Rosemary

Rosemary

Part of Ep. 1604 Winter Landscapes

At Green Woman Herbs in Mineral Point, Shelley Ryan talks with owner Diane Bober who grows more than 27 varieties of rosemary. Bober shares tips for controlling insects and overwintering rosemary.

Premiere date: Nov 16, 2008

TRANSCRIPT+
Wisc Gardener Transcript: 

Shelley:
We are in a fabulous rosemary wonderland.  This is one of my favorite herbs for indoors in the winter.  We are at Green Woman Herbs in Mineral Point.  I'm with the owner, Diane Bober.  Diane, you have over 27 rosemary plants.  Why the passion with rosemary? 

Diane:
Well, I've always loved rosemary.  I love the fragrance of it. 

Shelley:
Definitely I do, too. 

Diane:
There are so many different varieties with different shapes, flower colors. 

Shelley:
Look at that! 

Diane:
It's just always been a fascination. 

Shelley:
This is a rosemary, too?  It looks like some sort of windblown topiary. 

Diane:
It's got these wonderful contorted branches.  This is kind of a semi-upright shrub. 

Shelley:
This could easily be outside and you'd have architectural interest for a backyard.  How do you keep these happy?  Are most of these outdoors? 

Diane:
They are plants that love sunshine.  They love heat.  They have to have good drainage.  They are Mediterranean plants. 

Shelley:
So in our climate, they have to be outdoors? 

Diane:
In the summer, they do very well.  However, they are not winter hardy, so you need to bring them in for the winter. 

Shelley:
Are there tricks so they can survive that transition? 

Diane:
Yes, there are.  When the plants are outside in a pot they tend to become root bound.  As you bring them in, pull them out of the pot. 

Shelley:
Oh, yeah, that's root bound. 

Diane:
What I would do with this is take off about a third. 

Shelley:
Just rip it off? 

Diane:
Yes, and then you can see the roots around here they aren't doing the plant any good so cut through those and remove that. 

Shelley:
You can be pretty rough.  You're trying to break them up so they don't grow in circles. 

Diane:
And to get them to put out new roots.  Re-pot it in a fresh soil-less potting mix.  Water it in. 

Shelley:
What about bringing insects in?  I've had a heck of a time with my rosemary.  They're inundated. 

Diane:
That's always a problem.  After I've potted it, I put it in the sink and give it a good spray with water, even using my hands to clean off the leaves, so it's all nice and clean when you bring it in. 

Shelley:
You're really getting rid of any bug debris with just plain water.  That's a good excuse to play with the scent.  Oh, that smells good! 

Diane:
You need to check on this for insects.  When the plant is blooming, it seems to attract bugs.  However, there is a soap that can be used and works really well.  It's not harmful to other things.  What you want to do is spray it on coating both the bottom and top of the leaves. 

Shelley:
It needs to be in contact.  It won't kill anything if it's near it.  It has to touch it. 

Diane:
Right, and you're probably going to want to spray every couple of weeks in case there are eggs. 

Shelley:
It will only kill the live stuff.  You've got get the eggs after they hatch. 

Diane:
That's right. 

Shelley:
A sunny window, well-drained soil.  And keep an eye on it. 

Diane:
Yes. 

Shelley:
With 27 varieties, you must have a few favorites? 

Diane:
Oh, I sure do. 

Shelley:
Or all of them? 

Diane:
It's hard to pick them out but there are a few.  This one is a Majorca.  It's got a lovely pink flower to it and again these nice, contorted branches.  It has a lovely structure that's very pretty in a pot. 

Shelley:
It looks very old like you could easily train it into a bonsai. 

Diane:
Yes, you could. 

Shelley:
What's this?  This looks more like a mugo pine. 

Diane:
This is called Golden Rain.  It has very dense growth to it.  It tends to have golden foliage both in spring and fall.  In the summer, it tends to turn darker green. 

Shelley:
Still the scent!  Can you use all the ones we're talking about still for cooking? 

Diane:
There are some that are better for cooking than others.  I have one down here that has a lovely structure and very fine growth.  However, it's fragrance is very piney.  You probably would not want to use that. 

Shelley:
Maybe use that in my drawer with my socks, or something. 

Diane:
Yes. 

Shelley:
I like this one, too! 

Diane:
This has a great name, Dancing waters. 

Shelley:
Oh, perfect! 

Diane:
It was beautiful blue blooms. 

Shelley:
A lot of people are nervous about cooking with rosemary.  Do you have any hints for us? 

Diane:
Sure, I think rosemary goes really well with chicken.  Chicken and garlic.  I love garlic! I do have another recipe, one of my favorites.  Garlic potatoes.  You just use olive oil, cut up the potatoes and of course, fresh rosemary with it.  Mix that all together, roast it in the oven.  It's very easy. 

Shelley:
Can we use this on our Web site? 

Diane:
You sure can. 

Shelley:
Thank you.  You have one more sentimental use that I'd like to share. 

Diane:
Yes, rosemary has always been used as an herb for remembrance.  If I'm sending a card to someone as a get well, I love to tuck in a sprig of rosemary. 

Shelley:
To remember them and let them know they're not forgotten.  I think I'm going to do that for my Aunt Rosemary.  Thank you. 

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