Planting, Growing, and Harvesting Rosemary



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Rosemary is a perennial evergreen shrub with blue flowers. It is a pungent and distinctive plant with a sweet, resinous flavor. Rosemary is ideal for a rock garden or the top of a dry wall. It is used for poultry, lamb, stews, and soups.


  • For a head start, plant the seeds or cuttings indoors 8 to 10 weeks before the last spring frost.
  • Plant the seeds/cuttings in well-drained soil. For best growth, the soil should be around 70ºF.
  • Be sure to give your plants enough room to grow. Rosemary grows to about 4 feet tall and spreads about 4 feet as well.
  • In the garden, plant near beans, cabbage, carrots, and sage.


  • After the plant flowers, remember to trim the plant.
  • For fresh rosemary in the winter, grow the plant indoors in a pot. Be sure to put it in bright light and cool temperatures.
  • Prune regularly so that the plant won’t get lanky.
  • Water the plants evenly throughout the growing season.
  • Be sure to get cuttings or divide the plant for next season.


  • Aerial blight
  • Bacterial leaf spots
  • Several types of root rot


  • Prune the stems to use fresh. During the winter, bring a rosemary plant indoors.
  • You can dry the leaves as well and store in an airtight container.

Wit & Wisdom

Drink rosemary tea to enhance your memory.

Reader Comments

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Rosemary leaf dyeback and yellow spot

Hallo There,
I am growing rosemary that I propagated from seeds. I find many plants suffer leaf dye backs and pest infestation from black small insects on the leaves. Some of the green leaves have faded with yellow spots,i often remove them with scissors and clean them with tooth brush. What is the cure? I live in a country where the temperature ranges from(30-34 Celsius) with high humidity.Can I spray liquid foliar fertilizer at this stage ? Please advise.Regards.

Caring for perennials

I am wondering what I need to do for my newly planted perennials such as my Lavender and Rosemary. Planted them in mid-late May. Do I need to cut them down at all before winter hits, or do I just leave them be until the spring?

Lavender and rosemary

Bring the rosemary indoors (lift, plant in a pot, and keep in a sunny place). The lavender should be fine.

How to harvest Rosemary

I'm a beginning gardener, and the page devoted to rosemary is exactly useless. Will look elsewhere for how to harvest rosemary.

Rosemary plant

I have a Rosemary plant it looked terrible it was pretty much dried up then I noticed that there was green coming back on it only in one place. So I trimmed the dead dried up stuff off. Was that a good idea for me to do?

pruning rosemary

Hi, Tina, Well, if you gave it a severe clipping, its chances may be diminished. But then again, it’s all relative—to its size. Give it a while and don’t chop any more. Your instincts to remove what looked like dead portions are right. The plant overall may be weak, and that might explain the little bit of green. Give it time … and not too much water. It like desert conditions. We hope this helps!

Rosemary Tea

I'd go easy on that. While it is valuable as an infusion too much can be toxic. Just sayin'.

watering frequency and outside

My rosemary plant leaves are falling off .. How often do you water? Once a week? Or more?

how often to water rosemary

If your plant is in a pot, especially, make sure that it has adequate drainage and is not sitting in water. When watering, give it a good soaking, letting it drain through the bottom, but do not let it sit in water. Then, let the soil dry down to about 1 or 2 inches deep in the soil before watering again.

Rosemary leaves

My Rosemary leaves turned brown (Chocolate Milk Colour) Any methods to save this plant? Should I uproot it and what causes it to be in this manner? Any advice?

browning leaves

Rosemary leaves can turn brown for a number of reasons. A common one, though, is due to too much or too little water. If your plant is in a pot, especially, make sure that it has adequate drainage and is not sitting in water. When watering, give it a good soaking, letting it drain through the bottom, but do not let it sit in water. Then, let the soil dry down to about 1 or 2 inches deep in the soil before watering again. Too much water can cause root rot, which can cause browning leaves. Insects and diseases, as well as cold temperatures or a sudden change in lighting (such as by taking it from bright light outdoors to a lower light level indoors) may also cause browning leaves. Make sure that your plant has enough light, and if you think it is getting too much water, let it dry out (drain off any excess water, if applicable). Hopefully, the plant will recover in a week or two.

Brown Leaves

Hi there, the whole plant leaves have turned brown. May I ask what should I do now? Uproot the whole plant? Or trim the areas that are brown and leave the plant in the pot?

When to move outside

Brought rosemary plants into the house last fall and have had them under growlamps (CFL) and they are thriving. Now that it is spring it's time to put them outside.

