The COVID-19 pandemic and the current lockdown have allowed most of us to reassess the things that we value--from home-cooked meals, wellness, quality time spent with our loved ones to a general appreciation for nature.
Beyond this global pandemic also lies the issue of climate change and a call towards more sustainable lifestyles. While most of us were shocked that this new decade started with several other events that revealed the harsh "forces of nature," now is a time to challenge ourselves to embrace the bountiful gifts that nature has given us.
Discover the Joy of Planting
Plants are a reflection of life and nature itself. Therefore, for our next challenge, we encourage everyone who can allocate some of their time to plant or tend to plants. You might even want to challenge yourself to grow a garden. If you have space in your house, we encourage you to cultivate a mini-garden--be it for vegetables, herbs, leafy, bushy, or flowering plants. If your space is limited, planting micro-greens in pots in an area of your home would also be a good start.
In this blog post, we will use Rosemary, Calamansi, and Lemongrass as examples. We'll start with Rosemary and update this post with tips on how to plant Calamansi and Lemongrass in the next few weeks.
As we understand the challenges of procuring certain items during this time, we encourage you to plant whatever is available within reach. (e.g. seedlings from Calamansi that we buy from the market can be planted - to be updated in this blog post). The purpose of this post is to educate and inspire you about plants and planting.
How to Plant and Grow Rosemary:
Rosemary is an aromatic perennial evergreen shrub with blue flowers. Native to the Mediterranean and Asia, it's a distinctive herb with a sweet, resinous flavor. Most people are not aware, but Rosemary can actually grow in the Philippines.
- can withstand droughts, surviving a severe lack of water for lengthy periods
- seeds are often difficult to start, with a low germination rate and relatively slow growth
- plant can live as long as 30 years.
- considered easy to grow and pest-resistant
- can grow quite large and retain attractiveness for many years
- easily grown in pots
- grows on loam soil with good drainage in an open, sunny position. --grows best in neutral to alkaline conditions (pH 7–7.8) with average fertility
- can be propagated from an existing plant by clipping a shoot (from a soft new growth) 10–15 cm (4–6 in) long, stripping a few leaves from the bottom, and planting it directly into the soil
- Plant when it is sunny.
- It is best propagated from stem cuttings. Cuttings root easily and grow into suitable plants quickly.
- Plant seeds/cuttings in a site that has a well-draining soil. Rosemary doesn't grow well when soil is always wet. For best growth, the soil should be around 70ºF (21°C).
- Whenever possible, it should have enough room to grow. Rosemary can grow to about 4 feet tall and spreads about 4 feet as well.
- If you have enough space for a vegetable or herb garden, it grows best alongside beans, cabbage, carrot and sage
- If the Rosemary plants are to be brought indoors it is suggested that they be planted in containers for outdoor use and not planted in the ground.
- When taken and transplanted indoors, Rosemary prefers a cool or even cold, sunny location where humidity is high.
- It dries out quickly in an indoor growing environment usually leading to brown leaf tips and die-back. Do not water the plant more because this can lead to root rots and loss of the plant.
- Keep cool by placing Rosemary plant on pebble filled saucers filled with water to increase humidity around the plant and reduce foliage damage.
- Mist frequently and keep the soil on the dry side.
HOW TO HARVEST:
- Snip off stems to use fresh, or hang them in the kitchen for dried Rosemary.
- Harvest young stems and leaves for the freshest taste.
- Harvest up to a third of the Rosemary at any one time to allow the plant to replace its growth before taking more.
- Commonly used sparingly with fish, pork, lamb, poultry and game as an accent to food as the flavor can be somewhat pungent and resinous
WHERE TO BUY IN THE PHILIPPINES:
While it can be a challenge to buy non-essential items these days due to the lockdown, you may buy herb seedlings online at various eCommerce platforms and several other specialty plant shops.
Here are a few for reference (some of them might be closed right now, nevertheless, these may come in handy in the near future):
OTHER ROSEMARY BENEFITS:
- In aromatherapy, Rosemary Pure Essential Oil has an energizing effect and can be used to aid concentration
- It can also help ease muscle aches and cramps and other benefits for skin care. Learn more about the benefits of Rosemary Pure Essential Oil
- Kindly note that while Rosemary plant itself as an herb can be added to food for flavoring, WE DO NOT RECOMMEND AND PLEASE DO NOT USE our ROSEMARY PURE ESSENTIAL OIL for COOKING or INGESTION.