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October 20, 2011

Rosemary as a Christmas Tree

- by Debra Anchors

Yes, it may be too early to think about Christmas, but October isn't too early to consider growing a rosemary plant to decorate for the holidays. A great option as a decorative element in an office setting, rosemary will lend its fragrance to the room as well as its beauty.  Due to its antiseptic and astringent properties, run your hands through the sprigs and leaves for a fast and fragrant hand sanitizer. The timing couldn't be better to choose the perfect rosemary specimen and begin grooming it for December.

Rosemary cannot survive outdoors through a Zone-5 winter (it’s a Mediterranean herb), but why not try growing one in your home now for use through the winter months?  Your favorite garden center may have one available right now. Many grocers carry rosemary plants in their produce section for purchase this time of year, too. Care for it, decorate it, and use it to boost flavor in your meals: rosemary is an adaptable plant.

I love to have plants around the house in the winter, especially fragrant ones. I love the look, smell, and taste of live rosemary and find that it is very easy to cut-away pieces from the bush and shape it into “tree” form. Just keep your tree shape in mind as you harvest pieces to cook with.  Leaves and even entire sprigs of the rosemary plant are used in meat dishes and stews, with roasted potatoes, and other vegetables – in fact, it can enhance the flavor of almost everything from appetizers to desserts (try it with baked apples).

Rosemary’s secret is that it likes to be continually damp but doesn't like to stand in water; so, it must be well drained. Rosemary will not grow well with water around its roots, but it will die if the roots dry out.

Our ancestors supposed that rosemary strengthened memory and researchers in Japan have evidence that rosemary does improve memory.  I think that’s reason enough to have one around, don’t you?

Here’s how:

Place the plant and its pot into a larger one filled with gravel. Be sure the bigger pot has a hole for drainage. Put a saucer underneath the pot to catch the water.

Water your rosemary at the base of the plant every day or every few days. Let the water run right through the plant and out into the saucer or into your sink, but be sure to empty the saucer.

Occasionally, gently rinse off any dead leaves and other debris that tends to build up around the base of the plant. You can let it soak in the sink for a little while and then drain it well.

Like many plants, rosemary likes humidity, so you can take the plant to the shower with you. Once each week or twice a month, place rosemary in your bathroom and take a leisurely, steamy shower. Your plant will love you and your bathroom will smell amazing!

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Leave a legacy, but garden like you’ll live forever! 

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  1. How cute! I wonder if we can grow Rosemary outside in South Florida?

    1. You absolutely can, Andrea. The entire state of Florida is a perfect gardening zone for rosemary to flourish! Thank you for dropping in; please visit again soon.


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