Rosemary trees make beautiful holiday decorations, but they require a little extra care to help them survive
The wonderful addition of rosemary makes for a festive and aromatic atmosphere in the home. Rosemary is used in a number of ways: oils and potpourri and as a spice in cooking. It goes beautifully with lamb, of course. The leaves can be removed from the stem or sprigs can be added and then removed before eating.
Rosemary trees begin showing up in fall at garden centers. Their little evergreen needle-like leaves make them a festive decoration or gift. Rosemary trees can be placed around the home during colder weather and taken outside when spring returns.
The leaves can be used anytime and taste best fresh. They're easy to dry for potpourri, but lose a lot of cooking flavor in the dried version. And even though as a seasoning it won't cause any harm, ingesting the oil can cause some internal discomfort - don't experiment; just stick with tea.
Rosemary trees are a bit on the delicate side; however, you can decorate them with lightweight ornaments and even small twinkle lights. They can be temperamental if not cared for properly.
Rosemary is not suited to all climates. In areas where the ground freezes, plants should only be situated in pots and brought inside during the winter. They prefer plenty of sun, cool temperatures and a more humid environment. Soil should be porous, and they will perform better in a clay container.
Rosemary is susceptible to stress, so do not repot often and choose an original container that will support growth. It requires a careful balance between too much water and too little. The soil should never become completely dry, and a plant saucer that does not come in contact with the pot allows excess water to escape. You won't know that your rosemary tree has become too dry until it is practically dead; a keen eye is needed to stay on top of waterings.
Pruning should be performed carefully and selectively, or the blue-grayish flowers will not bud in the spring. Rosemary does make a beautiful topiary, however, so some snipping back is essential to maintain a desired shape.
If you are lucky, then your rosemary tree will last many years, especially if it is planted outdoors in just the right spot.
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