Any suggestions on the lowest temperature a plant can handle ?
We're getting 40 degree nights and the pots will be next to the building.

rosemary cold tolerance

Varieties of rosemary will vary as to their cold tolerance. The trailing types seem to be more sensitive. In general, I am finding recommendations of the very lowest temperature as -3F, or other sources say 10F, 14F, or 23F. Some say bring it indoors when temperatures dip below 30F. These are wide ranges. To be on the safe side, if the plant will experience temperatures below 33F, then you should bring it in. 40s will probably be OK, especially next to a building. It might be a good idea, though, to gradually introduce the plants to the outdoors – such as 1 hour one day, 2 hours the next, etc., to help them get acclimated to the new conditions.

Rosemary Bush

We moved into our house in NC 3 years ago and there was a huge rosemary bush that was so large being planted at the corner of the house, it reached around both sides. It was full and thick and tall. After we cut it back a bit, not too much, it started to die and never returned to it's former healthy state. All except one lower branch.It stayed fairly green.But as for the rest of the leaves they turned brown,then gray.We waited a full year and nothing! No new growth. So we cut of the dead branches hoping they would grow back healthy. NOTHING! The only thing left is that one bottom branch and it is slowly splitting away from the main trunk. WHAT SHOULD I DO????

It sounds like you may have

It sounds like you may have root rot. It is caused by a fungus when the soil remains consistently damp. Root rot causes sections of the plant to die off. If you catch the rot early you can often save the plant by allowing the soil to dry and cut back on watering. Advanced root rot doesn’t have a cure.

Rosemary bush

My rosemary bush is in the ground. It is tall and wide. Will cutting it back destroy it?

Pruning benefits the plant.

Pruning benefits the plant. Don’t prune off more than about ⅓ of the total growth at any one time. Best time to prune is late spring or early summer.

why does it look like that

my rosemary i got it 3 years go and now its starting to get flaky and the leaves are starting to come off and it looks like its turning into twigs is my rosemary dying what should i do?

Rosemary Plant

The needles on my rosemary plant seem to be turning black - can you please tell me what I am doing

Brown and black needles on

Brown and black needles on your plant may be a sign that you have been overwatering and that you have root rot. As the roots are dying the needles are also dying. Stop watering and cut off the branches with brown or black needles. Only water when the soil is dry again. Let the soil dry out between waterings. Please read some of the questions and answers on this page to find more advice.

Rosemary plant

I am overwintering my Rosemary plant indoors. Should I be fertilizing it too?
Some of the stems seem to be dried up, others are nice and green. I cut back the dried stems, hopefully they will come back. Also when should I repot the bush? I transplanted it last summer but not sure if the pot is still big enough. Thanks.

Rosemary plants are tricky to

Rosemary plants are tricky to overwinter. Make sure the soil is moist and mist the bush with water if the air in your house is dry. Also make sure it gets plenty of light. Do not repot the plant while it is indoors. Do not fertilize from November through January; sunlight levels are too low for plants to benefit from it and grow. Start fertilizing once per week in February. As the days lengthen, watch out for indications of its being potbound and repot as soon as you can. Use a good quality potting mix. Pruning or pinching back the dry stems is fine; it should lead to improved growth in spring and summer.

Rosemary plant ... Did I kill it?

hi there, I have a huge Rosemary plant that is in a large planter. It's quite lanky, and I brought it inside in the fall, I live in toronto, I'm a bit worried that I may have dehydrated it, and wonder how I will know if it's still alive. Is there a Way to tell? The leaves are green but crisp to remove, and I'm wondering if it's doing something like hibernating in the fall and losing its leaves, and will come back in the spring. Should I clip it way back? How far?

Most rosemary is evergreen

Most rosemary is evergreen and never goes completely dormant. Take a cutting from it and scrape back the outside of the stem. If you see any green in the stem, it’s still alive. Winter time is the best time to prune so you could cut back some of the lankier stems. Give the plant more humidity by having a humidifier in the room or mist the plant daily with water. Also make sure that the plant gets plenty of light.

I live in NE Florida and have

I live in NE Florida and have a HUGE rosemary bush planted outside. (5'x6') My question is this. What is the best time of day to harvest it? I've read that the essential oils in various plants peak at various times during the day - and some even should be harvested at night, but can't really see much advice about Rosemary. Early morning? High noon? Late afternoon?

I have been doing some (a

I have been doing some (a lot) of research on rosemary lately. It is best to harvest rosemary in the early morning, but it retains its quintessence better than other plants, so it will not have a negative impact to harvest at another time of day. :)

I have a beautiful rosemary

I have a beautiful rosemary plant that is outside - getting huge. I live in Northern AZ. Today I notice some white things on some leaves. They are the size of a small pea and if you crush it between fingers it is just wet. What could this be and how do i treat it?

It sounds like the work of

It sounds like the work of spittlebugs. Just hose off the white stuff. The bugs are a nuisance but won't cause much harm to your rosemary.

