Prune your rosemary once a month if you want to keep it the size of a shrub. COURTESY
Q: I use rosemary which I purchase from the store for cooking. It is expensive and doesn’t stay fragrant very long if I don’t use it all. I would like to plant rosemary in our yard so that I can use it in my cooking. Is there a difference between rosemary used for cooking and rosemary used in landscaping?
A: There are several varieties of rosemary but most are selected for landscaping rather than cooking. Many of the landscape varieties have horizontal or prostrate growth. However, these landscape varieties can be used for cooking as well. But varieties selected for cooking are usually upright and often have a higher oil content. Upright growth is easier to harvest.
Growing rosemary as an herb is different from growing rosemary as a landscape plant. Two traits are considered desirable in rosemary as an herb: upright succulent leaf and stem growth and a high oil content.
To grow rosemary for cooking, push new growth with nitrogen fertilizers and harvest before flowers are produced. Seldom is rosemary left to flower when used as an herb, but the new growth is dried or used fresh. Flowers may be attached when sold at farmers markets.
The best oil comes from rosemary flowers. However, most commercial oil production is from leaves and stems that produce more abundant oil, but it is inferior to the oil produced in the flowers. The same technique is used, except high phosphorus fertilizer is applied to improve oil production and harvesting is done when flowers are present for higher-quality oil.
Some of the better varieties for cooking include Benenden Blue, Flora Rosa, Tuscan Blue, Majorca Pink, Arp, Albiflorus, Huntington Carpet, McConnell’s Blue, Irene, Holly Hyde and Hill Hardy, to name a few.
Q: When is the best time to prune a rosemary bush? Our rosemary bush has grown too large. I would like to reduce it to about one-half of its current size. Also any suggestions about how I should prune it would be greatly appreciated.
A: If you are pruning it once a year, now is a good time. If you are pruning it as a hedge or you have to keep it under some sort of size control, then prune it once a month. If you are pruning it to use for cooking, cut it back now, let it regrow and harvest the new, succulent growth before it flowers.
You have a few alternatives for an overgrown plant. One is to cut the plant near the ground and let it regrow from 2-inch-long stems. Prune it now or just before new growth begins.
Another method to reduce its size requires more care. Trace the longest branch of the shrub inside the plant and remove it where it joins a main branch. Leave no stub. Select two or three other long branches on the inside and make the same kind of cuts. Prune every couple of years or when it gets too large.
Your third alternative is to replace the plant with something that doesn’t get so large.
After pruning, fertilize as you would to encourage new growth. One fertilizer application a year is all that is needed unless you are growing it as an herb that requires frequent harvesting. Applying too much fertilizer will dilute the oil content and fragrance.
If you are harvesting frequently, fertilize lightly every six to eight weeks with a balanced fertilizer containing nitrogen and phosphorus. Or apply your favorite compost to the base of the plant and get more spectacular results.
Q: I have a neglected privet that has overgrown its space. When and how far back should I prune it and keep its shape? My neighbor cut one back several years ago and it never came back at all.
A: Japanese or wax leaf privet regrows slowly after it has been pruned. If it is pruned deeply to the interior, where there is larger diameter wood, it is possible it may not grow back.
Your privet is overgrown and requires the removal of 12 to 18 inches of growth. It will recover very slowly from a pruning this severe. There is also a chance it may never recover in some spots.
In your particular case, this plant has simply outgrown the area it was given. It is time to remove it and look for something different.
Q: My rosemary plant has white foamy droplets on the stems. I can spray them away when I water with a hose but they return. They do not seem to be harming the plant but what is it?
A: The white foamy droplets are called spittlebugs and common on rosemary. They suck plant juices and are buried inside the spittle for protection. They can be knocked off the plant with a strong stream of water from a hose but they return quickly.
They are usually more of a nuisance than a problem unless you are growing rosemary as an herb. They can multiply and become a problem in the future so keep an eye on them.
Neem oil and horticultural oils will give some control of spittlebugs when sprayed directly on the plants. Spray a small section of the plant first to make sure the oils do not damage the rosemary.
Soap and water sprays wash the spittle off and leave these bugs unprotected. Follow this with an insecticide spray such as pyrethrum, which protects the plant from becoming reinfected. This might need to be done several times, a few weeks apart, to get them back under control.
Q: My Tuscan rosemary is in trouble. It appears to be dying.
A: Tuscan is a nice upright rosemary variety with good color and density that is grown for cooking and its oil content. It has very few insect and disease problems. We will occasionally see aphids and spittlebugs but nothing to get overly excited about.
Rosemary prefers soils that have been improved with compost and organic surface mulches such as wood chips. The soils must drain well. They do not like rock mulch at all and frequently die a few years after being planted.
