Azure Cascade. Grows to about a metre ground cover. Best planted in full sun or partial shade. Prefers a well-drained soil.Trimming encourages new growth.
Give it an annual dressing of slow release fertilizer.
Sowing: Sow in March to April, or September to November. Sow seed on the surface of lightly firmed, moist seed compost in pots or trays. Press the seeds lightly into the compost but do not cover, as they need light to germinate. They will germinate in less than two weeks. The germination rate for Rosemary can be low, perhaps 30 to 50% so, either plant a few more seeds than you would normally do, or increase germination by sowing at one week of warm temperatures of 18 to 24°C (65 to 75°F), followed by cold temperatures of 4°C (40°F) for four weeks. The fridge is the ideal temperature!
Seedlings should be ready to transplant in six to eight weeks. Avoid keeping the medium too moist. Transplant to 7.5cm (3in) pots or trays. Gradually acclimatise to outdoor conditions for 10 to 15 days before planting out, after all risk of frost. When transplanted, pinch out the tip of each stem to encourage the plants to bush outwards. Trim new growth to maintain a compact shape.
Cultivation: Rosemary, like Thyme and Lavender is one of those plants which will not re-grow if cut back too hard. If you need to trim them wait until new growth buds appear in the spring and cut back to the lower ones. If trimmed back when you can see new growth buds, it will stay fresh and healthy for many years and flower well. Outdoors, plants should be placed in an area with good air circulation and well-drained soil.
Storage: Cut and dry whole branches. Save sprigs in olive oil.
Container Growing Rosemary: The herb Rosemary grows extremely well in large pots or other containers. The pots need to be reasonably deep because rosemary is a deep rooting herb. Use a mixture of 20% sharp sand or grit and 80% standard potting compost. Water the plant well to help it settle in and consolidate the soil around the roots. Container grown plants are more likely to affected by severe frosts, so move the containers close to the house walls in winter.
Medicinal Uses: Rosemary leaves are known for relieving cold symptoms and headaches. Made into an herbal tea is also believed to stimulate liver activity and improve blood circulation.
Companion Plants: Rosemary is the companion plant to Cabbage, Beans, Carrots and Sage. It repels Cabbage Butterfly, Bean Beetle and Carrot Fly. It attracts honey bees, bumble bees and butterflies.
Nomenclature: Native to the Mediterranean basin, Rosemary, Rosmarinus officinalis, is a woody member of Lamiaceae, the mint family. The name 'rosemary' is from Latin and means 'dew of the sea'. Rosmarinus is from ros (dew) and marinus (of the sea).
It is thought that the name originated because the plant lives in the harsh, dry climate and seems to exist with only the humidity from the sea. In ancient times, when all plants were associated with an emotion, rosemary was known as the herb of remembrance. The species name officinalis is derived from the Latin meaning ‘of the apothecaries’. It was officially recognised as a medicinal herb.