The following information is about Rosemary Cultivation and its planting methods.
The plant of Rosemary is evergreen in nature and it has a fragrance in its leaves. The plant is woody and it is considered to be a perennial herb. The flowers of the Rosemary plant are found in different colors. The leaves of this plant are harvested when the plant starts flowering. The shape of the leaves is like a needle. They are native to the Mediterranean region. The Rosemary is naturally found all over the Europe and is also grown in gardens during warm climates. The herb belongs to the mint family Lamiaceae. The scientific name of this herb is Rosamarinus officinalis. The other name of the plant is Anthos. The root of the Rosemary plant is very fibrous.
The leaves of the Rosemary are bitter in taste. They are used in moderation either in the dried or fresh form. They are used as seasoning the food like chicken sausages, lamb, duck, chicken, seafood, stews, soups, potatoes, stuffing’s, tomatoes, turnips, and many other vegetables and beverages. The plant is resistant to diseases. In the ancient times Rosemary was an herb used for strength. The herb is also used in the preparation of traditional medicines. The oil is extracted from the leaves by the distillation process. The oil is extensively used in toiletry products and also in wine.
Characteristics of Rosemary:
- The leaves of the Rosemary plant are much similar to hemlock needles.
- These plants are native to the Mediterranean and Asia.
- They can withstand drought conditions.
- The maximum height of the plants is observed to be 5 feet.
- The leaves are 2-4 cm long.
- The width of the leaves are 2-5 mm and they are green in colour on the upper part; in the lower part they are white in colour
- The flowering starts in spring and summer season. The plants are capable for constant bloom even in warm climates
- There are different colours in different varieties like white, deep blue, pink and purple.
- The flowering may also start in late December and as well as in mid-February. The mid February season is suitable in the regions of northern hemisphere.
Properties of Rosemary:
- The energy content in Rosemary leaves is 131 kcal
- Rosemary leaves have 20.70 g of carbohydrates
- The protein content present in it is 3.31 g
- Fat content in Rosemary leaves is 5.86g
- The Rosemary leaves contain these minerals; they are Magnesium, Iron, Calcium, Copper, Manganese, and Zinc
- The vitamins that are found in the Rosemary leaves are Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Folate
- It also contains small quantities of electrolytes like Sodium and potassium
Cultivars/Varieties of Rosemary:
- The height of the tree grows to 5-6 feet.
- The density of the plant is closer to the ground.
- The flowers are pale blue in colour.
- These flowers are used for decorating the walls.
- This variety is shorter than other varieties.
- The density of the plant is closer to the ground.
- The plant grows to a height of 2 feet and they produce pale blue flowers.
- They drape the walls as they are ornamental plants.
- This variety is a good choice for growing.
- The height of the plant is 2 feet.
- These can also tolerate wet soils.
- They are mostly grown in moist areas.
- This variety is small and the height is 1-1/2 feet.
- This variety spreads more than all other varieties.
- It shows excess growth along the sides.
- The flower of this variety is bright violet in colour.
- It is a good choice for slopes because it trails over the walls.
- The height of this plant reaches up to 4-5 feet.
- The leaf bearing capacity is more for this plant and the colour is deeper than all other varieties.
- This plant produces pale blue colour flowers.
- The plant is good for ornamental purposes and is very attractive to look.
- The plant of this Rosemary variety is average in size.
- The plant grows to a height 2 or 3 feet.
- In this variety excessive side growth is seen.
- We can see more growth in the hardy truck of the plant.
- The cultivation of this variety is seen on the slopes.
- The height of this variety reaches 6-7 feet.
- This variety is cultivated for its aroma.
- The plant produces large leaves and flowers are blue in colour.
- It is medium size shrub and it can be used for many purposes.
Soil and climate requirements for Rosemary Cultivation:
The soil, which is more suitable for Rosemary Cultivation plants should be slightly acidic to neutral in nature. The pH value of the soil must be in between 5.5 -7.0 for Rosemary Cultivation. Alkaline soil must be avoided. Any soil can be used which is good in texture for Rosemary Cultivationplants, but should be in the proper pH range. The better option of soil for Rosemary Cultivationis Laterite soil. Too acidic soils are harmful to the plants. For optimum growth of the plant, the moisture level of the soil is an essential factor. Organic nutrients must be rich in the soil. The soil for cultivation must be well aerated and well drained.
Normal temperature is more suitable for growing the Rosemary plants. There shouldn’t be more heat and humidity in the climate as it can harm the Rosemary plants. The temperature, which is more suitable for growing the Rosemary plants are 20- 30˚C. An average rainfall of 10 – 20 cm is required for Rosemary Cultivation. Suitable altitude for Rosemary Cultivationis 2500 m. The climate suitable for the plants is a sunny day with pleasant weather.
Land preparation and planting for Rosemary Cultivation:
A good land should be selected for growing the Rosemary. The preparation of land should depend on the variety of Rosemary plant. The land is prepared by ploughing it a couple of times to achieve smooth and fine tilth of the soil. Farmyard manure of appropriate amount should be supplied to the land. The construction of drainage channels is must in the main field.