When these plants die it is usually due to soil problems. Roots have a tough time “breathing” because of poor drainage. Most of the time these soil problems cause the roots and stem of the plant to die. The plant collapses during the heat of summer because roots are dead.
Avoid planting rosemary in low spots or where water accumulates. These conditions suffocate roots. It is possible to replant in this spot but remove as much of the soil as possible and replace it with the soil that drains easily.
This particular root disease may linger in this infected soil and cause future problems.
Q: I have an upright rosemary about 4 feet tall. It was sheared once on the top and the sides. It has never bloomed. Is there such a variety that never blooms or am I doing something wrong with this plant?
A: I have never heard of one not blooming. Most reasons plants do not bloom are planting them into low light levels (shade) or shearing them just prior to bloom. Normal bloom periods are spring and fall but in warm areas they might bloom all season long.
Prune during summer months if you want the blooms. Make sure it receives plenty of sun and do not plant in the shade. Avoid high nitrogen fertilizers but use fertilizers recommended for other flowering plants such as roses.
— Bob Morris is a horticulture expert living in Las Vegas and professor emeritus for the University of Nevada. Visit his blog at xtremehorticulture.blogspot.com. Send questions to [email protected]
- How to grow rosemary
- Growing rosemary through the year
- Rosemary varieties to grow
- Prostrate Rosemary Plants – How To Grow Creeping Rosemary In Gardens
- Trailing Rosemary Plant Info
- How to Grow Creeping Rosemary
- How to Choose?
- Sweet Woodruff
- Creeping Rosemary
- The Caveat We Promised
- There’s No Place Like Home
- Creeping Rosemary
- Rosemary Plant Types: Varieties Of Rosemary Plants For The Garden
- Are There Different Types of Rosemary Plants?
- Types of Rosemary to Grow
- 1. Rosmarinus Officinalis Arp:
- 2. Rosmarinus Officinalis Huntington Carpet:
- 3. Rosmarinus Officinalis Lockwood De Forest:
- 4. Rosmarinus Officinalis Prostratus:
- 5. Rosmarinus Officinalis Irene:
- 6. Rosmarinus Officinalis Salem:
- 7. Rosmarinus Officinalis Spice Islands:
- 8. Rosmarinus Officinalis Tuscan Blue:
- 9. Rosemary Mrs. Howard’s:
- 10. Rosemary Gorizia:
- 11. Rosmarinus Officinalis Miss Jessopp Upright:
- 12. Rosmarinus Officinalis Severn Sea:
- 13. Rosmarinus Officinalis Collingwood Ingram:
- 14. Rosemary Golden Rain:
- 15. Rosemary Hill Hardy:
- 16. Rosemary Mrs. Reed’s Dark Blue:
- 17. Rosemary Pink-flowered Majorca:
- 18. Rosmarinus Officinalis Albiflorus:
- 19. Rosmarinus Officinalis Nancy Howard:
- 20. Rosmarinus Officinalis Gold Dust:
- 21. Rosmarinus Officinalis Athens Blue Spires:
- 22. Rosmarinus Officinalis Benenden Blue:
- 23. Rosmarinus Officinalis Blue Boy:
- 24. Rosmarinus Officinalis Haifa:
- 25. Rosmarinus Officinalis Joyce DeBaggio:
How to grow rosemary
An evergreen herb that looks lovely all year round, rosemary smells wonderful, has a great taste, and when it flowers in late spring bees love it, too. Grow one alongside a path, so every time you brush past the leaves release their aromatic oils. What more could you ask?
More advice on growing rosemary:
- How to take rosemary cuttings
- Rosemary and pansy pot display
- Dealing with rosemary beetle
- Culinary herbs to grow
Although rosemary is frost-hardy, the combination of cold and waterlogging can kill immature plants.
Growing rosemary through the year
How to plant rosemary
Rosemary seeds can take an age to germinate, so buy young plants, which are widely available, or wait until after flowering and take cuttings.
Plant in spring or autumn. Although rosemary is frost-hardy, the combination of cold and waterlogging can kill immature plants. With this in mind, choose a well-drained soil in a sunny, sheltered spot. If you have a cold clay soil, dig in lots of bark, grit or leaf mould to improve drainage.
Growing rosemary in pots
Looking after rosemary plants
Rosemary requires little maintenance during the year except cutting back after flowering to prevent plants becoming straggly and excessively woody. Save the trimmings to propagate new plants or to dry for cooking.
Rosemary does well in containers in a soil-based compost with plenty of broken crocks in the bottom for good drainage. Keep well watered during dry spells and feed with a general fertiliser during the growing season. In cold winters, bring plants under cover for protection.
