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October 20, 2013

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Rosemary! Glad that it wintered over. I had a nice one and Terry ran over it with the lawnmower, so now I'm trying to establish a new one.

What a beautiful rosemary plant. I believe I'm envious! It's much too cold here to winter over rosemary outside, and bringing them indoors is the kiss of death....too dry, not enough sunlight.

If the plant is "lolling" too much, you could prune it. Or, you could prune it to shape it. I think it looks fabulous as it is. If you prune it, save the cuttings to make rosemary distilled cleaners. The instructions are easy to find online, and you get that wonderful scent. Good luck with the plant!

Hattie--Thanks for the ID and sorry about your losing your Rosemary. I had planned to add a thyme plant to my collection; but, at some point, I failed to get it watered and lost it. Maybe next year.

Buffy--Thank you. It isn't as if we didn't have any cool weather during the past two winters; but, obviously, not as cool/cold as yours! I don't know what "rosemary distilled cleaners" are; but, I'll look it up. I have noticed that the leaves no longer have as wonderful a scent as they had during the growing season. Maybe I'll cut some of it during 2014 growing season.

Definitely Rosemary. There are some varieties that can handle lower temps, and it probably helps that it is right next to the foundation, which keeps the roots warmer than if it were out in a field somewhere. You just happened to luck onto one of the few varieties that will thrive in more adverse conditions than the regular varieties.

Buffy - I overwinter my rosemary indoors, even with the dry air of a woodstove (no humidifier, WS has mold allergies). My rosemary plant is at least 5 years old - maybe more.

The key is to get it in the sunniest window, and away from drying drafts (ceiling fans or doors). Water it more often than you would outside (but don't overwater). Also, it will begin to look a bit sickly; less green, less lush - but you can overwinter them indoors.

Bogie--Whew! I feel better with confirmation from my panel of experts. As you may have noted, the plant is just outside the window to our workshop - on the southeast side of the house. The surrounding structures (little porch on one side, house on another) do cut off the air circulation and sun, a bit; but, it seems to be happy there.

Buffy--OMG! You have caused me so much (mental) work! "Rosemary distilled cleaners", as you well knew and I now know, are liquid solutions containing rosemary distillates (not all that simple to obtain with ordinary home equipment) or essential oils that act as an antibacterial/antimicrobial agent. The liquid is used as a multi-purpose cleaner around the home. Understanding that even liquids containing alcohol must attain a certain level of ETOH to be effective, I endeavored to determine how I need to proceed to assure that the correct concentration of essential oils be present in the cleaner.

Now...several published scientific papers later...I can tell you that it isn't all that simple. Just because someone tells me how to do something on their web site, doesn't mean that they know what they are talking about. And...as it turns out...the Minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) and minimal bactericide concentrations (MBC) values must be present to assure effectivity. "Minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) and minimal bactericide concentrations (MBC) values are expressed as mg of rosemary extract per ml of culture medium; NA = Not active" (From a footnote to Table III of Antioxidant and antimicrobial activities of rosemary extracts linked to their polyphenol composition.) is an example of what I've been wading through.

I don't think that the papers are that advanced; but, as a physicist gone bad, I am not fluent in the language. Buffy...you are now on my list! *chuckling*

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