Home > Great Big Greenhouse Blog > December 2015 > BONNIE'S GARDEN--How to Grow Rosemary and Lavender Indoors

BONNIE'S GARDEN--How to Grow Rosemary and Lavender Indoors

I just had a friend call me to complain that the lavender topiary she bought (at the grocery store!) wasn’t looking too hot, so I thought I'd write this week on how to care for rosemary and lavender indoors.

Both rosemary and lavender are often found in stores this time of year grown as topiaries.  Both rosemaryand lavender are native to the Mediterranean.  Like most herbs native to the Mediterranean, they like it warm and a little on the dry side.  Both rosemary and lavender are members of the Lamaceae family—which includes oregano, basil, thyme and mint. 

They will grow quite happily in a very sunny window indoors for the winter--at least a half-day of direct sun is preferred.  Do not water until the top of the soil feels dry to the touch.  When you do water, water well then be sure the plant does not stand in water longer than a few minutes.  Because too much moisture can cause powdery mildew, I probably would not mist the plants during the winter.

To maintain their pretty topiary forms, simply snip off any new sprigs that spoil the shape.

In the spring, around the first of May, move the plants outside for the summer--making sure to gradually get them used to the stronger spring sun.  Set them out in a spot that gets dappled sun first then gradually move to stronger sun.  Even a cactus can sunburn if moved into stronger sunlight too quickly.

Because of their strong fragrance, both rosemary and lavender are great plants to have on patios or decks, because their strong scent can help mask the smell of "human" to a hungry mosquito!

If you choose to plant the topiaries directly outside, then a somewhat protected area like right next to the house is good because neither rosemary nor lavender like temperatures below 15 or so.  I have both lavender and rosemary outside in pots.  Over winter, I pull the pots right next to the foundation of the house and pile an armfull of pine-tags or dried leaves around them.  If temperatures are forecast to get below 15 or so, I'll wrap the plant with an old sheet for the night, just to be safe.

 
Posted: 12/7/2015 by Bonnie Pega | with 0 comment(s)
Filed under: Bonnie's, Garden, Lavender, Rosemary
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