While I was shopping at the grocery store, it grabbed my attention that a pound of rosemary cost almost 14$. Although we do use a lot of rosemary in our cooking recipes at home, it was the first time that I have paid attention to its price. It made me wonder, can I grow Rosemary hydroponically?
So, can I grow rosemary hydroponically? Yes, Rosemary, like a lot of other herbs, can be grown hydroponically. In fact, it can turn in huge amounts of profit. However, in order to get profits from your hydroponic Rosemary, you must do a lot of things right.
Rosemary is considered one of the most expensive herbs worldwide. It has a variety of different medical uses as well as being added to different cooking recipes. Its popularity has gone even further that in 1992, Rosemary was the 754th most popular name given for American girls.
In this article, I will show you the exact steps of not only growing hydroponic Rosemary but also turning a good amount of profits that can further contribute to your household income.
Growing Hydroponic Rosemary for Profit
In order to be able to gain profits from hydroponic Rosemary, the plants must continue growing all year round. Usually, Rosemary herbs tend to get the highest growth rate in summer during the sunny days and warm weather. After that when it reaches the winter season when the temperatures drop, the growth rate and the yield production get stunted.
In our situation, the Rosemary growth rate must be at it’s highest all year round; this is done by maintaining growing conditions like light and temperature at their optimum levels constantly.
So, you have to consider growing your hydroponic Rosemary plants indoor where you can control important growth factors like temperature and light in winter seasons.
How To Grow Profitable Hydroponic Rosemary
We will assume that you are using a 250 square ft of growing area. A growing area like this will accommodate around 63 units of NFT systems. Every unit does contain 72 spots. Of course, we will not be using all of the spots as Rosemary plants require a minimum spacing of 3 ft, so we will use only half of the available spots.
Let’s do the math and see how many Rosemary plants can we grow in a 250 square ft of growing area.
|63 Units x 72 Spots=||4,536 Spots|
|4,536 Spots / 2 (For spacing reasons)||2,268 Spots|
A 250 square ft of the growing area can accommodate up to 2,268 Rosemary plants. Now, we are going to calculate how much money can we generate from these Rosemary plants per year assuming that we are only harvesting 4 times every year.
|2,268 Bunches X 1.5$/Bunch||3,402$|
|3,402$ X 4 Harvests/Year||13,608$|
The total money earned from a 250 square ft of Rosemary plants reaches up to 13,608$ per year. This is considered a significant boost in any household income.
Of course, there are several costs that we must take into consideration the initial investment cost and monthly expenses. The initial investment can be collected within the half of the first year of operation.
After that, the monthly expenses can be deducted easily from the sales made. To get an idea of how much is it going to cost in monthly electricity expenses, check out this article that I had previously written.
The Best Hydroponic System For Growing Rosemary
There are several hydroponic systems that can be used to grow hydroponic Rosemary. DWC, Ebb and flow and other hydroponic systems could be used as well. The main issue with choosing a hydroponic system for turning a profit from growing Rosemary plants is the space.
When choosing a system for your hydroponic Rosemary, you have to get the system that use the smallest space to grow as many plants as possible. Using space efficiently is the key to gaining profits from growing Rosemary plants.
Nutrient Film Technique is by far, the most efficient system in using space. Unlike other systems such as DWC and ebb and flow, the NFT requires significantly less space. This means that more units and plants can be accommodated in the same square ft area.
Another important aspect to consider is that hydroponic Rosemary is highly vulnerable and sensitive to root rot. Root rot can happen to any plant in any hydroponic system.
But the one with the lowest probability is the nutrient film technique because most of the time, the nutrient solution doesn’t get high enough to reach the net pot.
Growing Conditions For Hydroponic Rosemary
After choosing NFT as the system for growing hydroponic Rosemary plants. It’s now the time to know how are you going to maintain the following optimum growing conditions.
As I have mentioned before, in order to gain profits growing Rosemary plants, you have to keep them growing all year. To do so, you have to maintain the following growing conditions at their optimum levels to keep the growth rate as high as possible.
Best Temperature For Hydroponic Rosemary
The best temperature required for optimum growth of hydroponic rosemary plants is between 60ºF and 70ºF. In winter seasons when the temperature drops below 30ºF, the growth rate gets stunted.
The temperature should be monitored constantly and if there are fluctuations that pass the above optimum levels, you have to interfere as quickly as possible and set it back to normal.
You have to consider investing in an indoor heating system if you are living in a state where temperatures can considerably drop in winter seasons.
Light Requirements For Hydroponic Rosemary
Your hydroponic Rosemary plant will need a minimum of 8 hours of light per day. These 8 hours can be provided by using indoor artificial grow lights.
The LED grow lights will significantly boost your yield production per year as the plants will be getting their full light requirements every single day.
Nutrient Solution Of Hydroponic Rosemary
The nutrient solution’s pH of hydroponic Rosemary should be kept between 5.0 to 6.0. Moreover, the ppm must be maintained in a range between 700 to 1120.
You have to make sure that the nutrient solution level is not high as Rosemary plants are highly vulnerable to root rot. If you are using an NFT system, then there will be nothing to worry about.
But if you use a DWC system, you have to make sure that the solution level will not result in a root rot as I have mentioned. You can learn about the exact height of a nutrient solution in a DWC from this previous post that I had written.
Harvesting A Hydroponic Rosemary Plant
One of the perks of growing Rosemary is that we don’t have to regrow it from the seed stage again like lettuce and other leafy greens. Once the Rosemary plant has reached its mature stage, it can live for years if the right growing conditions were maintained.
With Rosemary’s growth rate at its highest year-round, we should expect that we can harvest a decent yield every 4 months. You should only cut the endings of plants that had reached 8 inches long, avoid cutting any branches that are shorter than this.
While cutting, avoid cutting more than 2 inches per branch; this way we ensure that there are enough greens left for the plant to continue growing again.