I have grown rosemary bush

I have grown rosemary bush once before and it grew quite well except the leaves didn't seem "plump" but dry. They were still green however. I live in Dallas Texas and it had full sun. I used Miracle Grow soil. It eventually died. I decided to give it another try so went to a very reputable greenhouse this time. I bought the lanky type and they suggested to use cactus potting soil and if I wanted to put in a hanging basket to use a wire hanging basket lined with coconut fiber. Will see how it goes but has anyone heard of using cactus potting soil?

Rosemary plants prefer a

Rosemary plants prefer a coarse, well-drained soil that is about one-third sand. Many growers use cactus soil mixes as they are well-draining and not heavy.

I also live in Dallas, Texas

I also live in Dallas, Texas and have had relative success in growing rosemary bushes. I just stick them in our horrible clay soil and water occasionally, and they grow tall and full. However, when I made the mistake of pruning one that was about 4'X4', it balked and died.One of our better nurseries told me that rosemary does not like to be deadheaded nor does it like to be moved.

Hi, I have a rosemary plant

Hi, I have a rosemary plant I grow inside in a sunny south window all year round. The stems are very brown and dried out close to the ground but the green leaves still grow fine at the ends of my plant. Should I prune a lot just to get a "better looking" plant? I'm just wondering if the leaves will grow back where they are already brown... Thank you!

My daughter-in-law received a

My daughter-in-law received a very dry and woody Rosemary Plant from a flower delivery service for her birthday in November. She lives in the Wash DC area. Can this plant be moved outside and replanted? Will it have a chance of living through the winter> I seems like it was cut out of a very large plant by the vendor.

Will Rosemary bushes survive outdoors in winter in Southern Virginia - or Central Kentucky? We live in Lexington, KY - and I will take this plant to KY to nurture it if the prospects seems good for it to live. We LOVE Rosemary! I am researchning MORE edible perenial plants!

Thank you! - Arlington Va and Lexington KY

Hi Monica, Rosemary plants

Hi Monica,
Rosemary plants can survive winters outdoors in USDA zones 6 and 7 with some mulch and protection. There are a couple of very hardy rosemary varieties, Arp and Hardy Hill, that will do very well in zones 6 and 7. It may be a little late to plant it outside now with the cold weather approching. We would recommend that you plant it in a bigger container and place it in a cool room in a south-facing window. Keep the soil moist but not soggy.

"After the plant flowers,

"After the plant flowers, remember to trim the plant."

After the pant flowered ends or once it started to flower?

What is this purpose?

Hi can i grow Rosemary in

can i grow Rosemary in southern india with temp 30-40 degc in summer n 20 c deg in winter.

is this plant a medicinal?

would like to grow in 2-3 hectors can I do?
what type of lands, n type of fertlisers, age of the plant?
where can I get the seeds
will any one help this retired 66 years senior man who has passion in cultivation please please
a good guide for me please

regards/chennai india

I know that rosemary grows

I know that rosemary grows well in Florida and East Texas in the United States, which have similar warm climates to your region. I would give it a try if I were you. Rosemary is a tough plant and quite drought resistant. It likes well drained soil and full sunlight. My mother has a rosemary plant growing in her garden in East Texas, and she never fertilizes it. It seems to do just fine without, but I suppose it depends on the soil.

Rosemary is one of the healthiest spices you can eat. It enhances memory and concentration and protects against brain aging. It also has been shown to help protect the body from inflammation, cancer and macular degeneration.

Since rosemary is a staple in European style cooking, it is widely available in the Americas and Europe. I'm not sure about India, but if you can't find a plant nursery that carries it locally, seeds should be easy to find online.

I live in ohio and started my

I live in ohio and started my little rosemary in a pot. She got huge and so i put her outside in the ground and she went crazy! I leave her put all winter...this will be her 3rd. I just prune her back in spring and wait. She comes back bigger and stonger every year!

Any suggestions? I just moved

Any suggestions? I just moved to Ohio from Georgia and I know that planting and growing are completely different up here. I just planted some rosemary,basil,and Cilantro in a planter box on my back porch. Is there any suggestions you might have to growing them up here. I know the rain and temperature s are different up here. Just trying to get my little herb garden going.

Hope you might offer some

Hope you might offer some Rosemary advice.
I am an avid gardener, zone 6 25 miles south of Nashville Tennessee. The polar vortex has dipped below us since the week of December 10th causing fantastically colder then Normall temps averaging in the single digits. My beautiful rosemary shrubs were two years old or so when I put them in there spot two years now ...This being there second winter outside. I only mentioned this because they May have enough of a root system to have actually survived, I think. There stems are stil quitel pliable, the leaves are dry and a light brown.
1.) Do you think the establishment of a good root system beforehand may have allowed the plant to go domant in some way?
2.) Would you wait for new growth to appear well into spring before "sprucing" up the plant by cutting out the "dead growth"?
3.) Is the pliability of the branches any indication of the plants health at all?
The interesting thing about this topic happens to be that the plants really seemed to go domant. The plant was supple and quite vigorously happy &as the days grew much shorter and the nights got colder it very slowly faded to a very pale brown. It was mid January when I finally thought "Well it's done remarkably well considering the freezing temperatures" & of course that's when the color began to fade as if the oils in the plants were retreating.
Any thoughts on this would be great. Thank you Ahead of time. "
Ms. Suzy " home maker " ")

My rosemary is doing the same

My rosemary is doing the same thing as you mentioned. I live in Memphis,TN. Did you find out anything about your rosemary. I would love to hear it may have went dormant. It's been in the ground about 3 years now.