Watch Monty Don’s video guide to replacing tired rosemary plants:
Harvesting rosemary needles
Gently pull small sprigs away from the main stem. Unless you’re using them to flavour gravy or perk up a roast, strip the leaves off the inedible woody stems.
As rosemary is an evergreen, it’s available fresh all year. It dries well (on a baking tray in the airing cupboard) but doesn’t freeze.
Infusing rosemary in oil
Preparation and uses of rosemary
Pop a few sprigs of rosemary in with your roast potatoes and meat, it goes especially well with lamb, or in casseroles, tomato sauces, baked fish or egg dishes.
Add it to vinegars or oils for extra flavour. Take care when using fresh rosemary in your cooking, it’s a pungent herb that will overpower delicate flavours.
A native of southern Europe, the rosemary beetle and its larvae can quickly strip the foliage of a rosemary bush. These small metallic-green and purple-striped beetles can be found on the underside of leaves during early autumn to spring. Spread newspaper under an affected plant and tap the branches to dislodge pests. Wait until after flowering to apply an insecticide to avoid harming bees.
Plant a rosemary hedge
One of the best rosemary varieties for a hedge is ‘Miss Jessopp’s Upright’. Space the plants about 45cm apart. To promote bushy growth, cut back after flowering in early summer. Aim to keep the hedge around 60cm tall.
Rosemary varieties to grow
- ‘Benenden Blue’ – dark blue flowers and fine needles
- ‘Lady in White’ – its upright habit makes it useful as hedging
- ‘Majorca Pink’ – small pale pink flowers and upright habit
- ‘McConnell’s Blue’ – blue flowers, grows well in pots
- ‘Miss Jessopp’s Upright’ – blue flowers and upright stems
- Prostratus Group – pale blue flowers, arching, prostrate stems
- ‘Severn Sea’ – highly aromatic with medium-blue flowers
- ‘Sudbury Blue’ – highly scented foliage and blue flowers
Prostrate Rosemary Plants – How To Grow Creeping Rosemary In Gardens
Rosmarinus officinalis is the herbal rosemary that most of us are familiar with, but if you add “prostratus” to the name you have creeping rosemary. It is in the same family, Lamiaceae, or mint, but has a broader growth habit and may be used as an elegant ground cover. The aromatic leaves and stems are still useful in culinary application and the lovely pale blue flowers are especially attractive to bees. Read on for more trailing rosemary plant info and tips on how to use this plant to enhance your garden.
Trailing Rosemary Plant Info
Trailing, or creeping, rosemary is a cultivar of the herbaceous shrubs of Mediterranean origin. The evergreen perennial is useful trained over fences, rockeries and raised beds. It is an attractive ground cover over time with its fine, leathery foliage and sweet flowers. Rosemary ground cover provides scented foliage which helps minimize weeds and is an excellent foil for other dry landscape plants.
Rosemary is an excellent xeriscape plant with high drought tolerance once established. It combines well with most other perennial herbs and drought tolerant plants.
Prostrate rosemary plants can grow up to 3 feet in height and 4 to 8 feet in width with beautiful trailing stems that arch over and have a useful draping nature. Leaves are leathery, pale grayish green and have a pungent scent and flavor.
Rosemary ground cover is hardy to United States Department of Agriculture zones 8 to 10 but can be used in colder climes in containers and brought indoors for winter. It has numerous uses, from culinary to decorative, and rosemary was also thought to improve memory.
How to Grow Creeping Rosemary
The key to knowing how to grow creeping rosemary is to ensure superior drainage, as they are very susceptible to root rot in soggy conditions. Plants can thrive in compacted soil once established but young plants must be in loose soil to encourage root growth. In compacted soils, aerate around the root zone to encourage porosity and allow roots oxygen.
Prostrate rosemary plants are native to dry areas of the Mediterranean. As such, it requires well-drained soil and even thrives in areas of low fertility. Plant in light, porous soil, adding some sand or grit as needed to increase percolation. The shrub does well in containers but be careful not to overwater. Allow soil to dry out completely before adding moisture.
Choose a location with 6 to 8 hours of bright sunlight. Rosemary can be challenging to grow in the home interior. Where possible, place container plants in a sunny location where humidity is not high. In shoulder zones, you can plant the herb in a sheltered location and mulch heavily around it, covering the plant at night during cold snaps and it should survive light freezes. If some stems succumb to cold weather, trim them off and allow new growth to come from the base.
You can prune the plant lightly to encourage branching or even train it over a structure for an appealing effect. Rosemary ground cover can also be left to scramble over rocks and other areas as an effective herb barrier and attractive living mulch.
Sometimes it can be tricky to identify the right groundcover for a particular area of your garden.
This plant needs too much sun. That one likes shade. And this other one you’ve used all over the place — and you want something new.
