Dec 13, 2012

Grow An Edible Christmas Tree Centerpiece

image via Inhabitat
Today I was watching the garden guy on our local news station and he was talking about plants you can have indoors for the holidays.  When he showed the rosemary Christmas tree I fell in love and said to myself why hadn't I thought of that before? Not only is it an amazing centerpiece that I can eat and make the house smell good, but it's non toxic for my cat who will chew on anything new in the house real or not.  Even though we live in a house  We don't have a lot of space for a tree,we don't want to have to store it for the rest of the year, and our cat would climb it non stop (he even climbs the stucco on our house!), so we don't put up a tree ever.  This is a great compromise for anyone like us who don't put up a tree.


Health Benefits of Rosemary
I've actually been thinking I should have a rosemary plant in the house anyways just to have a year round fresh kitchen herb.  Rosemary has super high antioxidant power and anything you have growing in your kitchen will encourage you to add it into your cooking often.  I learned of rosemary being a strong antioxidant when I started learning about making bath and beauty products.  It's often used as a preservative, that's how powerful it is!

Growing Rosemary
Rosemary is a perennial evergreen plant that can tolerate temps to 25 degrees, so as long as it's kept at temperatures above 25 degrees with proper sun (6-8 hs) and water (not completely dry or saturated, so water regularly but sparingly if pot grown, water when the soil feels dry) it will live for a long time.  I know what your thinking if you live in the midwest, will it get enough sun in the winter?  Well all I can say is that I met a couple at a gardening class in MN and they said they have had the same Rosemary plant for years.

Rosemary takes beautifully to being shaped. It's easy to trim and sculpt into fun shapes (like a Christmas tree).  Did you know rosemary actually blooms twice a year with white and blue flowers?  I didn't how cool is that?  I love when plants are edible, decorative, and perenennial.  You can also grow more plants from your rosemary plant if you want by using cuttings.  This would make a great gift for families or as a hostess gift! 

                                             P Allen Smith on growing rosemary (2 1/2 min)

Decorating Your "Tree"
You will probably want to start with covering the pot.  Some good choices are festive fabric, or gift wrap.  You can also use gift wrapping bows.  You can use battery operated string lights.  I got mine at the dollar store.  And anything else you would normal put on a Christmas tree.

I plan to be on the hunt for a Rosemary "tree" soon.  If they are crazy expensive, I  might just wait and see if they have any good after Christmas deals.  If not I plan to wait until spring and to plant a small seedling into a large pot and leave outside, trimming it as it grows and bringing it inside in the fall.  Has anyone else grown rosemary before?  Was it in a container or your garden?  I'd love to hear from you!

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