If your rosemary is brown and

If your rosemary is brown and you don't see any new growth by now it's probably not going to come back. This past winter has been though for many plants. If you want to try a cold-hardy cultivar try 'Salem', 'Dancing Waters', 'Arp' or 'Hill Hardy'.

I bought a rosemary plant

I bought a rosemary plant last December from Costco. I looks like a little pine tree and its about 2' tall. At first I had it inside,and did not water it much, because I read it prefers to be on the dry side (by the way, I live in South Florida which falls in Zone 10, very hot and humid climate), but I noticed it wasn'doing very well,the needles started to wilt, so I took it outside so that it would get sunlight, but we had several rainy days and water pooled around the pot. The plant is now almost entirely brown. I put it in a dry spot,although now it does not receive as much direct sunlight, and water about 2-3 times a week, I notice that the pot drains very well, but the plant is not doing much better. What can I do to save the plant?

Prune some of the dead

Prune some of the dead branches and make sure it gets as much sunlight as possible. Water when the soil feels dry.

I'll try that and will post

I'll try that and will post the results in a few days. Thanks a lot!

Try taking it out of the pot

Try taking it out of the pot and planting it outside. If it's not too late for it to recover, it should thrive. I planted mine in my native bed in northern Texas four years ago. It's so happy, it blooms in February. It has tiny lavendar blooms right now.

are you sure you have a

are you sure you have a rosemary plant and not lavender? How could it have a lavender bud? I recently bought a potted lavender combined with a rosemary plant .

I also live in so fla. Use

I also live in so fla. Use desert soil,sand,soil and small rocks it helps more draining the plant does not need watering but every 3 days maybe 4 days or just wait for it to rain. Depending on zone or in or outdoor temperaturet.

I've got a rosemary plant for

I've got a rosemary plant for almost two years and it hasn't grown an inch. At least not upwards. The strange thing is that it has become extremely woody, but still remains midget. It's almost like a bonsai...
How should I encourage it to grow upwards?
I keep it in a medium pot, on a very sunny windowsill. Temperatures are hot during summer and mildly cold during winter where I live (Southern Hemisphere).

When the temperatures warm up

When the temperatures warm up move the plant outside and put it in a sunny spot. Keep it moist and hopefully it will show some new growth. You can also prune some of the top branches to encourage new growth.

I have a rosemary bush in a

I have a rosemary bush in a pot (I live in WI and it is winter now) that I got for Christmas. It is all dried up. There are a few lonely bright green soft "leaves"..more like needles than leaves. Is there any hope for it? I keep hoping it will live but I have my doubts now. Anything I can do to get it to "releaf"?

Rosemary plants are tricky to

Rosemary plants are tricky to overwinter. Make sure the soil is moist and mist the bush with water if the air in your house is dry. Also make sure it gets plenty of light.

Not sure if you wer answering

Not sure if you wer answering my question or someone else's but it is already about 98% dried up. Will it get its leaves (needles) back or not. I am debating just putting it in the garbage.

I have a rosemary bush that

I have a rosemary bush that is about four years old. It's planted in a large pot and until now, has done very well. I live in Southeastern Tennessee where we normally have very mild winters. This winter, however, it was unseasonably cold and unfortunately I forgot to bring my bush indoors when the temps dropped as low as one degree. The needles which normally stayed green all winter turned very dark, nearly black. I did manage to finally bring it inside but I, now, am unsure of how to proceed. I'm certain it's still alive as the branches are still very pliable but should I drastically prune it? Leave it alone and hope for the best? Any advice would be most appreciated as I've grown very fond of my rosemary plant! I use it to cook many dishes and SO love the smell as I walk by it.

Keep the bush moist and spray

Keep the bush moist and spray it with water a couple of times a week. You can prune it if you like. Hopefully it will come back.

I live in Utah where rosemary

I live in Utah where rosemary doesn't grow--except my neighbors one planted in awful soil, rarely watered, snowplowed under in the winter. She pruned it back to about 8" 2 years ago, it came back fine. The leaves are like spruce needles, and pliable stems are good... Put it out in the sun, in the ground if possible, hope for the best.