Have you considered using culinary herbs as groundcover? Adding these multipurpose edibles to your garden solves not only the problem of filling an empty space, but also enables you to liven up dinner!
Judith Craft, primary gardener for the herb garden for the Austin Herb Society in Austin, Texas, likes herbs because many of them will bloom in the shade.
She says, “Herbs offer much more variety and texture in the garden than some of the other groundcovers.” She adds that some herbs — such as trailing rosemary — are useful as erosion prevention tools. Plant them on a bank or near a retaining wall to keep soil in place, she suggests.
Use groundcover herbs between stones on a walkway, so when you step on them, you get a little fragrance boost in the air, says Skip Richter, County Extension Agent in Horticulture with Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Service.
How to Choose?
With a large range of growing habits, colors, shapes, sizes, and flowering available, choosing a groundcover herb can be fun.
Some considerations before you make a selection:
- Will your herb groundcover replace an entire lawn?
- Will it just act as fill-in here and there?
- Will you walk on it or just admire it?
- Is your space sunny or shady?
Now, glorious as they are, there is one caveat to using culinary herbs as groundcover.
We’ll share this later in the article, but for now, let’s look at some herbs you might want to use in your garden.
Light requirements: Full sun
Foot traffic: Some varieties
Bloom: Lavender flowers in mid-spring
As many as 300 varieties of thyme tempt us during a visit to the garden store, but one of the most lovely types for groundcover is Thymus praecox ‘Coccineus’, otherwise known as “creeping thyme,” “wild thyme” or sometimes “mother of thyme.”
According to the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Extension and Research Cooperative Extension Service, “Creeping thyme is primarily used as an ornamental groundcover in rock gardens, herb gardens, as a front-of-border edging, and between pavers in garden paths.”
If you’re looking to cover a path, keep an eye out for woolly thyme (Thymus pseudolanuginosus), ‘Doone Valley’ thyme (Thymus x ‘Doone Valley’), and Thymus serphyllum) another variety that is sometimes referred to as “creeping.”
Learn more about growing thyme and cooking with thyme.
Light requirements: Part shade to full shade
Foot traffic: No
Bloom: White flowers in late spring to mid-summer
Sweet woodruff (Galium odoratum) is an undeservedly oft-forgotten herb that does well in shady areas in the landscape. This plant does particularly well under pine and black walnut trees, which are notorious for their inhospitality to neighboring plants.
Woodruff’s scent has been likened to freshly mown grass.
The flowers and leaves of sweet woodruff can be dried and used for hot or iced tea. This herb also stars in May wine, a punch made from white wine and flavored with woodruff and fruits such as pineapple, strawberry, and orange.
Light requirements: Sun
Foot traffic: Hardy enough to withstand, but too tall to be practical on a path
Bloom: Lavender or white
Also known as creeping, trailing, or prostrate rosemary (Rosmarinus prostratus), this is the plant even passing neighbor kids know to pinch off in order inhale its distinctive and satisfying aroma.
With a deep root system, this plant does well on a sunny bank or slope.
In the kitchen, rosemary is used as a seasoning for meat, poultry dishes, and potatoes. But in general, prostrate rosemary’s flavor is second fiddle to that of the upright form, which is less bitter and more intense.
Learn more about growing rosemary, and the cold hardy cultivars.
Light requirements: Part to full shade
Foot traffic: Will tolerate some, but not much
Bloom: White with pink tinge, late spring through summer
Wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens) is a good choice for forest-like conditions. It does not like heat and humidity.
Wintergreen’s minty-smelling leaves are used in pain-fighting tea, and oil from the leaves is commercially used as a flavoring in gum and hard candy, but wintergreen essential oil should be avoided in cooking.
The plant’s berries make a delicious addition to ice cream.
Light requirements: Shade to part shade
Foot traffic: Light
Bloom: White, pink, lavender
Mint likes moist, shady, areas, and it is an extremely aggressive grower, so unless you want it consuming your entire garden, you’ll want to pin it in with hardscape or metal flashing, buried 8” deep.
Corsican mint (Mentha requienii) is a low-growing (1-3”) mint that is particularly well-suited to fill in between stepping stones, as it will tolerate a little foot traffic.
Culinarily, mint is delicious in teas and other beverages, as well in many Asian dishes. For more tips, read our growing guide.
Light requirements: Sun
Foot traffic: Some varieties
Bloom: White, pink, lavender
An herbal superstar renowned for its must-have flavor in pizza and pasta sauces, some varieties of oregano also make a durable ground cover.
‘Betty Rollins’ (Origanum marjorana ‘Betty Rollins’) grows to a height of 6” and creeping oregano (Origanum vulgare ‘Humile’) quickly spreads to form a dense mat less than 3” tall.
