I would LOVE to be able to plant my bushes (3 very large ones now) in-ground.I've never planted my herbs, let alone my rosemary, in ground because 1) I didn't think they'd survive the winter and 2) about 8" to 1' down their is a clay base....not desirable for an herb loving a well-drained soil.If I gave them a well-drained planting bed soil medium, despite the clay deep down, would they be alright? .
So how cold-hardy is Rosemary?
According to everything I’ve read, it can’t survive freezing temperatures – yet here we are in late January after an unusually wintery December, and this specimen on my deck is just fine, thanks.And from Fine Gardening Magazine we learn that: “In the fall, when the temperature dips to 30ºF, it’s time to bring rosemary indoors.”.So I posed my burning questions to Kerry Kelley, Homestead’s manager of annuals, including herbs, and she replied:.Some people with zone 8 microclimates (Capitol Hill, inner city Baltimore, close to the bay, or just a warmer, protected spot) may be able to grow other varieties–some success had been had with ‘Tuscan Blue’.I love one of the tips one of my customers gave me about using rosemary: she sprinkles the flowers on her family’s breakfast eggs–beautiful and delicious.But I’ll end with what everyone seems to agree on: that as a Mediterranean plant, rosemary likes it sunny and dry – which means great drainage, something that pots usually do a good job of providing. .
The Best Cold Hardy Rosemary Varieties
As the Mediterranean is the source of so much goodness on our dinner tables, it’s hardly a surprise that the region is also home to rosemary (Salvia rosmarinus), the pungent member of the mint family that adds the perfect flavor to many dishes.While US gardeners who live in climates similar to that of the Mediterranean – one that’s warm and dry – are able to grow rosemary year-round, those in more northern climes may fear they are less fortunate.Mother Nature has gifted our northern friends with a number of rosemary varieties that can withstand the chill and still reward with garden interest and palate pleasure.And while there are no varieties that are rated to consistently withstand the brutal chills of -10°F to -20°F temperatures that can occur in Zone 5 and below, with planning and preparation, gardeners in Zones 5, 6, and 7 have fairly solid odds of overwintering their plants.Before you even install your rosemary plants in the garden, give the process some consideration.The easiest way to ensure it survives the winter is to plant rosemary in a container, and overwinter it indoors.However, if your plant is already in the ground, and you’re thinking it might not make it through the winter chill, consider digging it up and replanting it in a container.Plan to do this in late August or early September, and why not prepare some grilled rosemary-garlic hamburgers from our sister site Foodal the evening you do the trimming, so you can make use of all those flavorful cuttings.Alcalde This variety was originally found growing in a northern New Mexico garden and was brought into cultivation by Charles Martin, an agronomist.Athens Blue Spire Discovered in 1998 in a crop sown from a packet of commercial rosemary seeds by a horticulture researcher at the University of Georgia, this variety is still making its way to widespread availability.Find a live ‘Hill’s Hardy’ rosemary plant in a four-inch pot at Hirt’s Gardens via Amazon.Choose a variety that is known to be cold hardy, and carefully place it where it will have the best chance against winter’s wrath. .
How to Grow Rosemary Plants
Space rosemary plants 2 to 3 feet apart in an area with abundant sunlight and rich, well-drained soil with a pH of 6.0 to 7.0.Before planting, set your garden up for success by mixing in several inches of aged compost or other rich organic matter into your native soil.Promote spectacular growth by feeding rosemary regularly with a water-soluble plant food.Harvest rosemary stems by snipping them with sharp gardening shears. .
Rosemary flowers vary from white to pink to blue, and the blooming time depends on the selection.Use rosemary as an evergreen hedge in Zone 8 and south.This evergreen perennial thrives without winter protection in Zone 8 and farther south.If you live in a windy location, always choose a protected spot for your rosemary, because extreme cold in Zones 8 and 9 can kill the tops of this herb.Keep a rosemary plant in a container year-round in case plants in the ground are lost during a hard winter.You can also start new plants from stem cuttings in spring and summer.Mulch to keep roots moist in summer and protected in winter, but do not allow the mulch to touch the crown of the plant.If you live in an area north of Zone 8, move rosemary to a protected location or bring it indoors for winter.Many selections of rosemary are available.To dry the leaves, harvest just before the plant blooms.Dry stems on a rack, or bunch several sprigs and hang them to dry.Then strip the leaves from the stem. .
Growing Rosemary in Zone 5 :: Melinda Myers
According to the hardiness maps we are too far north (zone 5) to grow rosemary as a perennial.Check out the National Arboretum located in zone 7 for more details on their rosemary hardiness study.Though challenging to over winter inside you have a better chance for success and even the dried dead plant is fragrant. .
Arp Rosemary, Rosmarinus officinalis Arp
Choose a spot on your property that receives at least 6 hours of sun per day.Prepare your soil by clearing the area of all existing growth. .
Rosemary at Portland Nursery and Garden Center.
In the kitchen, the leaves are considered an essential herb for flavoring a variety of culinary dishes.Rosemary has also been a historical component of the medicinal herb chest due to its antibacterial and other properties.The sprigs of rosemary are great in floral arrangements, wreaths, and other crafts such as topiaries.In the garden, rosemary is a fantastic, evergreen shrub for a hot, sunny spot.Upright varieties grow between 4-7’ tall and wide and are ideal for an aromatic hedge.Typically rosemary has blue flowers that are quite showy and attract honey bees and butterflies.Trailing rosemary is a great evergreen for spilling over walls, containers, and hanging baskets.Rosemarinus 'Roman Beauty' A stunning newer cultivar with contrasting silver undersides of the leaves.Rosemarinus 'Shimmering Stars' An extremely floriferous variety with pink buds opening to blue flowers.Rosemarinus ‘Tuscan Blue’ A delightfully large, columnar variety growing 4-6’ tall and 3’ wide.Rosemarinus ‘Huntington’s Carpet’ A fast spreading variety with light blue flowers.Lighter foliage and a tight, low-mounding habit reaching 12” tall and 4’ wide(or long). .