I am in SE TX and have a

I am in SE TX and have a rosemary plant that is very large! It was there when we bought the house and we've really done nothing to care for it. We've trimmed some of the large bits to get it out of the pathway and it made out campfire very aromatic! I am wondering if any bit of the plant is good to use for cooking or should I trim it back and only use new growth?

Older rosemary leaves

Older rosemary leaves (needles) can be coarse and tough. You can still use them in cooking but remove the rosemary before eating. New leaves are soft and tender and can be used in all recipes.

I received a very nice hardy

I received a very nice hardy nice smelling rosemary tree for Christmas. I have never had one and had to look up how to care for it. I am in WI so it will not be outside..inside plant. It is starting to dry up :-( I have it in an East window and it gets all the morning sun. I don't have a West or north (suggested) window. I try to water it once a week. It feels pretty dry between. And I mist it every day or every few days as suggested. Is there any saving it?? I wouldn't use it for cooking but for looks and the smell! Thanks! I am wondering about re-potting it into a bigger pot but unsure at type of soil to use or if I can even find soil anywhere here in January!

Hi Paula, Make sure to keep

Hi Paula,

Make sure to keep the plant in a cool room and not close to heating vents or radiators. Try watering the rosemary from the bottom. Fill a saucer with water and set the pot in the saucer. We also recommend that you mist the plant daily or place it next to a humidifier. If you decide to repot use soil that drains well or mix sand into regular potting soil. A soilless potting mix also works well.

Thank you. I have it in the

Thank you. I have it in the kitchen but not near a vent or heat. I set it in front of a window which is cool. It is in a plastic pot and that is in a steel bucket (for decorative purposes. Maybe I should take it out of the bucket and put it in a saucer and put water in the saucer (or pie tin)? I hope its not too late to save as its beautiful and smells great! If it is okay where it is I won't repot...I have no reason to. Just curious if that would help it live! I do mist it daily to keep it humid and it is with other plants and I heard that also will help the humidity factor.
Thank you!

I did put in a pie tin and

I did put in a pie tin and watered it from the bottom up and it drank it all up. Now most of it is all dried up:-( I am not sure its salvageable at this point. I put it in the window, mist it every day. I live in WI which is cold anyhow so maybe it isn't going to make it.

Can you tell me if there is

Can you tell me if there is any salvaging this tree?I wonder if I cut off all the dried parts (which wouldn't leave much) if fresh "leaves" would come in?

There is no harm in pruning

There is no harm in pruning the dry branches. You may be lucky and get some new growth.

How do I prune it? Do I take

How do I prune it? Do I take the whole branch off the dried parts? Or just take the "leaves" which aren't really leaves off?

How do I prune this?At this

How do I prune this?At this point it isn't going to hurt it as I have very little live stuff left :-( Do I just take off all the dead "leaves" (they aren't really leaves, but you know what I mean). I can just take my hand and run it down the branches and the dried things just fall off. I need to know how or what to do before I just toss the whole thing in the garbage! Thanks.

I am not sure how to prune

I am not sure how to prune this "tree". I think it is mostly dead. I broke off a branch and it wasn't green inside so I believe it is pretty dead.

Cut off all the dead branches

Cut off all the dead branches and wait a couple of weeks to see if any new growth will appear. If not you need to put it in the compost and start over again.

I too have a "Christmas Tree"

I too have a "Christmas Tree" rosemary plant that is loosing many dried leaves. Can I use those for cooking, while trying to save the plant?

I have two rosemary bushes

I have two rosemary bushes that are three years old. They were planted about half way down the east side of a 14 foot waterfall. We had so much rain this past summer that even though they are on a hill and drainage is great, it was too much for them and they drowned. I pruned them back drastically because they were brown and starting to mold. Will they come back this spring? Or, should I dig them out and start over with new plants? Currently there are foot long stalks with very little leaves though a few branches did survive...

Wait and see how they are

Wait and see how they are doing in the spring. You may have to consider a new drier location if you buy new plants.

I have had Rosemary plants

I have had Rosemary plants outside for about 10 years. I live in East Texas where we have mild winters, but we do have some cold weather, it is 20 degrees out this morning. I have a hedge of Rosemary on the side of my parking pad, about 20 feet long and use it as a landscape hedge and love it. I prune it once a year to keep it in shape and that is all I have ever done to it. I have been rooting cuttings to form into little trees to give out next Christmas as gifts to friends.

We live in West Central

We live in West Central Texas. My 3 year old Rosemary plant is growing in the ground, not in a pot, in mildly acidic loamy soil outside, in full sun. It is thriving and beautiful but has never bloomed, consequently never produced seed. What might be the problem, or is there a problem? We would like to try re-propagating the plant from seed.

