Quick Recipes and Easy

Rosemary Is A Natural Insect Replant

Rosemary is an aromatic herb from the libiatae (mint) family and is a gardeners friend as it is known to be a natural insect replant. If left unchecked it can grow to over 2m (6.6ft) tall, regular picking and pruning will keep your plant more manageable. It has needle like greygreen leaves and its flowers are small and pale blue/pink in colour. There are several decorative variegated types, but none are as hardy as the ordinary green rosemary.

Sowing:

Growing direct from seed is not the simplest when it comes to rosemary. Start indoors in a dark room, as this will aid germination, covering a liberal amount of the seeds lightly (with compost) after sowing. The optimum soil temperature should be around 15c (60f). Although rosemary can take up to 3 months before germination you should start to see some results in about 2-3 weeks. When you have shoot that are around 20cm (4inches) high they may be planted out.

Cuttings:

Rosemary can also be successfully grown from cuttings. The ideal soil mix uses grit, compost and peat. We try not use peat, as most will come from gorgeous landscapes and gardeners unbeknown to them are slowly using the peat from non-renewable sources. I used just normal compost for mine and they appear to be growing well. I took a excellent cutting of about 5cm (2 inches) long off my plant. Took off the bottom leaves and cut diagonally across the stem. Planted it and I water it when it looks a bit dry.

It is an thought also to use a hormone rooting powder if you chip willow wood down and soak it in water (you get willow water ). The willow water is stated to be rich in giberellins, but after research I have found it is really rich in auxins , which are plant hormones and used to help in rooting of cuttings so there is a rooting powder alternative which is organic!

Here’s a pic of how one of my cuttings is getting on.

Click on the image for a larger picture, taken by Gennine Blanning. (opens in a new window)

Planting out:

Despite giving you the information on growing from seed I highly recommend that you should buy your rosemary plant. Look at the bottom of the pot when purchasing and ensure there is not too much root leakage, also check the leaves for pests and general vigour. A tired looking plant is just a waste of money. I bought my plant for £1 in the early spring, it is at the top of the page. It now, after 4 months, looks like the picture on the right (I know, it needs a bit of weeding).

Rosemary prefers well drained soil, in a sunny, sheltered spot. Unless you live in a climate that suffers from very cold winters there is not much more you need to do to keep a healthy rosemary plant. I water mine with an organic seaweed feed once a fortnight and give it a watering in dry spells, but that’s it. Frosts and icy winds may kill off some of the shoots but new growths should appear from the base.

Medicinal:

Can be used as a disinfectant, for headaches, fever, as a mouth wash and for rheumatism.

Externally it can be used in hair lotions a few drops of Rosemary oil massaged into the scalp then rinsed with an infusion of nettles can revitalise the hair. Used in this manner it supposed to prevent premature baldness. Rosemary is also supposed to stop dandruff. Hungary water was first invented for a Queen of Hungry to ‘renovate vitality of paralysed limbs’. It was used externally and is prepared by mixing 680g (1.5 lbs) of fresh rosemary tops in full flower into 3.75 litres (1gallon) of spirits of wine. Leave to stand for four days then distill. It is also supposed to work as a remedy against gout if rubbed vigoursly on hands and feet. For a tonic against headaches place some sprigs into a teapot add hot water strain and serve.

Gerald Crawford was born in South Africa, studied electronics, telecommunication, eco-travel and african travel concepts. He taught responsible tourism in South Africa. If you have any questions or comments please e-mail me on.

E-mail Address: mailto:southafricantravelarticles@12234455.co.za southafricantravelarticles@12234455.co.za

Website Address: 12234455.co.za 12234455.co.za

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