How To Grow Rosemary

Written by: Lars Nyman

Growing Rosemary

Growing Rosemary

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) is a Mediterranean native herb that is known for its fragrant, evergreen leaves and its flavor. This herb is commonly used to season fish, poultry, pork, lamb, and beef and can be found in many culinary dishes. Growing rosemary is easy, as long as you give it the right conditions. Read on to find out how to grow your own rosemary.

Cheat Sheet: Growing Rosemary

🌱 Choose the right variety:

Select from upright, prostrate, or creeping varieties based on your needs and available space.

☀️ Provide ideal sunlight:

Ensure at least 6 hours of direct sunlight for optimal growth.

💧 Water sparingly:

Allow soil to dry out between waterings, as rosemary prefers drier conditions.

🌿 Fertilize occasionally:

Feed with a balanced organic fertilizer to promote healthy growth.

🌡️ Optimal temperature:

Keep rosemary in temperatures between 60-80°F (15-26°C) for best results.

🌱 Prune regularly:

Trim to maintain shape and encourage bushier growth.

🌧️ Protect from frost:

Shield plants from frost as they are sensitive to extreme cold.

🌱 Propagate easily:

Take cuttings and root them in well-draining soil to create new plants.

🐜 Repel pests:

Rosemary naturally deters pests like mosquitoes, moths, and flies.

✂️ Harvest with care:

Clip leaves from the top to prevent damage to the main stem.

💕 Enjoy the benefits:

Rosemary enhances memory, boosts immunity, and adds flavor to dishes.

Growing Rosemary

Choosing the Right Spot

Rosemary thrives in bright sunlight. Aim for at least six hours of direct sun each day.

Well-drained soil is critical. Rosemary detests wet feet.

80% of rosemary-related gardening issues stem from poor drainage.

Preparing the Soil

Rosemary prefers slightly acidic to neutral soil, with a pH between 6.0 and 7.5.

Incorporate plenty of organic matter. I usually mix compost with a bit of sand for improved drainage.

Sand in the soil is a game-changer for rosemary's growth.


  1. Plant rosemary in spring after the last frost.
  2. Space plants about 2 to 3 feet apart to allow for growth.
  3. Water well after planting. But remember: soggy soil is rosemary's enemy.

For container gardening, ensure pots are at least 12 inches wide. Terra cotta pots are ideal due to their breathable nature.

Pro tip: Use a cactus mix in pots for optimal conditions.


Once established, rosemary is drought-tolerant. Overwatering is far more detrimental.

I water my rosemary only when the top inch of soil feels dry. Trust me, it's the secret sauce.

Over 70% of rosemary plants die from overwatering, not neglect.


Rosemary isn't a heavy feeder. A balanced 10-10-10 fertilizer once in spring is usually sufficient.

Organic options like compost tea work wonders too. I personally swear by it.


Prune regularly to maintain shape and encourage bushy growth. Early spring is the best time.

I usually trim back one-third of the plant. This keeps it lush and prevents woodiness.

A well-pruned rosemary is a happy rosemary.

Pest & Disease Management

Rosemary is relatively pest-free, but occasional issues can arise. Watch for spider mites and aphids.

Neem oil or insecticidal soap can tackle most infestations. I've had good results with both.

As for diseases, root rot is the biggest concern. Again, well-drained soil is the knight in shining armor.


Clip sprigs as needed, preferably before the plant flowers. Morning harvest is best for flavor.

Store rosemary by hanging sprigs upside-down in a cool, dark place. Or, dry and crumble for long-term storage.

Fresh or dried, home-grown rosemary beats store-bought any day.

Happy gardening! Go forth and grow that aromatic, flavorful rosemary like a pro.


1. How do you start growing rosemary?

You can **grow rosemary** by planting cuttings or seeds in well-draining soil.

2. What is the best location for growing rosemary?

**Rosemary** thrives in full sun and requires at least 6 hours of direct sunlight each day.

3. When should I water my rosemary plant?

**Water** rosemary when the top inch of soil is dry to the touch.

4. How often should I fertilize my rosemary?

Fertilize **rosemary** every 6 to 8 weeks during the growing season using a balanced fertilizer.

5. How do I prune rosemary?

**Prune rosemary** in early spring or after flowering to maintain its shape and encourage bushier growth.

6. Are there any pests or diseases that affect rosemary?

**Rosemary** is generally resistant to pests and diseases, but aphids and powdery mildew can occasionally be a problem.

7. Can I grow rosemary indoors?

Yes, you can **grow rosemary indoors** as long as it receives enough sunlight and is planted in well-draining soil.

8. When is the best time to harvest rosemary?

**Harvest rosemary** in the morning after the dew has dried, but before the heat of the day.

in your gardenRosemary is an excellent herb to grow in your garden because it adds flavor to dishes you cook, has a pleasant scent, is a hardy plant that is low maintenance, and is an effective natural bug control. It also helps improve nutrient absorption in the soil, attracts pollinators, and can help keep other plants healthy if planted near them. Growing this herb is a great way to save money, get fresh and flavorful ingredients into your meals, and reap the other benefits it has to offer.

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