Some rosemary varietes don't

Some rosemary varietes don't flower well.  They like poor soil. Hold off any fertilizer and use a bit of bonemeal.
To propagate rosemary, you would grow it from a cutting (versus seed). Use healthy shoot tips that are about 4 inches long. Trim off the lower leaves and cut cleanly beneath a leaf joint. Dip cut end into rooting hormone powder.
Fill a pot with compost mix and firm gently leaving a 1cm (1/2in) gap between the top of the compost and the pot.
Use five or six cuttings around the edge of the pot filled with compost mix up to 1/2-inch from the top of the pot.
Secure a clear plastic bag around the pot. An elastic band will hold it in place.
Cuttings should have rooted within eight weeks and can then be potted into individual pots.

Most hormone rooting powders

Most hormone rooting powders carry a warning NOT to use it on plants that are for human consumption. Please check the bottle before using the powder to root rosemary to be used in cooking.
Penn State Master Gardener

Though it's true that several

Though it's true that several rooting powder/solution bottles warn against using on edibles,there is probably no ill effects to our health from using the powder/solution in small amounts.
Most edible plants root well without using any powders or hormones.
There are several homemade alternatives to rooting powders/solutions.

I live in Southern AZ. Fall

I live in Southern AZ. Fall is our planting season so I'm putting a rosemary in the ground this week. We rarely get freezes here. Should I just cover it when they do happen? Our summers get extremely hot, 100 and above. Should I use shade cloth then? My soil is alkaline, but it's clay, will digging in compost be enough for growing Rosemary?

Rosemary is a great plant for

Rosemary is a great plant for year-round growing in Arizona. Yes, you need to amend your clay soil as rosemary isn't picky but the plant does need well-drained soil. Dig in plenty of bulky organic matter such as manure or, ideally, composted bark. Water every few days during the first growing season until established. Add rocks around herbs to keep roots cool in the summer heat. Rosemary is a Mediterranean plant so it should weather the summer. To protect from winter winds, plant on an eastern exposure, if possible. If you decide that frost is a possibility, cover your rosemary as it's a tender plant. Use newspapers, straw, old sheets and bedspreads, plastic tarps, or evergreen branches. Cover the whole plant; you’re trying to retain radiated heat. It’s best to have all covers in place well before sunset.

Hello, I have had grown

Hello, I have had grown rosemary successfully in containers several times over the last 20-years. I have one now that is 10-years old, and in a large pot. I bring the plants in during the winter, as it snows here in Missouri. During the winter months, I keep the rosemary plants in a sunny doorsill and water them only once a week or so. I have found that rosemary can burn in too hot of sun, after which it will turn brown on the spindles. Watering the plants during the day, on hot summer days, can cook the spindles and turn them brown. On mild days, I find the plant responds very well to a misting. During the hottest months, I water rosemary once a day in well-draining soil. I do not use plant food for rosemary. I find this plant responds well to being trimmed, and I use it in cooking almost every week, so perhaps this regular trimming is a component of them doing well. My rosemary plants deal with hot summers in Missouri (100+ F and fairly mild winters 10-20 F average lows). Missouri has high humidity.

Hope this helps. Rosemary is a good plant!

Thank you, Brandon Henry!

Thank you, Brandon Henry! It's really wonderful to have a reader sharing advice with the Almanac community (including your editors). Sincerely, The Old Farmer's Almanac

Great advice, Brandon. One

Great advice, Brandon. One question though, what kind of soil do you use? Any soil or the cactus soil as some are suggesting?

My rosemary is about 5 years

My rosemary is about 5 years old planted in a medium size pot outside. Looks like it is dying. Does it need a larger space for the roots to spread?

Hello, I think your rosemary


I think your rosemary may need to be replanted. I have found my older rosemary's benefit much from being replanted in a larger pot. Each time, the plant was 4-5 years old, and was heavily rootbound. After repotting, they all began to grown substantially. I use a fairly loamy, alkaline soil for rosemary.

I say give it a try!



Hope this helps.



I bought a Rosemary plant at

I bought a Rosemary plant at a farmer's market (among other plants) and planted it in a small pot along-side a lemon basil. My mint and nasturtium each have their own pot.

The nasturtium has been eaten up by aphids, which is strange since I live on the 2nd story of my apartment building. The mint and lemon basil have been flourishing! However, the rosemary has not grown at all and looks like its dying... I put it in a pot with rich soil and fertilizer, and water it regularly... any thoughts? Is it too late to transplant it into another pot with sandy soil?

Rosemary plants are very slow

Rosemary plants are very slow growers compared to your other plants. Rosemary actually likes low fertility, dry ground, and lots of sun. Think of its native Mediterranean climate. Stop fertilizing. Just water them deeply once in a while and let the soil dry out a bit between waterings. And make sure the soil isn't too rich; it needs great drainage.

