amount of this and she also said, ” I’m using diluted seaweed solution. Cheaper than rooting hormones and works well as continuous support even after potting through watering with it”.
SOIL MIXTURE Tips from gardeners
Steve Teh (Plant Community Singapore, Dec 8 2015) – Compost: perlite: coarse sand: rice husk. The ratio is 3:1:1:1. Some limestone powder added in the mix for higher alkaline level. If rice husk is not available, then add more sand and perlite. Coarse sand is from nursery and not the beach as the latter contained salt. If beach sand is used, it need to be washed first to rid of salt.
Veronica Yuen (SG Farming in Apartments, Jan 2016) – ” It require good drainage, use 50% perlite, 25% compost, 25%potting mix. Water once or twice a week.”
Terence Low, Naked Greens – 1:1 top soil and other part perlite, pumice or sand will do.
Guanster Guan ‘s soil mix formula, please click on the hyperlink.
All in agreement that Rosemary are sun lovers 🙂 Just don’t love them too much with the watering! 🙂
Rosemary add an aromatic bite to salad and is not only used in roasting meat 🙂
Rosemary also made great seasoned salts for culinary purposes.
To make this, just dry baked sea salt with rosemary leaves and kept in airtight containers. When bottled in beautiful glass jars, these are elegant gifts as well.
Life’s simple pleasures from the freshest home grown herbs at doorstep!
- Soothes itchy scalp
- Reduce hair loss because rosemary oil stimulates blood circulation on scalp, promoting hair growth
- Anti-inflammation properties
- Nourish hair follicles
- Stimulate cell renewal leading to natural healing
- Scent improve memory
After overcoming the challenges of growing rosemary, there is only happiness and satisfaction during harvest.
Rooted herbs seedlings may be available for sale, do contact via SHOP.