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Rosemary, the Christmas Herb

Rosemary- it fills the air with an assertively pine-like fragrance, adds flavor to holiday dishes and even masquerades as a tree! Legend tells us that the Virgin Mary spread her blue cloak over a white-flowered rosemary bush when she lay down to rest. When she arose, the flowers were blue. It was then called the Rose of Mary, hence, its link to the Christmas season.


Rosemary is applauded for its health benefits, including its ability to boost memory, enhance mood, protect the immune system and reduce inflammation and pain. Just smelling rosemary has been linked to improving mood, and relieving stress. Research suggests that rosemary also contains substances that are useful for increasing circulation and improving digestion.


Traditionally, rosemary is cold hardy (even in Hampton Roads) and is perfectly happy outside. But with friends and family coming in, you may be tempted to bring your rosemary inside. And with all those aromatic benefits we told you about- why wouldn’t you?

When you bring a rosemary plant indoors, place it in a cool, sunny location with high humidity. To raise humidity without increasing soil moisture, place some pebbles in a saucer, add some water, and set the potted rosemary on top of the pebbles. Water it regularly and thoroughly but remove water that accumulates in the saucer. As with all potted plants, a good potting mix is essential for proper drainage. After the holidays, you can plop it into the ground.

Feel free to continue cutting sprigs off your rosemary all season for cooking. The growth will slow, but once placed outside, spring temperatures will help to revitalize this perennial. With normal conditions, it should come back nice and full.

TIP: One of our favorite decorating hacks for the holidays is to wrap your rosemary tree with Invisilites. Click here to learn more about Invisilites.