Rosemary likes dry to average, well-drained soil. Space plants 5′ apart if used as a groundcover. It prefers a sheltered position such as on the south or southwest side of a wall or foundation. It tolerates part shade, but the flavor of the plant may be weakened if it doesn’t get enough sun. Easy to grow, it does not require extra watering. Plant height is 12-24”. Spread is up to 5′.
In the spring, fertilize plants after the flowers have appeared. Keep trimmed for a more lush appearance. Prune the plants after flowering. As with all varieties of Rosemary, it performs very well in pots and may be brought indoors for winter use. Drought tolerant.
Follow a regular watering schedule during the first growing season to establish a deep, extensive root system if using as a groundcover. Adding a layer of organic mulch to help control weeds until the plants cover the area will help facilitate growth.
A trailing, prostrate rosemary variety, Huntington Carpet has dark evergreen aromatic foliage and deep blue flowers that attract bees. Developed at the Huntington Botanical Gardens in California, this variety retains the foliage in the center of the plant better than other prostrate forms. An attractive, spreading, durable groundcover it is often used on slopes to aid in erosion control or in rock gardens. Its cascading habit also makes it a great addition near retaining walls or in planters.
Rosemary may be used fresh or dry. Try adding to breads, stews or to season meats. For fresh use, pick early in the morning for the highest oil content. Leaves, tips and flowers can all be used. Chop finely or tie stems together and remove before serving to infuse flavor.
For longer term storage, cut whole stems and tie bunches together in small batches. Hang in a dry location out of the sun that will receive plenty of air. Rosemary leaves may also be dried on screens in a dry, shady location. Simply strip the leaves from the stems and scatter on drying screens. Stir occasionally to help even drying. Do not use heat to dry rosemary as the oils can be volatile. Store in air-tight containers in a dry, dark location.
Rosemary may also be frozen using the ice cube method in water or olive oil.