The Austin Herb Society’s Judith Craft loves to put some of the more delicate varieties of oregano along a footpath. “When you brush up against it with your ankles, it releases a beautiful scent,” she says.
Learn more about growing oregano.
The Caveat We Promised
With luck, you’re already planning which fragrant herbs you’ll install in which areas of your garden.
Now, mind that you don’t encounter the situation I did with my young son. Intending to toss it into a sauce I was making, I snipped some oregano from an area near the kids’ basketball goal.
Observing me, my son asked, “Mom, are you going to use that in our dinner?” I confirmed that was my plan. He nodded thoughtfully and went back to tossing the ball, and I headed for the kitchen.
About 3½ minutes later, he bulleted into the house and straight to the stove. “Have you added those leaves to the sauce yet?!” I hadn’t, and asked him why he was so interested. Nervously casting his glance about the room, he sheepishly replied, “Um, sometimes I pee over there, where you picked it.”
Fortunately, I have a number of patches of oregano growing around the gardens. I checked the next source with him before snipping, and then, even so, washed this second batch of cuttings quite thoroughly.
There’s No Place Like Home
Make the most of your garden space by installing plants that are not only beautiful, but are also useful. Any kitchen gardener will tell you there’s nothing more satisfying than eating from your own garden.
Start planting today and you’ll be adding homegrown flavors to your home-cooked meals in no time at all.
Do you have any amusing herb stories? We’d love to hear them; share in the comments section below!
© Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published February 10, 2019. Last updated: January 5, 2020 at 14:25 pm. Photo credit: .
About Gretchen Heber
A former garden editor for a daily newspaper in Austin, Texas, Gretchen Heber goes through entirely too many pruners and garden gloves in a year’s time. She’s never met a succulent she didn’t like and gets really irritated every 3-4 years when Austin actually has a freeze cold enough to kill them. To Gretchen, nothing is more rewarding than a quick dash to the garden to pluck herbs to season the evening meal. And it’s definitely time for a happy dance when she’s able to beat the squirrels to the peaches, figs, or loquats.
Creeping Rosemary Plants
Creeping Rosemary or Rosemary prostratus is a creeping rosemary variety has made a name for itself as a container garden rosemary.
An evergreen ground cover, creeping rosemary also looks natural in containers, hanging baskets and easily wraps around circular wire frames to create topiaries. You will find creeping rosemary a tender evergreen perennial with fragrant evergreen foliage and pale blue summer flowers.
Recipe for roasted potatoes with rosemary: Cut up 2 large potatoes and a small onion. Toss with freshly chopped rosemary, sea salt and enough olive oil to heavily coat. Pour into a roasting pan and roast on 400 degrees for approximately 45 to 60 minutes or until potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife. Makes a great accompaniment to chicken dishes or pork dishes or in omelets.
Rosemary makes a wonderful facial. Just toss a couple of springs into a bowl of hot water, lean over bowl while covering your head with a towel. Also great remedy to open sinuses.
Easy to grow in any sunny, well-drained location. Hardy to 5 degrees. Grows to a height of 2 to 3 feet trailing, space 15 inches apart. Ships in 4 inch pots. This is just the right size for transplanting.
Because it is winter hardy only to about 20°F, creeping rosemary is generally only grown as a potted plant in areas such as Wisconsin. Plants do best in bright light (full sun) in well-drained soil. The soil should be kept moist, but good drainage is a necessity. Fertilize lightly as excess fertilizer reduces flowering and fragrance. Good air circulation is important to prevent foliar disease. Potted creeping rosemary plants can be moved outside to a sunny location during the summer, but should be brought inside before first frost.
Rosemary Plant Types: Varieties Of Rosemary Plants For The Garden
I love the aroma and flavor of rosemary and use it to flavor several dishes. When I think of rosemary, however, I just think…rosemary. I don’t think of different rosemary plant varieties. But there are a number of rosemary plant types to choose from. Read on to learn more about the varieties of rosemary.
Are There Different Types of Rosemary Plants?
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) has a wonderful and lengthy history. It has been nurtured by cooks and treasured by apothecaries for centuries. Interestingly, rosemary is said to live for exactly 33 years, Christ’s life span, and then die.
Although native to the Mediterranean, rosemary has been cultivated for so long that natural hybrids have developed. So yes, there are different types of rosemary, but what types of rosemary are there?
Types of Rosemary to Grow
There are basically two types of rosemary, those that are upright shrubs and those that grow as ground covers. Beyond that things get a little more complex, especially since one variety may be sold under several different names.
In cold climates, rosemary wouldn’t survive the freezing temperatures and is more often grown in a pot that is moved inside for the winter. However, some varieties are more cold hardy than other types. In warm regions, rosemary thrives outside and may grow into tall shrubs. For example, upright rosemary plant varieties run the gamut from 6- to 7-feet tall to smaller ones reaching around 2-3 feet in height.
