Question

I planted rosemary in my garden last year and it didn’t come back? Isn’t it a perennial?  Thanks, Mike

Answer

Rosemary Barbecue

Rosemary Barbecue

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) is a woody, perennial herb with fragrant, evergreen, needle-like leaves. It is native to the Mediterranean region. The name Rosemary derives from the Latin name rosmarinus, which is from “dew” (ros) and “sea” (marinus), or “dew of the sea”  because in many locations it needs no other water than the humidity carried by the sea breeze to live. This explains, why although it is a perennial herb in warmer climates, it is not a perennial here in the Maritimes…  It is tender or sensitive to our climate, making it what we call a ‘Non-hardy perennial”.

My advice would be, rather than planting your rosemary in the garden, plant it in a pot. In a pot, you have the option of bringing it inside in the fall. I would suggest not too large of a pot, so it is easy to handle.  Rosemary does not like to be too wet, so when you bring it inside remember not to over water it.  And here is a useful tip; once a week bring it in the bathroom while you take a shower…it loves the humidity, especially during our long, dry Maritime winters!

Enjoy your Rosemary!  Don’t hesitate to try different varieties…they all have great flavor, just different growth habits!