Not many gifts are as universally appreciated by seasoned and novice gardeners alike as a rosemary topiary. These topiaries provide you with a useful herb that is easy to care for, attractive, and smells wonderful. Use it as a table centerpiece, mantle decoration, or even a decoration in a child's room—you can feel safe knowing if a bit of the topiary ends up ingested it's no problem at all.
Beyond providing fragrant holiday cheer, these topiaries can be planted outdoors where they will likely thrive with very little care. Rosemary is a popular and versatile herb that is a staple of any herb garden.
There are just a few things to consider when enjoying your rosemary topiary. For starters, rosemary is a desert native and will flourish with soil that is kept on the dry side. The festive foil that often wraps the plant's container can trap in more moisture than it would like. You can leave the foil on and keep a careful eye on the soil moisture, replace it with a holiday bow, or remove the foil altogether to ensure your rosemary is not sitting in too much water.
Don't expect your topiary to keep that cute shape forever. Rosemary plants sold as holiday topiaries are carefully pruned to give them their festive tree shape. As it grows—and as you take cuttings to use in your kitchen—the shape of your plant will change, but this is natural.
Again, rosemary is a drought-tolerant plant that will do best with waterings only when the soil is dry to the touch, about once every week or so. Indoors, rosemary should be kept in full sun. Rotating your plant weekly when kept inside will ensure that all sides of the plant are getting sunlight.
Once you are done enjoying your holiday topiary inside, your rosemary can be planted outside in an area with full sun and good drainage. In Florida, rosemary is a hardy perennial, and will provide you with many years of use and enjoyment.
For more information on rosemary topiaries, contact your county Extension office.