Here are some common rosemary plant types:
‘Arp’ is a cold hardy rosemary that was named for the town of Arp’s newspaper editor, also by the name of Arp. It was discovered by a woman by the name of Madalene Hill. Later down the road, yet another cold hardy rosemary was named after her, the ‘Madelene Hill.’
‘Joyce de Baggio’ also known as golden rain or golden rosemary, is indeed somewhat gold in color. Sometimes mistaken for a variegated plant, the leaf color actually changes with the seasons. Leaves are bright yellow in the spring and fall and become a dark green during the summer.
Blue Boy rosemary is a slow-growing herb that works well in containers or as a border plant. The tiny leaves are edible; you just need a lot of them. Creeping rosemary does exactly what it sounds like it does and makes a lovely scented ground cover.
Pine scented rosemary has wispy or feathery looking leaves. One of the creeping types of rosemary to grow, pink rosemary has small leaves and pale pink flowers that bloom in late winter. It can become a bit out of hand if not pruned frequently, but luckily this rosemary suffers no ill effects from pruning. ‘Santa Barbara’ is another trailing rosemary that is a vigorous grower that can reach lengths of 3 feet or more.
‘Spice Islands’ rosemary is a very flavorful herb that grows as an erect, four foot shrub that blossoms with dark blue flowers in the late winter and early spring.
Upright rosemary has wonderfully flavored leaves and dark blue flowers, while white rosemary, as its name suggests, blooms with a profusion of white flowers from mid-winter to late spring. It is also very aromatic and a bee magnet.
Top 25 Most Beautiful Rosemary Flowers Arshi Ahmed Hyderabd040-395603080 May 31, 2019
Rosmarinus officinalis, commonly known as rosemary, is an aromatic, hardy, evergreen shrub with intensely fragrant foliage. It is a member of the Lamiaceae family, also known as the mint family. The name Rosmarinus is derived from the Latin word ros, meaning ‘dew’ and marinus meaning ‘sea’ (dew sea) referring to the plant’s ability to thrive even without water. Officinalis indicates the medicinal use of the plant. It originated from the Southern European countries around the Mediterranean region. There are as many as 150 varieties of rosemary shrubs and creepers. It is considered as a symbol of friendship, loyalty and remembrance. This wonder herb is used variously as a medicine, food preservative, cooking ingredient and memory enhancer. In certain countries, students burn rosemary essential oil during exams to help them concentrate. Its flowers and leaves are used in ceremonies such as weddings, and in festivals for decorating banquet halls and ward off bad influences. Rosemary has a bitter, astringent taste which complements fatty foods such as meat and fish very well.
Here are the top 25 rosemary flowers by popular choice:
1. Rosmarinus Officinalis Arp:
Arp is considered as the hardiest Rosemary flower. It was discovered by the late Madalene Hill in Arp, Texas. The gray-green clump has typical fine textured foliage with a wonderful fragrance. The shrub is dense, upright and highly aromatic. Its leaves are dark green in colour. It has a leathery texture which sports small, edible blue flowers in whorls. The plant is quite easy to grow and does not require regular watering. Arp can tolerate a wide range of growing conditions but thrives best in light and well-drained soil.
2. Rosmarinus Officinalis Huntington Carpet:
Huntington Carpet is a prostratus form of Rosemary that is greener and less woody than other rosemary varieties. The dense, ground hugging foliage and carpet of deep flowers create a dramatic waterfall kind of effect. Its leaves are also used as a flavorful culinary seasoning. The plant’s grayish green leaves are potently fragrant even from afar. It bears small yet appealing blue flowers from mid spring to early summer. Huntington Carpet prospers best in locations with full sunlight and perfectly drained soil. It is deer, heat and drought resistant and attracts birds, butterflies and bees.
3. Rosmarinus Officinalis Lockwood De Forest:
This rosemary was first discovered in 1930 in the Santa Barbara, California Garden of Elizabeth de Forest. It is native to the chaparral lands of southern Europe and North Africa. Small, two lipped lavender blue flowers appear along the heavy branches, densely clothed with rich dark green leaves. Lockwood de Forest is ideal for border planting and for placement along stone retaining walls. It thrives in well-drained soil in full sunlight.
4. Rosmarinus Officinalis Prostratus:
By H. Zell (Own work) , via Wikimedia Commons
Prostratus is a hardy, fast growing, creeping variety of rosemary that is perfect for hanging baskets and patio plants. It has a strong minty scent and is attractive to butterflies. The shrub bears narrow, upright spikes of purple-blue flowers among leathery, aromatic, dark green leaves. These are followed by fruits which consist of a dry nut. Keep it trimmed for a more lush appearance. It performs best in nutrient-poor and shallow soils and tolerates both blazing sun and cold. The rosemary purple flowers are an useful, low growing variety that is less susceptible to wind damage than its taller plants.
