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How To Grow Rosemary

Plant: Perennial

Hardy: To 0°C
Height: 0.6-2m
Soil: Dry, Poor, Well Drained
Exposure: Sun
Propagation: Seeds, Cuttings
Uses: Culinary
Growing:  Rosemary will endure poor soil, as long as it is well drained and hot sun. Except in very hot climates, it requires little water once it is established. It responds well to container culture and can be grown indoors.
Where winters are mild enough, rosemary is an outstanding shrubby perennial for permanent landscape use. Where it would winterkill outdoors, grow it in containers and bring plants inside during the cold months.
There are several varieties of Rosmarinus officinalis that grow between 60cm - 2m high (depending on variety) and can he used for ground covers and hedges. The leaves of all varieties are narrow and needle-like (similar to pine needles) and are glossy green on the top and a lighter, gray-green underneath. Their aroma is resinous and pine-like. Small clusters of light lavender-blue flowers 30cm wide cover the foliage in summer and spring, although you nearly always will find a few flowers throughout the rest of the year. With age, the stems become woody and gnarled, giving plants a rugged appearance.
The variety Trostratus´ is the lowest growing to about 60cm and makes an excellent ground cover or low hedge. Its branches twist and curve and will gracefully spill over a wall or creep around rocks. Rigid, upright branches and darker blue flowers are typical of ´Tuscan Blue´. The varieties ´Collingwood Ingram´ and ´Lockwood de Forest´ both have bluer flowers than the species and are lower growing.
Rosemary has several associations with the Virgin Mary. The flowers are said to have received their color when she placed her sky blue cloak over a rosemary bush to dry after washing it. It is also thought that she sought cover behind a bush of rosemary while fleeing to Egypt. Boughs of rosemary have had many uses in the past. They were carried at weddings and placed on coffins at funerals. Because the fragrance was thought to be disinfectant, rosemary branches were strewn on the floors of prisons and courts of justice to counteract the diseases that prisoners carried. The ancient Greeks and Romans burned the leaves as incense. Rosemary also was used to prevent balding and to condition hair. The leaves were sometimes placed under pillows to prevent nightmares. Rosemary is also the herb of memory, and the leaves were supposed to quicken the mind and prevent forgetfulness. 
Use the leaves fresh or dried with chicken, meats (especially lamb), stews, and vegetables. A tea can also be brewed from them. Use a branch of rosemary as a brush for applying barbecue sauce to chicken and burn sprigs in the coals just before the chicken is done—the smoke will impart rosemary´s characteristic flavour to the meat.