June Plant of the Month
Do you love the smell and taste of rosemary? Not only is this woody perennial herb a wonderful ingredient for cooking, it's easy to grow in your landscape!
What's the Difference?
There's lots of different varieties to choose from, all of them are edible! Some varieties grow upright while others spread like a ground cover. Upright varieties can make nice borders or hedges, while trailing varieties look great spilling over a retaining wall or out of a container. At The Garden Center you can often find Tuscan Blue or Barbecue (upright), Prostrate or Lockwood de Forest (trailing). Tiny blue flowers will appear in spring and summer, attracting those oh so beneficial bees!
How to Grow
Rosemary grows best in full sun. Yes, even our San Antonio summer full sun. Its Mediterranean origins mean that it can tolerate lots of heat and drought. It needs well draining soil and good air circulation. Too much water and cramped conditions can cause mildew issues and less flavorful foliage. Another great thing about rosemary is that deer think it's an acquired taste and won't bother it.
Uses and Benefits
Grow rosemary along walkways, near patios or in containers. Whenever you brush against them walking by, you'll release their fragrance. Some say the scent even repels mosquitoes! Here are some other benefits and uses for this awesome herb:
- Contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds
- Studies have shown that rosemary may help fight diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer's
- The scent of rosemary improves memory, concentration and mood
- Can be made into a topical tonic to promote hair growth
- Improves digestion
- Can be used as flavoring for meat, bread, deserts, preserved with vinegar or olive oil
It's no wonder that rosemary was selected as The International Herb Association's Plant of the Year in 2000. Ready to plant yours? They are available nearly year-round at The Garden Center. Come by and run your hands through them. You won't be able to resist!