How to grow rosemary indoors and out

I can grow a lot of herbs both indoors and out but the one that gives me the most trouble is rosemary! Oh, I can keep the plant alive and thriving just fine when it's summer (and I'll teach you how too!) but once I bring the rosemary plant inside for winter all bets are off! We can get to that later though. For now, let's talk about how to grow rosemary in your garden.

How to keep rosemary plant alive

Rosemary has a long list of historical uses, dating all the way back to the Egyptians when they used it in burials. It's well known for its use in lamb dishes, as an essential oil and for it's healing properties. Also known for the pop culture reference in Practical Magic "Keep Rosemary by your garden gate". 

Rosmarinus officinalis or Salvia rosmarinus, commonly called rosemary is an aromatic herb indigenous to the Mediterranean area. It is a member of the mint family. Rosemary is a woody, shrubby, aromatic perennial. As a perennial it prefers a warmer, moist climate but can be grown as an annual above zone 6 or moved indoors as a potted plant during winter. 

Rosemary has needlelike leaves and delicate purple, pink, white or blue flowers. Let me clarify, needle shaped leaves but much thicker and a bit softer. Rosemary’s leaves are dark green on top with silvery undersides. They are so fragrant that you can smell the herb just by brushing your fingertips over the leaves.

Mature rosemary plants can live for over 30 years.

20+ Unexpected things you can compost

Good compost can make or break your garden. You can either make the richest, most natural fertilizer to nourish your plants. Or you can spread a bunch of problems like disease and weeds. If you know what to compost and in what amounts though, your compost will come out perfectly from your own compost bins.

Strange things you can compost

You probably know the basics of composting, adding brown and green materials in the right proportions. All the details of proper composting are at the end of this post if you don't though, but  I want to talk about things you didn't realise that you could compost. Everything from toothpicks and used matches (they're made of wood or cardboard) to kleenex, balloons and latex gloves! 

There are a lot of things you can't add to your compost like meat, oils, plastics, anything not biodegradable etc. There are a lot of things you can add to your compost pile though, that you never thought about. 

Coleus, the most colorful houseplant.

Did you ever notice that most houseplants are just green? Sure some have flowers but most of them spend the vast majority of the time only green. It's kinda boring. Except for Coleus. It's pink, ruby, burgundy, yellow, white and green color variations are quite striking and can provide a pop of summer like color even in the dead of winter. Unfortunately, many gardeners don't realise that you can grow it as a houseplant!

Coleus as a houseplant

Coleus is actually a perennial. It's a tender perennial that is often used more like an annual, but in the right conditions it can grow year round. Luckily, you have those conditions inside your house! Outside it's only hardy above zone 10. 

Coleus suffers cold damage at around 30°F, so if you have one growing outside you'll want to take cuttings or bring it inside before it gets too cold! It's super simple to grow more plants from cuttings, though..all you need is water.

10 Essential oils you absolutely need

Essential oils are becoming increasingly popular for many different uses. People use them to support their health, clean their homes and even for pets. With so many uses and so many oils out there how do you know where to start? Nobody wants to spend hundreds of dollars on a huge EO kit then find themselves only using 2 or 3 of them! So what essential oils are the most popular and/or most needed in the home?

top 10 essential oils

If you're just getting started you'll want to read how I got started using essential oils cheaply for some tips on how to buy quality EOs affordably. Luckily the first 6 on my list are very common, so you should be able to find them for a great price at the places I mention in that post. You don't have to jump in with both feet, start slow to avoid getting overwhelmed and spending more money than you should!

Before we go any further I need to note that: while essential oils should not be a substitute for professional medical care, they can be successfully employed for many minor complaints, and as adjuncts to other therapies. As with any natural healthcare it's important to know when to use home methods and when to seek a professionals opinion.

How to Debug and Clean plants to bring indoors for winter

It's getting cold here this week and I needed to bring my houseplants back in for winter. Plus, I have a few tender perennials that I take outside every summer. Those need to come inside, but I absolutely do not want to bring bugs in again! A few years back I ended up with Aphids on my miniature pepper plants inside my house! I am not dealing with that again.

Debug and Clean plants to bring indoors for winter

Ideally, you want to start bringing plants inside before the weather gets too cold. I'm so bad about this! I try to push it as long as possible so they can enjoy the outdoors and forget to check the forecast every week for temperatures that are going to be too low. Then suddenly I realize we're due for a frost tonight. Don't be like me! Start bringing your plants in before any chance of frost!

The perfect time to bring plants in is when outside temperatures are very similar to your house temperatures. This way there will be less shock when they move indoors. Considering that most people keep their homes in the 65-70 range, late September is probably when you'll want to do this. 

One of my favorite plants to bring inside for winter is the coleus, which makes a marvelous houseplant! Before you bring them in though, you need to clean the plants and debug them. Here's how I do it.