Rosemary has needle-like leaves and purple flowers. It is mostly used as a herb for preparing various dishes. Rosemary can also be used as an ornamental plant, thanks to its attractive appearance and scent. It has a strong scent that makes it a pest repellent. Below are some of the pests that rosemary repels:
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Pests That Rosemary Repels
Mosquitoes love bushy and areas with stagnant water. They are one of the most harmful pests as they can transmit dangerous diseases to humans, such as yellow fever and malaria. Rosemary has been proven to be an effective mosquito repellent. You can burn the plant so that it produces smoke. The smoke will spread and deter mosquitoes from getting into your home. Clear bushes near your home and get rid of stagnant water to enhance the effectiveness of the rosemary.
2. Cabbage Moths
Cabbage moths attack cabbages and boreholes on the leaves and head. They also attack cauliflower, broccoli, mustard, and other types of vegetables and can cause massive destruction to plants as the damages are usually irreparable.
The presence of holes in vegetables will ultimately devalue them. They also leave secretions on the plant that makes the vegetables prone to attack by fungal and bacterial infections. Grow rosemary around your vegetable garden to keep off these harmful pests, as they don’t like its strong scent.
The sound of buzzing flies in a house can be very irritating. Apart from the disgusting sight they create, flies can also cause various health problems.
Flies are carriers of pathogens that cause diarrhea, tuberculosis, cholera, and eye infections. Flies love landing on food and can be problematic to get rid of. The strong scent of rosemary will keep flies away from your home.
There is nothing as disgusting as finding several snails and slugs on your plants, especially leafy vegetables. Their slimy appearance can be extremely disturbing. They leave holes on plants and cause damages. They are attracted to watered gardens and lawns since they don’t like dry conditions.
Snails and slugs usually hide during the day under rocks and other objects in a garden and come out at night. Their targets are usually new plants since they have soft parts.
Surprisingly, you might never spot a snail or slug in your garden as they are always hiding during the day. Holes on leaves and slimy substances can be the only evidence that the mollusks have attacked your plants. They usually multiply fast and may cause havoc over a short period. Some species also carry harmful parasites that may cause health problems to humans if they contact them.
Cockroaches love dark and hidden areas in the house. It is believed that they are among the oldest insects. Thousands of years ago, when man used to live in caves, cockroaches were still present. Despite the housing evolution that has taken place, cockroaches still love residing together with people. Their sight can be disgusting, and they cause embarrassment.
Although they don’t cause any disease, cockroaches are carriers of harmful disease-causing bacteria. The bacteria can cause diarrhea, dysentery, and typhoid. They can also cause severe allergic reactions to some people if they come into contact with their body parts. To get rid of cockroaches, pick some rosemary stems and place them where the insects love to hide. Replace the plants after they dry until all the insects disappear.
6. Carrot Flies
Carrot flies can cause massive damage to your plants. They are usually attracted to the garden by certain odors from plants. The flies do not feed directly on the carrots. Instead, their larvae are the ones that get into the roots and damage them.
The attack does not kill the plant. It causes stunted growth, root rot, and discoloration of foliage. Rosemary deters the flies from getting anywhere close to the plants.
7. Mexican Bean Beetle
The ladybird beetles family has beneficial insects that prey on harmful garden pests like aphids and mites. It also has destructive ones like the Mexican bean beetle. The insects may feed on the leaves, pods, and bean plants’ stems, reducing yields or causing plant death in extreme cases.
The Mexican bean beetles attack all bean varieties. They can also affect other plants like tomato and peas. Growing rosemary in your garden will keep these harmful beetles away.
Rosemary Growth Requirements
Growing rosemary is easy. Plant the herb in well-draining soils to protect them from root rot. The plants require good air circulation, especially when growing indoors. Make sure the planting area is not shady as it requires 6-8 hours of sunlight in a day.
When growing them indoors, place them near a window, or provide artificial lighting for maximum production.
When growing rosemary indoors, grow them in pots with drainage holes, as too much water will discourage their growth.
The plant can be propagated from seeds or cuttings. Add adequate water to the plants, but don’t over-water as they won tolerate dump conditions.
Rosemary doesn’t tolerate winter frost too. If your area experiences extreme cold weather conditions, grow your rosemary in pots and move them indoors in the cold months.
Feed your plants with a water-soluble fertilizer once in a month to improve its growth.
Other Uses of Rosemary
Apart from repelling insects, rosemary has several other uses. These include:
1. Medicinal Uses
Rosemary essential oils, extracted from rosemary plant, helps improve cognitive functions of the body. The oil is also used to treat various skin issues like acne, cellulite, and dermatitis.
The combination of rosemary, lavender, and thyme oil is used to improve hair growth. Its extracts also have anti-cancer properties.
Rosemary also has anti-inflammatory properties and contains vitamins A, C, and B6.
2. Culinary Uses
Chefs around the world love the woody scent of rosemary. The herb tolerates prolonged cooking without losing its taste. There are several rosemary recipes you can try out and enjoy this multi-purpose herb, instead of just letting it stay in your garden.
Rosemary is commonly used for seasoning various dishes like salads and soups.it can also be used when preparing various meat dishes like chicken and lamb.
Frequently Asked Questions
Water your rosemary plants once or twice a week, depending on the climatic conditions of your area. Rosemary does not require too much watering to thrive. Ensure the soil is dry before watering again.
Generally, rosemary is pest resistant. However, it can be attacked by various pests and diseases if not provided with the right growing conditions. It can be attacked by whiteflies, root rot, and powdery mildew. To prevent an attack, grow your plants in soils with good drainage and provide enough air circulation, especially for indoor growing rosemary plants.
Rosemary attracts and provides nectar for beneficial insects like bees in the garden. Other plants that attract these insects include lavender, oregano and sage, and hyssop.
Rosemary will still grow without additional fertilizers. However, you can improve its growth by adding fertilizers.