Growing Rosemary in The Northern Territory
Rosemary is a hardy perennial shrub. It originates in the dry, poor soils of the Mediterranean, so it can struggle during particularly wet weather. Rosemary can be hard to grow in the top end. It does well during the dry season, but really struggles during the wet season. Try growing it in a pot and moving it under cover once the rains start.
Rosemary likes dry, poor soil. Don’t overwater or overfeed it.
Rosemary prefers a poor, slightly alkaline soil. Dig some lime into your soil, but don’t add compost or manure, because they will make the soil too wet and rich.
Rosemary is best planted early on in the dry season in order to give it time to establish itself. Rosemary needs good drainage, and might to better planted in a pot so that it can be moved indoors during monsoon season.
Rosemary is best propagated from semi ripe or softwood cuttings. Take cuttings of the freshest green growth available. Strip the leaves at the bottom and make a clean cut below a leaf node. Stick the cuttings into a pot of well-draining potting or seedling soil and keep the soil moist until they take root.
Gently prune and shape your rosemary bush each year to maintain an attractive shape. Rosemary is a perennial, but the bushes do have a lifespan. If they become woody and overgrown, it's hard to get them back to a good shape by pruning and it's usually best to take some cuttings and just replace the old bushes.
Rosemary doesn’t like too much water. Only water it if the soil seems very dry.
Rosemary doesn’t require much feeding, some organic fertilizer once a year should be enough for it.
Rosemary doesn’t need to be mulched. If you do decide to mulch, rather don’t use an organic mulch, because rosemary likes poor soil. Some small pebbles or stones are a good option.
Once your plants are established, you can harvest all year round. Simply cut what you need from the bush using scissors or secateurs. If your plants are still small, then remember to leave enough leaves for the plant to keep photosynthesizing and growing.