Eco-Crafts: How to Grow Your Own Rosemary Herb Pot in an Apartment?

Let’s face it: Fresh herbs in Singapore is expensive. Go to any supermarket and you will find a handful of rosemary will set you back $5. And they don’t last for very long.

I am no green thumb. Most plants under my care struggle to survive past four weeks. But out of pure dollar savings, I started experimenting with my own condo-living herb garden. Most have died a miserable death.

The one I found easiest to grow and most hardy (it has got to be if its under my care) is rosemary. Rosemary is great in pastas, and often paired with red meats like lamb, beef and pork. Lots of roast chicken recipes use rosemary as well.

Rosemary’s anti-inflammatory properties have been used as a natural remedy for many years to treat digestive ailments, arthritis, joint and muscle pains. Today, researchers have found that rosemary contain neuroprotective properties that protect brain tissue against degeneration that can lead to Alzheimer’s and memory loss. 

Here is how you can grow your own rosemary herb in your condo apartment.

Step 1: Get a large deep flowering pot

Make sure the pot has a small hole at the bottom for drainage. If your pot doesn’t have a hole at the bottom, bring it to your nearest nursery and ask them to help you drill one. Caution: If drilled too quick, it may crack the base of your red clay terra cotta pot.

Also, make sure you have a plastic dish or tray under your flower pot to catch any drained water from spilling unto your floors. For better drainage, place some large rocks at the bottom of the pot before you fill it with soil. 

Step 2: Make a trip down to a nursery

Choose a nice bushy pot of rosemary. Make sure the leaves are green and healthy looking without any dried brown bits at the tips of the leaves. Also, look at the stem and where the leaves connect, it should be clear and no trace of white spots (plant bugs). 

Step 3: Get a bag of potting soil

 This is the part where a lot of people get it wrong. Even me. There are lots of different kind of soil to choose from and soil selection is critical to plant health. Choosing the right soil provides your herbs with the right drainage, soil consistency, and nutrient and water retention. Choose a medium-weight potting soil premixed with fertilizer. This will not only help the soil drain water when exposed in the sun for long periods, it will provide the necessarily nutrients to your rosemary plant for healthy growth.

Step 4: Pot the rosemary
Fill about 3/4 of your pot up with soil. Sprinkle the soil with water and mix it around to moisten the soil bedding evenly. It should have a loose muddy feel. Then, use your hands to dig down the center of the pot to create a sunken bed and transfer your rosemary to your pot. Once you have done that, layer about 1 inch of soil at the top of the exposed rosemary’s root base. Pat the soil down to pack it firmly to the rosemary.

Step 5: Find a sun-filled spot for your pot

Rosemary loves sunshine. Apartment condo living has great sun lit spots like along a window sill, on a outdoor balcony or even a kitchen counter with an open window. One good thing about rosemary is that it does not require a lot of watering.

Special note on growing rosemary: It loves rain too. Rainwater is mildly acidic with low alkalinity making it easier for your rosemary to absorb nutirents from the soil, and promotes the soil’s micro-organism activity. Alkalinity from rainwater makes rosemary more fragrant as well. Having said that, do not over-water. Rosemary plant can suffer from root rot, so make sure you have good drainage in your pot and stick to the average level of watering to wet the soil.

Happy potting!

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