5. Rosmarinus Officinalis Irene:
Rosmarinus officinalis Irene was discovered by Phil Johnson in early 1930s. It is a very popular variety of rosemary. The evergreen clumps of thin leaf are topped with small violet blue flowers which bloom every year in August. Its aromatic leaves have a hint of pine in both flavor and fragrance. It is perfect for rock wall planting or container planting where it can spill over the sides. This rosemary looks lovely in the garden.
6. Rosmarinus Officinalis Salem:
By THOR (Flowering Rosemary) , via Wikimedia Commons
It is a fast growing, evergreen rosemary shrub which has an upright, rounded form. Salem has shiny, needle like leaves which bear small, blue flowers in early spring. It is also called the “Christmas Herb”, and is well known for its strong pine like fragrance. This rosemary can tolerate part shade but will get weak if it doesn’t get enough shade. Its fragrant branches can be used for dried flower arrangement or in cut flower bouquets. Salem can also be grown as a hedge in warmer climates.
7. Rosmarinus Officinalis Spice Islands:
By H. Zell (Own work) , via Wikimedia Commons
Spice Garden is a vigorous growing herb with sturdy and thick foliage. It is semi evergreen and is very fragrant with hints of clove and nutmeg. Its attractive, fragrant, narrow leaves remain dark green with gray undersides throughout the year. Its bright blue flowers complement the aromatic foliage. Spice garden has sticky foliage which gives out plenty of essential oil. It is sold in stores after being dried and ground. The flower prefers well drained, average to dry soil and a sheltered area.
8. Rosmarinus Officinalis Tuscan Blue:
Tuscan Blue Rosemary is an erect shrub that grows 6 feet tall and spreads to 4 – 5 feet. Its bright lavender flowers blooms along the fine, olive green foliage from winter to spring. The plant bears broad, fragrant leaves which are great for potpourri. Its lemony tang goes quite well with its pine smell. It responds well to clipping, making it easy to shape. Tuscan Blue looks great in a decorative pot, cottage garden and baskets.
9. Rosemary Mrs. Howard’s:
Mrs. Howard’s Rosemary is a tender perennial which grows mainly in colder regions. It has large, wide, medium green leaves on thick trailing stem. Its taller stature separates this variety from other trailing rosemary plants. It produces light blue blossoms several times during the year. It gives off a fresh, spicy scent which makes it great for cooking. Grow Mrs. Howard’s in full sun and do not overwater it.
10. Rosemary Gorizia:
Gorizia Rosemary is named after the town Gorizia in Italy, where it was discovered. The large, broad leaves of this unique rosemary extend from thick uprightly stems blushed with reddish brown markings. Gorizia sports large, light lavender-blue flowers along the un-pruned stems. Its aroma is quite gentle, sweet and gingery. It is good to plant in a container and beddings.
11. Rosmarinus Officinalis Miss Jessopp Upright:
KENPEI , via Wikimedia Commons
Miss Jessopp’s Upright is a compact, erect, medium sized evergreen shrub that comes with aromatic narrow, oblong leaves with silver underside. The plant bears two lipped light, blue flowers in summers which are highly fragrant. This rosemary was introduced by E.A Bowles in England and is named after Euphemia Jessopp. Its leaves are useful for flavoring roasted vegetables and meats.
12. Rosmarinus Officinalis Severn Sea:
This variety was raised by Orman Hadden at West Porlock, England. Severn Sea is a woody, perennial herb with fragrant, needle like leaves. The shrub produces bright blue, two lipped flowers in axillary clusters, creating a beautiful display. The medium grey, polished leaves are borne on the strong stems for a nice and bushy appearance. The plant is most suitable for container planting or can be placed in a hanging basket for a beautiful display. It is a draught tolerant, rabbit and deer resistant rosemary.
13. Rosmarinus Officinalis Collingwood Ingram:
Collingwood Ingram is a semi trailing rosemary with broad rich leaves that smell of camphor. The deep green glossy leaves contrast beautifully with its thick light, colored stems. It produces loads of blue flowers early in the season. It is very aromatic and requires full sun and well-drained soil to bloom properly. This annual flower should only be grown in full sunlight. Collingwood Ingram’s relatively fine texture sets it apart from other garden plants.
14. Rosemary Golden Rain:
Golden rain is a unique rosemary flower with bright yellow foliage and medium sized pointed leaves with green centers. The leaves turn dark in colour as they age. The shrub produces scattered blue flowers as they mature. It is a bushy and compact plant which requires little pruning. The leaves of this variety are more refined than other varieties of rosemary. The plant radiates a golden aura which dazzles the eye.
