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ROSMARINUS officinalis

  • Planting

    1. Dig holes or beds wide, not deep
    2. Lightly amend heavy clay or sandy soils with organic matter
    3. Gently remove plants from containers, keeping the root ball intact
    4. Loosen potting soil and roots around bottom and edges of root ball
    5. Plant level with surrounding soil, spreading roots outward
    6. Fill around roots with lightly amended native soil
    7. Water to settle soil around roots
    8. Cover the area with leaf or bark mulch 1 - 3 inches thick but not piled up onto the plant's stem/trunk
    9. Water deeply

  • Watering

    1. Once established, these plants are usually drought hardy and rarely need heavy watering
    2. Too much water can cause foliage problems or root diseases
    3. Water only occasionally, when they have begun to dry out
    4. Water slowly and deeply, not frequently
    5. When possible, water in the morning to keep foliage from remaining wet for too long

  • Pruning

    1. Tall or leggy plants may be cut or pinched back to stimulate strong new growth
    2. Cut or pinch stems of flowering or foliage plants just above leaves or old leaf joints
    3. Thin excess growth so remaining growth will be more vigorous
    4. "Deadhead" - remove faded flowers or seedheads to stimulate new flowering growth
    5. Remove dead, faded, or diseased foliage as needed
    6. Remove some foliage during transplanting to reduce stress on new roots
    7. Clean up plants at the end of the season to reduce pest or disease buildup and to keep the area neat
    8. Avoid putting diseased plant parts in the compost, or risk spreading diseases later

  • Propagation

    1. Propagate annual herbs such as basil, dill, and parsley from seed sown in warm, moist soil, or from cuttings taken in summer in bright indirect light and high humidity
    2. Propagate perennial herbs such as mint, rosemary, thyme, and oregano from stem cuttings taken in summer in clean, well-drained potting soil, bright light and high humidity
    3. Divide clumps of chives, garlic chives, and stoloniferous ("running" type) herbs such as mint in the spring or early summer
    4. Plant individual cloves of garlic in the late summer or early fall, and harvest the following summer

  • Fertilization

    • Most herbs need very little fertilizer at a time, or they get lush and leafy and their natural herbal oils lose their concentration and the plants lose flavor
    • Use a very light amount of all-purpose or vegetable fertilizer early in the growing season, and again a few weeks later.
    • If using water soluble fertilizers, use at half strength or less