I love my rosemary plant. I

I love my rosemary plant. I have been pinching and using it all summer. I'm going to try to bring it in for the winter. Should I re-pot it when I bring it in?

If it is in a pot, it is not

If it is in a pot, it is not necessary to repot it.

I transplanted a nice size

I transplanted a nice size (1'tall) rosemary bush --healthy one blooming-- from Maryland ot the eastern shore of delaware in hot July, ( first mistake)
it stayed green but the new grown withered and started growing brown. then in 1 week gardener-friend visited and said ought to be trimmed. he trimmed about 1/2 plant back. came back in 1 week and it had totally turned brown except for one sprig that hardly got trimmed...... I think the plant is almost dead. I told him to not trim it because that was an additional trauma. did the trimming kill it or the original transplant? or,perhaps the large volume of rain? we also moved, trimmed lavendar same size and time and it it is not dead.

A simple answer may not be

A simple answer may not be possible, but here are a few ideas. Rosemary likes well-drained, alkaline (or, as one source suggests, only slightly acidic) sandy to loamy soil and full sun. Perhaps the soil for the failed plant was different than the successful one?
Since this plant prefers light-to-moderate water, perhaps heavy rains hurt it (too much water causes root rot), especially if drainage was poor. (Plants in pots should be evenly moist.)
Many sources suggest that light pruning of the stems throughout the season is usually ok (often that's what people use in cooking)—even recommended. One source suggests that you can prune up to 4 inches from the tips of the branches, but never remove more than 20 percent of the growth at one time. Yet another suggests that rosemary can be cut back "quite hard," but only after it has flowered.
Perhaps the shocks of moving, replanting (in alkaline soil?), trimming, and excess water were all too much at one time.

I grow rosemary every summer

I grow rosemary every summer and it does wonderful. However, it does not winter over for me. I live in MA and wondering if it's a wrong zone to be a perennial. Could I garage it and if so what would I have to do.

In general, rosemary is only

In general, rosemary is only hardy to zone 9 -- no colder than 20 degrees F. The best option to grow rosemary year-round may be in a container. Move indoors several weeks before your first frost date.

I have growing rosemary for

I have growing rosemary for several years. I live in VT and the winters are well below 20 degrees. What I have found is that they will take a hard frost right down to 20 degrees at night for several days. Once this happens I dig them up from there cozy little home in the ground and pot them up in a pot about twice the size of the root system, bring them inside, water lightly,I also spray them with Joy soap and water to kill any soft body insects that may take up residence on the stems and keep them out of direct sunlight for about 3-4 days to get them used to their new environment. They DO NOT like wet feet. I have lost a small number due to over watering. The plants I have now are 5 years old and in pots that are about 1 foot in diameter and about 1 foot high. Now their permanent home.

just bought a rosemary plant

just bought a rosemary plant ..... only one plant......How do I use it? from bottom up or from top down? I am never good at planting nor keeping anything keeping this plant in my kitchen by the bay that ok?

Rosemary prefers to grow

Rosemary prefers to grow outside but it will grow inside if set in a south- or west-facing window that receives sunlight for six hours or more. Make sure it does NOT get overwatered. Wait to water until soil is dry. Don't harvest while it's blooming. Harvest in summer and fall. PIck leaves when you wish to use; keep it pruned or trimmed to keep it bushy.

I have a large rosemary

I have a large rosemary plant. It ha gone through 2 winters inside. My question is can i plant it outside through the winter? Will it survive? if I covered it with large plastic 70 gallon drum, would that be enough to keep it going. Was going drill a couple of side vents so it could vent a little. Ant advice?

It depends where you live. In

It depends where you live. In zone 7 and above, your rosemary plants will be large enough to survive outside. You'll need to acclimate them to outdoors weather well before winter.

I've got rosemary in a pot in

I've got rosemary in a pot in the windowsill. It seems to be growing, but the branches are all twisted and the leaves spaced widely. How do commercial growers get such straight branches with thickly growing leaves?

Pinch the plants during the

Pinch the plants during the growing season to direct their growth and to keep them bushy and compact.

Rosemary winter care

Got 8 plants years ago. all but 2 died. very little growth 1st year. Felt sorry for them, so I brought them in for winter. Covered soil with straw and left in a cool garage. Watered no more than 1x month (if that), little sun.
2nd year placed in partial shade and they took off. Feed 2x month. Still going after 11 years. I have to cut them back before bringing them back in for winter.


I planted my rosemary about some 20 years ago have never taken care of it or pruned it other than going out and picking some for the kitchen. The bush is now 5 plus feet tall and some ten feet across. Houston area.

Not having any luck with Rosemary

I live on Maui in the hottest area Lahaina 'meaning merceless sun in Hawaiian' I thought rosemary would do well here. I buy a plant. Plant it. It dies in about a week or less. What could be the problem?

