Rosemary is one of my favorite herbs. So hardy and easy to grow, and with so many uses. This native Mediterranean shrub thrives in bright sun and warm temperatures, so you should be able to grow rosemary in zones 8 and 9.
I love rosemary for its versatility. It’s great for cooking, has outstanding health properties, and requires little care and not a lot of water. Even better, bees love it, but chickens don’t like to eat it, so a mature rosemary bush can even grow in any place you use as a chicken run.
I use rosemary as a:
#1 Cough and cold remedy. Rosemary has antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties. Just make some rosemary tea when you’re under the weather and enjoy it with a little honey. I find it helps soothe coughs and sore throats.
#2 Cooking herb. Rosemary really brings out the flavor of meat and fish; oven-baked salmon sprinkled with salt, coarse ground pepper, and rosemary leaves is my favorite.
#3 Lice and bug repellent. Rosemary’s pungent smell repels lice, mosquitoes, and other bugs. You can spray hair with a little rosemary infusion or dab some rosemary tea behind children’s ears to defend them against a lice infestation.
#4 Fragrance. I’ve added rosemary to home-processed soaps, sometimes combined with mint and eucalyptus extracts.
I got my rosemary plant from someone who simply cut off a branch and let it develop roots in water. I haven’t been very successful in rooting rosemary cuttings in water myself, but I’ve seen it work for other people. You can also buy a young plant from a nursery and add it to your herb garden. Rosemary takes some time to really start growing, but once it gets going, you may need to prune it once in a while to keep it from overrunning its space.