How To Plant Rosemary

how to plant rosemary

Rosemaries are Mediterranean shrubs that are perennial in nature. They are aromatic and have a sweet flavor. Used often in Italian, French, and Mediterranean cooking, rosemary is a popular seasoning. If you are a fan of the rosemary flavor, you might consider growing them indoors near a south-facing window or outdoors in your backyard or.

Salvia Rosmarinus, or Rosemary, know by its official name Rosmarinus Officinalis until recently, is a green-colored shrub with needle-like leaves. They tend to have fragrant and small white, pink, purple, or blue flowers on them. Rosemary oil, leaf, and dried spice have medicinal properties and are used to make food rich in flavor, fresh, and tasty.

Growing rosemary outdoors in your backyard or lawn hedges and edging can be a sight to see and provide you access to the flavorful and medicinal plant, always.

Rosmarinus officinalis is an evergreen herb shrub that is easy to grow and maintain. The rosemary plant has a capacity to thrive scorching heat of summer due to its origin. Read ahead to know everything about planting and growing the rosemary shrub in your garden.

How To Plant Rosemary

When you want to grow rosemary, you need to know everything about planting, growing, harvesting, and caring for the rosemary plant. While growing rosemary is easy and a low maintenance task, it is crucial to know about planting rosemary.

Planting rosemary is a relatively easy task compared to other plants. You just need to ensure full sunlight and warm temperatures of spring and summer to ensure that the rosemary thrives. Learn the best location, season, and timings to plant your rosemary for optimum growth and perfect harvest.

Choose The Best Location And Season

When planting rosemary in your garden, you need to choose the right location and season to plant the rosemary. This ensures proper growth of the leaves, flowers, and stems of the rosemary herb.

It is advisable to plant your rosemary in containers so that you can move them as you please, depending on the weather changes. Your rosemary plant needs full sunlight and partial shade. If you plan to grow rosemary plants indoors, then ensure that you place them near a window that gets a full beam of light.

When growing rosemary outdoors in your garden, plant in full sunlight and well-drained soil. Try to place them beside sage, cabbage, carrots, or beans to ensure perfect companionship growth.

Typically you should plant your rosemary seeds or cut stems indoors 8 to 10 weeks before the last spring frost or in summer. Make sure they are on the south-facing window when indoors. Otherwise, the best time to plant rosemary is in spring when there is no frost. Rosemary thrives in fall only in zone 8 and southern regions of the USA.

Since these are Mediterranean plants with exquisite blue flowers, they should not be kept outdoors during winters. So it is advisable to grow rosemary in containers so that you can bring them indoors during winters.

Growing Information 

You can grow rosemary from seed or propagate by cuttings. Seeds of rosemary germinate very slowly and take a long time to grow. The seeds take almost two to three weeks to germinate. Make sure that your rosemary seeds are fresh and have the optimum conditions and location to germinate and grow properly.

A faster and easier method to grow rosemary is to use stem cuttings of an established rosemary plant. Take rosemary cuttings about 2 inches long and ensure that you remove leaves from the bottom two-thirds portion of the cuttings. Place these cuttings in a mixture of perlite and peat moss. Keep spraying water on these cuttings until the roots start growing. Once roots start growing, you can plant rosemary in a container or outdoors for hedging or edges.

Note that rosemary tends to be root-bound. So, you need to re-pot the rosemary plant at least once a year so that it grows properly. When the rosemary leaves start yellowing instead of being their pristine green, it is time to repot your rosemary plant.

Some Planting Tips

As mentioned before, planting rosemary is an easy task and a fun meditative gardening process that brings rewards that are beyond fruitful. Some basic tips to keep in mind when planting rosemary are listed below

  • Make sure to plant rosemary in spring. Keep the bushes or containers 2 to 3 feet apart. In zone 8 and southern regions not prone to harsh winter, planting rosemary in fall is possible too.
  • Pick strong and vigorous rosemary seeds or stem cuttings. Be extremely patient with the seeds as they take a long time to germinate.
  • Before planting rosemary stems, ensure that your soil is well-drained and has Ph between 6 and 7.
  • When planting outdoors without a container, enrich your soil with at least 2 feet of aged compost. Use lighter-weight soil mix when using containers or a pot.
  • Ensure that rosemary soil is moist and well-draining to allow for drying between waterings.

While planting rosemary, you can use any size pot depending on the size of your cutting. All you need to do is change the pot when the rosemary plants have new growth and are bigger. A major thing to take note of while growing a rosemary plant is to make sure that your planting site is deep enough for the root ball to sit and is twice as wide.

General Care

While gardening, any plant requires appropriate care and nourishment. Even if you don’t have a green thumb and plan to grow a rosemary plant with its pretty blue flowers and needle-like leaves, don’t worry. It is easy to care for and requires the bare minimum but necessary care. Things to keep in mind if you want the best growth and harvest of your rosemary plant.

  • Ensure that the sunbeam is falling on the rosemary plant to the maximum capability.
  • Avoid growing rosemary in winter as the winter wind will harm the rosemary plant.
  • Rosemary plant indoors needs to be positioned at a south-facing window with full sunlight falling on it.
  • Ensure that your soil is well-draining to avoid any rotting of the root.
  • Rosemary growing outdoors tend to grow about 4 feet tall and 4 feet wide, especially if it is an upright rosemary plant, so ensure there is appropriate space for its growth.
  • Both upright rosemary and creeper rosemary plants are fragrant and need the right amount of watering with proper soil drainage.
  • The rosemary plant pots need to be brought inside in winters to avoid facing the brutalities of that weather.

