Maintaining a rosemary bush

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Maintaining a rosemary bush

Postby tezza » March 10th, 2012, 12:33 pm

I feel so lucky that in my new abode I have inherited a rather magnificent rosemary bush which is growing out of one corner of the lawn.

Of course I would like to make as much culinery use out of this plant as I possibly can, but at the same time it is rather large and some of the lower sprigs have started to turn brown. I want to care for it as much as I want to eat it. :)

So I am looking for tips on how I can keep this shrub in tip top condition so that it becomes an attractive feature in the garden and also keeps my kitchen supplied with fresh rosemary whenever I need it.

Thanks in advance. :hug:
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Re: Maintaining a rosemary bush

Postby PurpleLuv » March 10th, 2012, 12:50 pm

If it is an established bush Tezza then a simple trim is all that it needs, maybe a soft yard brush every now & then, Nan used to make real tea :shock: with leaves & emptyed the pot around her bush, it thrived.
Last edited by PurpleLuv on March 10th, 2012, 12:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Maintaining a rosemary bush

Postby Lokelani » March 10th, 2012, 12:56 pm

Treat it a bit like lavender in as much as trimming it back after each year's growth to keep it in shape & stop it getting leggy, because they really don't like you cutting back into old wood.

I freeze all the needles off the prunings as it is a herb that freezes well, then I sprinkle a small handful over potatoes when I'm roasting them.
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Re: Maintaining a rosemary bush

Postby suffolk » March 10th, 2012, 1:01 pm

I think I would wait and see if the brown sprigs grow new leaves. If they don't then trim them off. If you use lots of sprigs of your rosemary it may not need pruning, but if you do want to shape it it's best to prune it after it's flowered (the bees love the flowers), but unless it's straggly it'll only need light trimming.

If you wanted to really rejuvenate it you could cut it back as described here http://www.gardeningknowhow.com/herb/pr ... semary.htm

As rosemary bushes do tend to get straggly and unkempt as they get older, I think I'd take a few cuttings http://www.gardenersworld.com/how-to/pr ... s/283.html
and grow a replacement or two, and some presents for your friends. :D

I'm really looking forward to planting a rosemary in my new garden :bounce:
“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.”
― Virginia Woolf
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Re: Maintaining a rosemary bush

Postby Zosherooney » March 10th, 2012, 6:49 pm

I have 2 large leggy rosemary bushes, they were leggy when we arrived so basically tied some strong string around one lower limb and then got it taught, wound it round another stem (very taught) and the same with the others. It soon pulled it into shape !!! Personally I don't freeze rosemary - lack of space, but it dries very well on a sunny window ledge.
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Re: Maintaining a rosemary bush

Postby tezza » March 10th, 2012, 7:56 pm

Thank you for your responses.

This bush is obviously well established due to size and isn't leggy at all, quite plump and compact. I wish my camera hadn't mysteriously died on me this weekend or I would have taken a photo so you could see it. It is quite a bulbous bush, not leggy at all. I think what I will do, based on your advice, is wait a while until it flowers and then see what the brown sprigs do. Then I will get in with a trim and a brush and take some cuttings so that I can ensure a continuous supply. Anything I trim off will be either used immediately in some culinary way or dried as I am lacking freezer space at the moment. Needless to say nothing will go to waste. :D

(Goes off to start a favourite rosemary dishes thread...... :chef: )
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Re: Maintaining a rosemary bush

Postby Annie » March 19th, 2012, 11:46 pm

Being well established it obviously has a poor soil and well drained. Most herbs thrive in such conditions and great for drought conditions.
Do not feed with compost or manure but the tea idea works well because the feed is in the water and it uses what it needs and then drains away any excess.

Cuttings are so easy to take just a sprig and put in a jam jar with water in on the kitchen windowsill roots will quickly grow and then plant. I took cutting from a favourite bush in France. Brought them home wrapped in damp kitchen paper and stuck them in a jam jar. The bush is in a pot on the patio and growing beautifully.

They also thrive and bush out nicely by using cuttings regularly too. As already said cut back and dry the sprigs.
Once dried I strip the the leaves and pop them in a food processor and keep them in an old herb jar/dispenser.
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