Make sure that rosemary never

Make sure that rosemary never dries out between waterings--not a bit or it will die. Here are 2 suggestions: 1) use a larger pot with more soil to hold water. 2) use a fast-draining potting soil and a low dose of water-soluble fertilizer every 2 weeks.

Check soil pH to be 7 or 7.5.

Check soil pH to be 7 or 7.5. Water the plant regularly.


I just had my Third Plant Die!


I have tried several times in the past to grow rosemary and they all die. I am going to put this plant in a pot with mricle grow potting soil. I dont know if I water it too much or not enough. please help.

The trick with rosemary is:

The trick with rosemary is: NEVER let it dry out completely between waterings. It can not bear to be dry. Sometimes they are so dry that they get overwatered and then they just rot. One trick is to put it in a larger pot with more soil to hold water. Use a fast-draining potting soil and a low dose of water-soluble fertilizer every 2 weeks. Good luck!

I bought some rosemary from

I bought some rosemary from the store for cooking and decided to try and root some in water. It worked! Now what? How do I keep it healthy and happy? The roots are not very big yet. When should I plant it?

The roots from water rooted

The roots from water rooted cutting are delicate. Carefully plant the rosemary stem in good potting soil and keep it in light. Water just enough to keep it moist. Do not let the plant sit in a saucer of water. Once the roots have developed, most likely a month or two, you may transplant it to a bigger pot. I would baby it for awhile before I plant it out in a bigger container.

Good luck. Rosemary is the herb of remembrance.

Rosemary not grow so much

I am a farmer from Nepal. I have. planted rosemary in 5000sq ft. Its alredy 12 weeks i plant but there is no change in Rosemary what can i do please suggest me


We live in New Mexico and I have one rosemary plant that stays outside year round it is 3 years old now I cut it back several times each year and save and give away all the time it is a BUSH about the size of a barrel half the height our favorite is to use the rosemary on chopped potatoes in the oven baked I am so proud of this plant I have never seen rosemary so big it is planted under a Arizona ash tree on the berm of the well around the tree on the west side of our house


I have a rosemary bush in the back of my house. It was there when we bought the house. I never water it, I do prune it because if I don't it will just take over, it grows so much.

I know I should be ashamed for not caring for it, but it is a hardy plant that doesn't seem to mind the neglect.

I also have a rosemary bush

I also have a rosemary bush in my backyard that I inherited from the previous owners of our newly bought house. It is so large that I have to cut it back...I too have done nothing to promote it's growth but I love it. I want to learn how to grow plants from cuttings so that I might give Christmas gifts to my friends this year.

I live in Philadelphia. I

I live in Philadelphia. I use Clonex gel rooting hormone. I take cuttings in early May when the weather is in the low 70's for highs. I like my clippings to be woody but half than a pencil in diameter. I used potting soil, keep in moist but well drained and never let it dry out completely. keeping in bright light but non direct light. Should root in about 4 weeks. I use small used clear ice coffee cups from the local mini market so I can see if roots are growing. Plus they are free!!! Good luck.

My Rosemary has grown very

My Rosemary has grown very little, it is now mid July, I brought it home and set it out in a pot in May. It almost died but now looks a little better. Probably the extremely dry, hot weather we have had this summer here in West Virginia.

My Rosemary

I planted my rosemary in partial sun conditions in central WV ~ on the back porch which gets only morning sun and very little afternoon sun. It has done very well with the limited direct mid-day sun; so much so that I am already re-potting,dividing and sharing with my daughters & g'daughters.

Rosemary Overwinter tips

Put a layer of good straw down on top of the rosemary plant.. along with a few shovels full of compost along the edges around the plant.. the straw acts like a blanket and helps to hold in some heat around the plants' crown..once it snows you can do nothing more... snow insulates the plant from the real killer in winter the dry wind...

the compost holds the straw in place and gives some added "heat" but also will give the rosemary a jump start once the snow melts...

rosemary not always evergreen

Rosemary doesn't overwinter here in Illinois. It seems like it's going to be able to winter over, but in the spring dies off from the roots up. My daughter grows it year around in North Carolina, though. And I NEVER have had luck growing it indoors, so I don't know what I'm doing wrong.

watering rosemary

I water sparingly in the winter, even tho my kitchen is hot and dry. I generally skip one watering per week on my otherwise 2x wk schedule for other plants


I grow it outdoors in Montana! I keep it short, and put a big white bucket over it in late December.I uncover it again after our early March blizzard.

Your best bet is to bring the

Your best bet is to bring the rosemary indoors during the cold months. Place it in a southern window and let it dry out between waterings. You may want to mist the plant with water if the indoor air gets too dry.

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Botanical Name: 

Rosmarinus officinalis

Plant Type: 

Sun Exposure: 

Soil Type: 

Hardiness Zone: 

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