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Edible rosemary provides a wonderfully fragrant addition to the home and makes a great holiday gift. Often, these plants are found trimmed into the shape of a miniature tree.

This shape is fine for a short while, but after the holidays, discontinue trimming. Compact trimming allows insect populations to thrive. Allowed to grow naturally, rosemary is a low-maintenance plant that tolerates Florida’s climate well, whether planted in the ground or in a large pot.

Evergreen rosemary plants can grow to 3 to 4 feet tall and wide. Choose a garden spot that will accommodate its moderately fast growth, with full sun and well-drained soil. This Mediterranean plant prefers dry conditions and will suffer quickly if over-watered. Avoid “killing it with kindness.”

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Whether growing in the ground or in a container, small stems can be cut off and used in your favorite dish. (After a thorough washing of course!) Rosemary is commonly used to season meats, roasted potatoes and rustic breads, but can also add an aromatic zip to a sugar or butter cookie recipe.

While the plant does not have a spectacular flower, its blooms of pink to lavender add interest in the fall, making it a well-rounded garden addition. Maybe you’ll gift yourself with one this year.

For more information on caring for house plants, contact the Citrus Extension office at 352-527-5709 or at MasterG1@citrus bocc.com.

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