Wild, Versatile Rosemary

David Abrego

Whether planted in pots, or used as a border or ground cover, rosemary will serve you well in your landscape (bees love it!) and kitchen (it adds fabulous flavor to foods!)

Rosemary, derives from Latin for “dew of the sea,” is a plant of the Lamiaceae family and one of the most popular herbs in San Antonio gardens. Its use has spread from the kitchen to the edges of your garden, also very popular in the preparation of medicines and cosmetics.

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) is a perennial plant that, depending on the variety, can develop gray-green to glossy dark green needle-like leaves. Also, it can grow upright or form a mound.

It usually thrives in hot areas, but rosemary also grows well in containers; protect it only when the temperature drops below 20 degrees.

In ideal conditions — well drained soil, plenty of light and good air circulation — the plant can grow up to 5 feet tall if it’s upright, or 6-inch tall mounds.

Keep this drought-tolerant plant with a moist, but not wet soil to avoid root rot. When mulching be very careful not to apply mulch on top of the plant — this is most true for the trailing varieties. Plant them about 5 feet apart for easy maintenance. At the beginning of spring, remove all dead branches that did not survive the winter.

Whether growing inside beds, as borders or ground cover, this versatile fragrant herb with light blue flowers is a magnet for bees and will add a Mediterranean touch to your garden.

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