I kept browsing online week after week and finally came across a Walmart ad for live rosemary plants. You could get two plants (25oz) for $8.88 plus shipping. It seemed curious to describe the plant in ounces. Typically at a nursery you'd buy a 4" pot or 1 gallon, etc. So given it was 2 plants, 25 oz I figured 2, 12oz pots? I still couldn't understand for sure what I'd be getting. That all said I placed my order and it showed it would be at least a couple of weeks before they'd ship. I wasn't concerned about that because I had no luck finding anything locally so I didn't have a problem waiting.
My two weeks flew by and eventually I received an email saying my rosemary had shipped. I was curious about what I'd receive. I really use rosemary a lot in cooking so I was anxious to get some growing again.
I kept an eye on my tracking so I could fetch the package as quickly as possible and rescue the plants. It's June 5th and the summer days are typically in the 80s so I didn't want the plants to sit out any longer than possible. When FEDEX rang the doorbell I headed right out to grab the plants.
The box was pretty good size so I was hopefully they'd be decent sized plants. I carefully opened the box and found 2 large plastic temporary greenhouses. It was an interesting (and expensive?) way to ship these 2 little plants.
Rosemary plants in their little individual greenhouses
Each of the containers were at least 12-13" tall and about 5-6" wide. Sorry, I didn't measure them. From what I could see the plants appeared to be in good shape. This is pretty amazing because there is not a/c in a FEDEX truck, or their warehouses either. These little plants went through some real heat spells.
I rescued the little plants from their plastic containers right away. Here is how they looked, right out of their containers.
The plants are packed in peat-pots. This type of pot is very good because all you do is remove that plastic identifier label and plant them right in the ground, pot and all. The peat pot will dissolve and your plant will grow. Each plant was about 6" tall. There were a few small dead leaves here and there and the tops were bent over but all-in-all they were in very good shape. By the way, assuming each plant is "12 ounces" the pot size was about 3 3/4" wide by 4" tall. That would be equivalent to a typical 4" nursery pot. This is about what I expected, size-wise. Most herbs in this area cost about $4.99 for a 4" herb.
The first thing I did after unpacking (and taking a few quick pics) was to give the plants a good drink. By the way, the label on the plant provides that instruction in case you're not familiar with how to handle a new plant. The label also says to allow the plants to acclimate for a day or 2 before you plant them. I had them sit for the rest of the day and overnight. I placed them in the shade, each on a plate with water they could soak up. I should mention here too the plants came with a sheet of information about how the plants should be handled and how to plant them.
The rosemary plants are getting their first drink.
I was anxious to get these little guys in their pot. I had an old, square, clay pot that's about 11" wide that seemed like a good size pot for rosemary. I used scissors and snipped away the plastic label. I prepared my pot with fresh potting soil mixed with some of my native garden soil. Potting soil out of a bag drys out very quickly and it's easy for plants to dry out if you don't always have time to water regularly. Adding the native soil helps the mixture retain moisture longer.
As the instructions noted, I loosened the bottom of the peat pot on both plants so the new roots would grow out into the soil as quickly as possible. I got both little plants potted in their new home, watered them and set them out in the garden to get used to their new home. A few of the leaves that looked liked they'd been damaged continued to fade away. The rest of the plant did just fine.
Here are the 2 plants planted in their new pot.
It's been 3 weeks now. One of the two plants is about 11" tall now and the smaller one about 9" tall. They seem to be doing well. Rosemary is not a real fast grower so other than using a few small leaves I probably won't be snipping off full sprigs until late this year at the soonest or more likely next spring.
One of my favorite uses for rosemary is to snip off 2-3 long sprigs. I tie the sprigs together with kitchen twine and fashion a BBQ brush. I can dip the springs in BBQ sauce and use them to baste chicken, or steaks, ribs, whatever I'm grilling. These plants will need to do quite a bit of growing before I can do that.
I'm glad Walmart online had the little plants available. I'd like to see them provide you with a pot size so consumer's could have a better idea of what size plant will arrive. It was a positive experience for me so I'm totally happy with my purchase. My rosemary plants are happy too. Here they are now, in their new pot, 3 weeks older.