You also need to mulch your rosemary plant to keep the roots moist in summer, mulch will keep the roots insulated in winter to ensure proper growth. Ensure that you keep the mulch away from the crown to avoid rotting of the root. Spring is the best time to prune deadwood out of your rosemary plants.

To prevent any mildew and root rot, ensure that your rosemary plants get enough air circulation and have good drainage of the soil. When you grow, rosemary plants avoid pruning your plant in late winter or autumn to prevent hardening of the rosemary plant’s sprigs.

The nature of the rosemary plant is essentially dry and can survive drought conditions. Nevertheless, the herb needs water to keep it fresh and help it to grow. Whether the upright variety or creeper variety, Rosemary plants grow more than 2 feet tall to give you fragrant and amazing herbs with needle-like piney leaves, small blue flowers, and plausible tasty dry herb.

1. Watering

Your rosemary plant requires just enough water. While you water all plants in your garden, make sure that you water your rosemary plants only till the soil becomes moist. If you spray too much water on your rosemary plants, you are inviting water-cogging and wet soil that causes rotting of the root.

As you water your rosemary plants, ensure that the soil around them has proper drainage properties to allow it to dry up between waterings. Make sure you avoid keeping your rosemary in direct rainfall or snowfall. Rosemary being a Mediterranean origin plant, prefers heat and slightly dry soil. If you overdo or underdo the watering of your plant, you are only inviting trouble for yourself.

2. Nutrients That Are Required

Your rosemary pots need not only well-nourished soil but also a regular feeding of fertilizers. The rosemary plants in your container need the right pot mixture, fertilizer, and compost for them to grow. They need it in a timely and less frequent manner.

It is recommended that rosemary plants in a container or outdoor have soil rich in aged compost. A high nitrogen organic formula is what your woody rosemary needs to grow. Fresh rosemary with small flowers grows the best when you apply organic garden compost or well-aged herbivore manure to the soil in spring.

Rosemary plants benefit from the sprinkling of organic compost or nitrogen-rich formula around the base of the plant. It should be lightly cultivated into the soil, and you should pour water on it optimally.

Insect And Pest Control 

Any plant in your herb garden or regular garden is prone to insects, disease, and pests. You need to know what your rosemary plant is prone to and have handy information to tackle the issue. The rosemary plants are relatively pest-free and fewer issues to deal with. Some common insects like spider mites, mealybugs, scales, and whiteflies do harm your rosemary plants. So, be careful and ensure plenty of air circulation and slightly dry soil. The few major deterrents when you grow rosemary is encapsulated below.

1. Aphids Or Whiteflies

Aphids are small green-colored sap-sucking insects that are found on the underside of the stems and branches of the plant. Whiteflies are tiny white-colored winged insects. They can be found on leaves, the stem, or even the flowers of the plant. You can use a strong jet of water to wash away the colonies of aphids and whiteflies. If you plan to use rosemary as herbs for consumption, make sure to use only edible insecticides.

2. Powdery Mildew

In rosemary pots or the container or outdoor plant, the leaves or stems gets a white powdery fungus when left 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. This white powder is called Powdery Mildew which needs to be washed away with a low chemical fungicide.

3. Root Rot

Root rot is caused by fungi and makes the otherwise upright, fresh, and evergreen rosemary wilt prematurely. The only solution, once your plant root has rotted, is to get rid of it. To prevent it from occurring by planting your rosemary cuttings in pots near areas not prone to flooding.

Rosemary grows beautifully with fresh blue flowers and fragrant stems when you prevent insects and pests from harming it. Grow your rosemary cuttings or seeds in the appropriate location, and ensure that you follow the planting tips to avoid disease, insects, and pests on your fresh rosemary. Space your plants at least an inch and for feet apart for proper circulation.


For harvesting fresh rosemary, you can cut the stems any time you want. Ensure you harvest only a third of the plant stem to ensure that there is scope for the remaining plant to grow and replenish itself. Make sure you harvest a young stem and foilage for the freshest taste and flavor.

If you want dry rosemary, harvest the sprigs of rosemary in winter and hang them upside down in a cool place. when you harvest rosemary from your pot, make sure to do it in the morning after the dew is dry and before the afternoon heat set in. Harvest rosemary leaves anytime you want by holding the stem an inch below the tip with your forefinger and thumb and swooping the leaves in one fell motion with your free hand.

Once again, make sure you bring in your rosemary pot inside during winter so that you don’t miss out on a good harvest. Harvesting rosemary is an essential task for you to use the stem and leaf cuttings in your cooking to make it flavorful and tasty.

Harvesting rosemary also has medicinal properties as the rosemary grows to be a plant that provides good mental agility. The rosemary harvest helps you create herbs that help reduce anxiety and make your skin issues go far away.

Final words 

Grow rosemary close to the edges of your yard. It grows indoors too close to a window with the appropriate light. Having rosemary bush so close to you can be very helpful to you. You can store it in a cool and dry place in your kitchen and have access to rosemary always.

With such close access to rosemary that you grow on your own, you can create wonderful food recipes like rosemary flavored potatoes and marinated rosemary oil with your meats. You can also use it to make tasty and flavored bread. Rosemary can also be used as a relaxant combined with lavender for your baths. It soothes headaches and body ache.

When you grow your own rosemary herb, you have close access to a medicinal herb that has proven healing qualities for respiratory ailments and asthma. The rosemary you grow on your own will have the best quality nutrients, and its flowers will help early pollinators cold weather hummingbirds to thrive too.

Rosemary plants in your back yard or at home have several benefits, each proving to be better than the other. You also get to develop a green thumb and have an easy source of your favorite food flavoring ingredient. So, go ahead, read, research, and consult a rosemary specialist now to grow your favorite plant.