Aromatherapy is a technique by which smell is used to treat several different aliments. Rosemary, marjoram, and peppermint are three common herbs that can be found in many aromatherapy treatments. These herbs are easy to grow in ones herb garden or maintained inside. Below is a description on how to grow these herbs so that you can create your own aromatherapy garden space.
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)
Rosemary is an easy herb to grow and can be grown in several ways. It fits perfectly in the garden space and in the South and Pacific regions can even be found growing as a hedge. Rosemary can also be brought inside as a container plant or trained as a topiary or pruned for the holidays as a Christmas tree.
Rosemary can be started from seed but this method can be a challenge for the beginning gardener. If you use this propagation technique, you are looking at a germination period of 15 to 25 days.
Another approach is to start rosemary through stem cuttings. To use this technique requires you to take a 6-inch stem cutting. Once the cutting has been obtained, place it in a shallow container that is filled with a potting medium created by combining equal parts of sand, loam, and leaf mold.
Once the cutting has rooted, you can plant them directly into the garden or in containers. If planted in the garden, make sure that the soil has a pH of 6 to 7.5 and that it is well drained. Place rooted cuttings 18 to 24 inches apart.
If planting in a container, make sure to clean and dry the container thoroughly. Once this step has been completed, place drainage material in the bottom of the container and fill with an all-purpose potting soil. Plant the rosemary in the pot and place on a sunny windowsill.
Sweet Marjoram (Origanim majorana)
Sweet Marjoram is a wonderful herb that can be grown year-round outdoors in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 6b through 11. It requires a well-drained soil that has a pH of 6.5 to 7.5.
Sweet Marjoram is propagated through seed but since the seed is very small it is better to start inside. To start this propagation, one must determine when to seed. To determine this date, count back six weeks from your local frost-free date. This will give you the appropriate seeding date for your area.
Once you have determined the date, the next step is to prepare to plant the seeds. To do this, you will need a shallow container and all-purpose potting soil. After you have these materials, simply premoisten the soil and fill the container. Then, sprinkle the seeds on top of the soil and cover with ¼ inch of potting soil. Place the container in a warm location and monitor the soil moisture. Mist the soil surface when it becomes dry.
Sweet Marjoram seeds will begin to germinate in 8 to 14 days.
After the seeds germinate, you can either move the seedlings to the garden space or plant in a container. If moving to the garden, make sure that you plant the seedlings 15 to 18 inches apart.
If planting in a container, clean and dry the container completely. After this is done, place drainage material in the bottom of the container and fill with an all-purpose potting soil. Plant the seedlings in the container and place on a sunny windowsill.
Peppermint (Mentha x piperita)
This herb is very easy to grow inside or out. It is so easy that it can become invasive if not planted with a barrier around it. Peppermint thrives in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 3a thorough 7b. This plant likes a rich, moist, well-drained soil that has a pH of 6.5 to 7.0.
It can be started through seeds, cuttings, and divisions. When planting seeds, simply put them in a flat or shallow container filled with predampened all-purpose potting soil. Cover with ¼ inch of potting soil and place on a sunny windowsill.
If utilizing the cutting method, simply cut a piece of the stem and place it in water or a combination of perlite and vermiculite. Monitor soil moisture and add water as needed until the cutting is rooted.
The last method of propagation is division. This only requires the gardener to dig up a portion of the plant making sure that the root and stem remains intact.
If planting the peppermint in the garden space, make sure that the plants are controlled with a barrier and planted 18 to 24 inches apart.
If planting in a container, make sure to clean and dry it before planting. After this is done, add drainage material and fill with an all-purpose potting soil medium. Plant as usual.
Peppermint can be placed in a variety of locations from partial to full shade but grows best in locations that receive full sun.