In nursery the seeds should be planted and grown under protected conditions. The seeds can also be planted on the main field directly. The seeds should be sown on the ridges or furrows. The seeds should be grown in seedbeds in the nurseries. When the seedling is 2 months old then they should be transplanted into the pits in the main field. The pits are filled with soil mixture of manure and fertilizer. The pits should be left as it is after the plantation is complete. The plants should be planted deep inside the soil.
In a hectare of the land 50,000 seedlings can be planted sufficiently. The ideal time for planting them is in the months of September – October. Different time can also be maintained for planting depending on the variety of the soil. Heat and monsoon should be avoided while planting. For planting cool climate is considered more suitable.
Propagation method for Rosemary Cultivation:
The propagation of Rosemary is done by cuttings. For germination evergreen seeds are little difficult to find, but by cuttings it would be easily propagated. For good successful growth of Rosemary we should use fresh and green seeds.
A new plant can be produced by removing the cuttings from the evergreen plants. The stems of 2 inches length with 2/3 leaves on the stems should be removed. The cuttings should be placed in the mixture of perlite and peat moss and water should be sprayed from the top till the root. When the roots develop they are ready to be planted.
Manure and fertilization method in Rosemary Cultivation:
The land should be supplied with farmyard manure before planting. The land should also be fertilized with N: P: K mixture @ 20:40:40 kg per hectare. Within a year the dose of the mixture should be increased. Organic manure should be applied to the land along with chemical fertilizers. Use of excess chemical fertilizers makes the soil dry and barren. After every fertilization process, irrigation is a must for the crops.
Irrigation methods in Rosemary Cultivation:
The critical part of Rosemary Cultivationis irrigation. During the initial stages of planting and after sowing, irrigation should be supplied. Rosemary plants can tolerate drought. They can also survive in extreme cold or hot climate, but they can’t tolerate water-logging. Good irrigation increases the yield. Light irrigation should be supplied during the winter and frost climates. When there is more water available for the plants during the rainy season, heavy irrigation is not required. By using drip or sprinkler irrigation, water can be saved. Water should be drained out of the field, otherwise there could be over-logging of water near the plants. During the flowering season, irrigation is necessary for the plants.
Intercultural methods in Rosemary Cultivation:
Weed control: Weed control around the field helps in deterring other pests in the field. The below measures can be used for the weed control.
- Before planting seedlings, to kill the emerging weeds we must use the pre-emergence herbicides.
- The grass which is around the crop should be killed using a proper herbicide, but it shouldn’t harm the crop.
- The weeds can also be removed manually.
- Before the plant starts to spread using the contact herbicides as and when necessary.
Trimming: The Rosemary plant should be trimmed as it is a bushy plant. By trimming most of the herbs survive well. While trimming them, 1/3 of the plant should be trimmed at any point of time and it should be cut above the leaf joint. The trimmed leaves can be dried and stored in a cool place.
Pest and disease control measures in Rosemary Cultivation:
The pest and diseases which mostly affect the Rosemary plant are Spittlebugs, Root rot, Powdery mildew, Whiteflies, and Aphids.
- The spittlebugs can be controlled by using pesticides like carbaryl, pyrethroid, and cyfluthrin.
- The intensity of aphids can be controlled by spraying neem oil, essential oil or insecticidal Soap.
- Dinocap 1 g per one litre should be sprayed on the crop to control the powdery mildew problem.
- To avoid root rot, seed treatment should be done while sowing the seeds.
- The intensity of whiteflies can be reduced by spraying organic neem oil on the plants.
In general, the Rosemary is resistant to pests and diseases. All these pests and diseases can be controlled by proper crop management practices. While planting all the side effects of diseases and pests should be kept in mind and then the spacing and fertilization should be done accordingly.
Harvesting techniques in Rosemary Cultivation:
When the plants start to the flower it is a good time to harvest the leaves. The plants reach maturity after 210 – 230 days; the leaves should be detached from the stem at this time. For harvesting the leaves sickles can be used. The plant gives can be harvested 3 times in a year after 2nd year of the planting. The trunks which are hard are more suitable for extracting oil.
Post harvesting techniques in Rosemary Cultivation:
Storage: Rosemary is an herb and like any other herb, it can survive in cool and dark location. Also, it can be dried in the sun so that the leaves can be used for a long time.
Cleaning: The leaves should be cleaned and dried after harvesting them. They should be dried in the sun for 10 – 15 days.
Packing: The leaves should not be exposed to air or to the moisture as it can damage the leaves. They should be packed in air tighten packets or containers.
Rosemary Oil extraction: The oil can be extracted from the stem and leaves, for extracting the oil the leaves and stem should go through the process of steam distillation.
Marketing: As per the demand in the market, Rosemary can be sold. In local and international markets Rosemary leaves fetch a good rate.
Yield in Rosemary Cultivation:
The average yield of dried Rosemary leaves from a hectare of land is 2.5 tonnes in a year. The yield of Rosemary oil from a hectare of land is 80 – 100 kg.