White flowering rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis ‘albus’) is an upright evergreen plant with thick, leathery, needle-like leaves. White rosemary plants tend to be lavish bloomers, producing masses of sweetly scented white flowers in late spring and summer. If you live in USDA plant hardiness zones 8 through 11, you should have no trouble growing white flowering rosemary in your garden. Birds, bees and butterflies will thank you! Read on to learn more.
Growing White Flowering Rosemary
Although white flowering rosemary tolerates partial shade, it thrives in full sunlight. This drought-tolerant Mediterranean plant needs light, well-drained soil.
Add fertilizer such as a water-soluble fertilizer, a balanced, slow-release fertilizer, or fish emulsion at planting time.
Allow at least 18 to 24 inches between plants, as rosemary needs adequate air circulation to remain healthy and disease free.
Caring for White Rosemary
Water white flowering rosemary when the top of the soil feels dry to the touch. Water deeply, and then let the soil dry before watering again. Like most Mediterranean herbs, rosemary is susceptible to root rot in soggy soil.
Mulch the plant to keep the roots warm in winter and cool in summer. However, don’t allow mulch to pile up against the crown of the plant, as moist mulch may invite pests and disease.
Fertilize white rosemary plants every spring, as directed above.
Prune white flowering rosemary lightly in spring to remove dead and unsightly growth. Trim white rosemary plants for use as needed, but never remove more than 20 percent of the plant at once. Be careful about cutting into woody growth, unless you are shaping the plant.
Uses for White Flowering Rosemary
White flowering rosemary is often planted for its ornamental appeal, which is considerable. Some gardeners believe white flowering rosemary plants, which can reach heights of 4 to 6 feet, may have pest-repellent properties.
Like other types of rosemary, white rosemary plants are useful in the kitchen for flavoring chicken and other dishes. Fresh and dried rosemary is used in potpourris and sachets, and the aromatic oil is used to perfume, lotion and soap.