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Known as a symbol of remembrance and friendship, rosemary fills a garden with aroma, flavor, and activity -- busily pollinating bees love the blooms. This herb comes in various forms, from stiff and upright, ideal for a hedge planting, to mounded and spreading, perfect for scrambling along a slope or wall. The secret to beautiful rosemary is to give plants a hot, dry footing. Grow plants in well-drained soil or a raised bed and surround them gravel mulch for best results. Rosemary thrives in containers, too.
In coldest zones, overwinter rosemary in an unheated room with a fan. Protect overwintering plants from extreme humidity. Too low humidity can cause plants to drop leaves; too high can favor powdery mildew.
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From 1 to 8 feet
2-4 feet wide
how to grow Rosemary
Snip fresh rosemary stems throughout the growing season. To use rosemary, strip needles from stems and chop before adding to dishes. To store fresh rosemary up to one week in the refrigerator, place stems in a plastic bag with a damp paper towel.
To preserve, air-dry stems by bundling and hanging upside down in a dark place with good air circulation. Remove leaves from stems and store in airtight containers. Dried, whole rosemary retains flavor up to one year. You can also freeze whole stems in a plastic bag. To use, strip as many leaves as you need from frozen stems. Chop rosemary well before using.
Pulverize dry leaves before adding to dishes, herb blends, or sauces to release aromatic oils and to make them easier to chew. Rosemary texture and flavor varies throughout the season. Leaves are tender in spring, with fewer aromatic oils. By late summer, foliage packs a more potent flavor. Toss late summer stems onto grilling coals to infuse meat with delicious flavor.
Harvest rosemary flowers for a delicious addition to lettuce or fruit salads, pasta, or rice creations.