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rosemary, the shrub....

Discussion in 'Herbs' started by canesisters, May 4, 2012.

  1. May 4, 2012
    canesisters

    canesisters Deeply Rooted

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    I have a little planter box around 2 sides of my porch. I tried all sorts of pretty little bedding plants but the dogs would go out the door, down the steps and use the box as a launch point. :rolleyes: This was fun to watch, but turned all my lovely plants into trampled mush. So a couple of years ago I decided to plant rosemary. I figure it's a good bit tuff-er and if the dogs brush through it, they'll smell good.
    Well it worked. :D No more plant crushing. Actually, the dogs don't seem to like the smell, they have stopped jumping off the planter boxes and now take the steps like the rest of the family.
    Here's the thing. The plants are turning into shrubs. I mean BIG! One of them is so big that it's starting to spread open from the middle and sort of lay over a little. I'm concerned that it's goign to break or split. Can I 'prune' it like a hedge? If so, when? And how often?
  2. May 4, 2012
    marshallsmyth

    marshallsmyth Garden Addicted

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    You got a cool Rosemary plant there!

    A friend has a Lavender that is ancient doing the same thing.

    My old boss at the Greenhouse where I used to work has a different kind of Lavender that did that, but instead of trying to fix it to look all neat and trim, she got an old piece of wood from the river and tucked it in around the trunk and let it fall and grow around it.

    Just an idea. Sometimes instead of struggling to make a plant have an image of trim neatness, it might be better to let it be it's old natural self.

    Rosemary do take kindly to top dressing the soil and fish emulsion and kelp, stuff to let the tips grow fresh.
  3. May 4, 2012
    The Mama Chicken

    The Mama Chicken Attractive To Bees

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    I'm pretty sure you can prune it whenever you want. They are very sturdy plants. They can get huge, I saw one the other day that was about 5 feet tall and 5 feet wide.
  4. May 4, 2012
    canesisters

    canesisters Deeply Rooted

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    Oh, I am all for the 'old natural self'. I was just worried that it was getting so top heavy that it was going to damage itself.
  5. May 4, 2012
    The Mama Chicken

    The Mama Chicken Attractive To Bees

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    No, it is supposed to be a shrub. It will be fine.:)
  6. May 4, 2012
    ninnymary

    ninnymary Deeply Rooted

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    I had a rosemary that I was probably pruning every 2 months or so to keep it contained. It finally got to be too much work so I got rid of it. You could replace it with the trailing rosemary type.

    Mary
  7. May 5, 2012
    Southern Gardener

    Southern Gardener Deeply Rooted

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    I have a huge rosemary bush by my gate and I've chopped it back several times - it just keeps growing and growing. It will be fine to cut it back.
  8. Sep 11, 2012
    baymule

    baymule Garden Addicted

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    Rosemary skewers! Skewer steaks and toss on the grill. Make rosemary ka-bobs!
  9. Sep 11, 2012
    marshallsmyth

    marshallsmyth Garden Addicted

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    :drool

    I have a small yearling Rosemary.

    It is really great for things like Spaghetti and Lasagne. Pinch off a fresh growing tip a few inches long, bring it to the pan when the italian food is almost done, and pinch and roll and squeeze it in.

    :drool
  10. Sep 11, 2012
    hoodat

    hoodat Deeply Rooted

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    You can cut rosemary back hard with no damage. I have cut mine back to just a few main branches, almost to the ground, and it broke right back out of the hard wood.
    It can also make a good hedge. I've even seen it used as a topiary and that takes a lot of pruning. Fall is probably the best time but it can be cut back any time of the year. The local bees like the flowers when it blooms and I've wondered what rosemary honey would taste like.

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