how to care for rosemary
so my mother gave me a rosemary "xmas tree" and i don't know what to do with it. it's in a pot right now and i don't know how much water to give it, how much sun it needs. tips, or any advice would be greatly appreciated
thanks in advance
Rosemary is a hardy Mediterranean shrub and needs a lot of sunshine. The more sun you give it, the healthier it will be. It can be transplanted outdoors provided you live in a mild climate (winter freezes generally not lower than 15-20 degrees.) Otherwise you'll have to put it in a pot and bring it inside for the winter.
Water it weekly and let it dry out between waterings. If you live in an especially dry climate, I'd watch it to make sure it's getting enough water until I learned exactly what it needed. I have never given my rosemary plant food, but I'm sure it can't hurt it.
When you use it, cut off tips and new shoots will start all around where you cut it. So, you should cut it to make it bushy and healthy.
Enjoy your rosemary!
I don't know where you live, but where I live (Las Vegas) rosemary is a very easy to care for, low-maintenance plant. I have six in my backyard (planted in the ground) in an area where they get sun from midday to sundown. They grow fairly rapidly and need pruning every six months or so. My backyard is on a drip watering system, and I water once per week deeply (about 2 hours) in the winter, maybe 3 times per week in the summer on the line the rosemary is on. I have tried planting rosemary in a pot and keeping it indoors for its fragrance and so I don't have to run outside every time I need some for cooking. One the two times I have tried this, it was a miserable failure (but every other herb I've tried in containers has also been a miserable failure--I'm no good at container gardening). So, if you happen to live in a warm climate, plant it in the ground outside where it will get sun for most of the day. They are pretty plants that look nice year-round. I'm not sure about a cold climate.
Secondbase, as chocsoy says, rosemary is a shrub. As in bush. As in almost-a-tree. It will be much happier if you plant it in the ground. Potbound shrubs dry up and die. You could plant it in a barrel, I guess...but it will do better wiggling its toes happily in the earth. And in the earth you won't have the same problem with it getting rained on a lot as you would in a pot/barrell as there is more room for the water to run somewhere else.
Sidelight: here rosemary is considered a good-luck plant. They also put it down on the streets for the Corpus Christi procession in June and then people walk over it and later cars drive over it...heavenly smell.
I've got a little rosemary plant here I started from seed in the spring (DD13 got me a packet of seeds for my birthday because she knows I adore the smell of a rosemary plant). It's about 6-7" tall now, and I'm thinking of repotting it. But it has to be an indoor plant here because of our cold Iowa winters.
Outside, and it doesn't need much watering. My school had TONS of rosemary planted because it's one of those eco-friendly plants, apparently. They were usually pretty dry; the waxy needles keep it from losing water.
More sunshine is better, but it doesn't need constant sunshine. The rosemary/school was in Merced, and there was usually more of a problem with them being overgrown than anything.