Holiday Rosemary Plants

Topiary Rosemaries are popular for holiday decorations.

Topiary Rosemaries are popular for holiday decorations.

This time of the year you cannot walk into the garden center of Lowe’s or Home Depot without seeing rosemary topiaries. While the most popular are the cone shaped ones, there are a variety of other shapes at some of the stores. Regardless of the shape, the plants are hard to keep looking good through the holidays without proper care. The most common issue is that the plants are very pot bound and do not get enough water down into the roots (or they dried out at the store before you purchased them). I water mine most every day, and if the water just seems to run through the pot, here is a tip I have used for years. I take a pencil or sharp object and punch the root ball in several places to encourage water to penetrate into the root ball. Now these plants were grown in full sun, so if you take them indoors for long periods of time, they will generally start dying from not only lack of sun, but the foliage drys out if the room is too warm. So I suggest that you use them for outdoor decorations or in the house for short periods of time. After the holidays, they can be planted outside. If we do not have an extremely cold winter, they will survive. Just remember when you transplant them, to loosen the roots around the edge of the pot, where they will grow into the new soil.

John Floyd

John Floyd has been gardening--and learning about Birmingham area gardening--for more than 30 years. In addition to his day-to-day experience, John has degrees in horticulture from Auburn and Clemson Universities and was Editor-in-Chief of Southern Living.

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