Rosemary is a shrub that grows in Asia and the Middle East. This plant thrives in Mediterranean climates due to its ability to tolerate drought and flood equally. Some of the varieties are also found in the United States. You need to know how to tell if rosemary is bad.
This is because its barrel and needles are used for cooking fish and meat and spices for spicy dishes. The rest of the parts are used in medicine and as a decorative element. Plants are sometimes pruned to resemble Christmas trees or given other fancy shapes.
How To Tell If Rosemary Is Bad?
1. Mold growth and discoloration
You will tell rosemary if you see mold growth and discoloration. Check for mold on the petiole and tender stem. If you find some on a stem and discoloration that means rosemary is bad, which means you need to discard it.
2. Wilting of the leaves
Look for wilted leaves and those, which are already shrinking. If they look unusual and terrible, the vegetable is bad, and you need to discard it immediately.
3. Dusty wreath and very soft leaves
Hold, smell, and touch the leaves of rosemary. If they feel soft, brittle, and have a dusty wreath, this rosemary is bad and unsuitable for human consumption.
4. Off smell
You can tell rosemary is bad if it has an off smell. Closely look at the leaves. If its fresh leaves have no fresh smell or scent when you buy it from the supermarket, that means it rosemary is bad. Throw it away and buy more at your local farmers market or grocery store.
How To Grow Rosemary At Home To Produce Fresh Produce
To grow rosemary at home, you can use seedlings from places where they are specially sold, either in the shops or nurseries. You can sow seeds or choose a cutting off a growing shrub for planting. If the decision is made to grow seeds, then the best time for sowing them is the beginning of spring.
At least three weeks, containers with seeds covered with glass or foil should be kept in a refrigerator or room with a temperature of not higher than 7 degrees. If the seeds do not germinate, they should be sown again. Sprouted seeds can be placed in a room with a temperature not exceeding 12 degrees, watering sparingly and without waterlogging.
The cuttings method of growing this plant is more common. Cut a young shoot of up to 10 cm in size from an old rosemary bush. This part is freed from the lower leaves and kept in a root-enhancing agent for several seconds. For the formation of young roots, the cutting is placed in a dark container with water. After the roots appear, the twig is planted in a flower pot and exposed to a sunny and warm place.
How To Care For Rosemary
For the rosemary to develop correctly and get enough produce, good lighting is necessary. The daylight hours in summer should be at least 16 hours and in winter 8 hours. When the daylight hours are short, an electric lamp compensates for the lack of daylight in winter.
Under natural conditions, rosemary grows in places with high humidity. Therefore, it should be sprayed regularly. In summer, it is sprayed several times a day, and the room is ventilated several times.
- Temperature conditions
In the autumn-winter period, the plant stops growing, so the comfortable temperature range will be within 7-15 °C. During active development (spring, summer), a constant temperature level is maintained at 20-25 °C.
For rosemary, drying out of the soil is not very dangerous as excessive waterlogging. For irrigation, use only well-settled water at room temperature. They are watered no more than two times a week in winter and summer – one time a day.
- Top dressing
They are fed only during the period of active growth with organic fertilizers for indoor flowers. In winter, feeding is not carried out. For active growth, the plant needs calcium.
The procedure is indispensable for the formation of the correct bush. Pruning is carried out every spring. Very long and thick shoots are cut off. To make the bush grow lush, pinch the upper young shoots.
How To Choose And Store Rosemary
Where you buy rosemary depends on the species. For example, fresh rosemary can be found in the supermarkets in the grocery sections. For self-preparation of the product, delicate ends of twigs and leaves are selected. They are torn off gradually as they grow. So, the most favorable period for harvesting them is late summer or early autumn.
You can also purchase rosemary in essential oil capsules. Storing fresh rosemary does not cause any problems because its properties are preserved for long, even in the refrigerator. It is recommended to put the dried plant in an airtight container and place it in a cool and dark. Correct storage guarantees the preservation of its properties for at least four years. Frozen branches and leaves of the plant do not lose their quality and retain their characteristic aroma.
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How to Cook
Unlike many herbs, rosemary does not lose its aroma from prolonged heat treatment. Therefore, European chefs widely use it when pickling pork, lamb, and rabbit meat. This is to discourage the specific smell characteristic of these types of meat and give it a kind of forest aroma of game. When barbecuing, rosemary sprigs and leaves are thrown into the fire, and poultry is sometimes wrapped in twigs before grilling or charcoal. No self-respecting Italian housewife would cook a lamb without rosemary.
Rosemary goes well with fried meat and mushrooms, eggs, and various vegetables (tomatoes, spinach, peas, eggplant, zucchini, cauliflower, and potatoes), which are traditionally cooked in olive oil in the Mediterranean. It is added to sauces and soups, and it goes well with cheese dishes. A pinch of rosemary is good for adding to wine punch or apple jelly.
It is not recommended to use rosemary with bay leaves or add it to fish dishes and delicate marinades because it can suffocate with its thick camphor note. In general, rosemary is one of the strongest spices, so you should not overuse it.
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Rosemary is a spicy, exotic plant that is rarely grown indoors. Perhaps this is because the bush requires attention and constant care. Sometimes the spice withers, its leaves dry, and its attractive appearance is lost. If you do not take action, the plant dies, which means it requires proper care. The question of how to tell if rosemary is bad has been answered using this article.