15. Rosemary Hill Hardy:
Hill Hardy is wonderful, cold tolerant rosemary. Its stiff and dark foliage is held on semi upright stems. It produces spiky leaves which adorn delicate small white flowers. The foliage has a soft yet assertive aroma. It is one of the hardiest varieties of rosemary.
16. Rosemary Mrs. Reed’s Dark Blue:
Mrs. Dark has a bushy growth habit and a dark green foliage which makes this variety look more attractive than most of the rosemary plants. Deep, dark blue flowers adorn the light green stems. It is one of the most beautiful rosemary plants.
17. Rosemary Pink-flowered Majorca:
Rosemary Majorca Pink is a tall, upright rosemary flower with lavender pink blooms. It produces long branches that twist around the plants and then cascade. The plant has thick stems along which dull green leaves are loosely placed. It is a delightful counter to the traditional blue rosemary. The leaves have a slightly fruity fragrance. Majorca is quite a fragile variety of rosemary and requires protection from frost.
18. Rosmarinus Officinalis Albiflorus:
Albiflorus is a popular variety of rosemary which makes a grand statement in landscaping. The shrub produces small, white flowers amidst narrow, dark green, leathery leaves. It is a low maintenance plant and is a great choice for beginners. Like all rosemary plants, it blooms from mid-winter to late spring.
19. Rosmarinus Officinalis Nancy Howard:
By H. Zell (Own work) , via Wikimedia Commons
Nancy Howard is a pretty and fragrant rosemary plant which is distinguished by its white flowers which age to pink. The large deep green leaves contrast quite nicely with its stiff, white stem. Nancy Howard is an excellent rosemary flower for topiary. It is also adaptable to the seaside as it can easily withstand high wind and salt spray.
20. Rosmarinus Officinalis Gold Dust:
Gold Dust is an evergreen, well branched shrub with aromatic 1 inch long, narrow, dark green leaves with golden edges. This unique rosemary was discovered by Stephen and Julie of Chilliwack, British Columbia, Canada. It blooms in summer with deep blue coloured flowers and strongly scented foliage. It performs best in loamy soil and partial shade.
21. Rosmarinus Officinalis Athens Blue Spires:
This vigorous, cold hardy rosemary boasts of lovely, lavender blue flowers on a dense, upright habit. It was introduced by Allan M. Armitage of Athens, Georgia in 1999. Blue Spires has unique grey-green, needle like foliage. The flower is a disease, heat, cold and drought resistant plant and thrives best in poor soil if well drained.
22. Rosmarinus Officinalis Benenden Blue:
Benenden Blue is a small rosemary cultivar cascading with narrow, attractive, glossy green foliage. Benenden Blue grows up to 30 cm tall and produces small, sky blue flowers in abundance during spring, creating a beautiful display. Its leaves are narrow, linear, dark green and leathery and are highly aromatic. Benenden Blue is native to Mediterranean region and prefers light, sandy soil and sunny weather conditions. This rosemary is ideal for container planting.
23. Rosmarinus Officinalis Blue Boy:
Blue Boy is a compact rosemary plant which grows just 12 inches tall. It is a dense, aromatic, upright shrub which bears pastel blue flowers and tiny evergreen leaves in springtime. This evergreen plant is drought and heat tolerant. Blue Boy is a slow growing plant and is well suited for small rock gardens and container plantings.
24. Rosmarinus Officinalis Haifa:
Haifa is a an extremely hardy rosemary which produces pale blue flowers across its trailing branches of dark green, needle like foliage. It is native to Europe and North Africa. It is widely used as a culinary herb and works well in borders, containers and gravel gardens.
25. Rosmarinus Officinalis Joyce DeBaggio:
Joyce DeBaggio is a striking rosemary flower with yellow streaking that is most prominent in cool weather. The plant turns completely yellow as it ages. It was founded by Tom DeBaggio in 1940 and is named after his wife Joyce DeBaggio. The purple blue flowers are scattered all over the plant. The leaves have an interesting resinous scent. Regular pruning of this plant will keep it in a good shape. Joyce DeBaggio will make an excellent ornamental plant. These 25 rosemary flowers are sure to hold your interest. So do tell us through the comment section if you’ve planted any of these, and also share any special tips for caring.
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I’m Arshi who loves makeup, fashion and cars. Writing is my comfort!!! I love learning new languages. Gardening and cooking are my passions. I love to write articles which would simplify people’s life.I go crazy when it rains and find fun in getting drenced. Life to me is a cup of coffee you need to blend all the ingradients in right proportions, Hope my posts are helpful!!! stay positive and keep smiling !!