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How to Grow Rosemary

Rosemary is a perennial in USDA zone 8 or warmer and is one of my favorite versatile herbs to cook with due to its aroma and flavor. Learning how to grow rosemary in your own herb garden is so easy. It’s not hardy in colder climates, but it is easy to grow in a pot and bring indoors during the winter months. You can learn how to grow rosemary even if you are a total beginner to herb gardening. In fact, rosemary plants are more likely to suffer from too much attention than from too little so if you have a history of killing your fresh herb plants, this is a great place to start.

Rosemary plant care is simple and breaks down to three fundamentals – sun, drainage, and air circulation. If you live in a temperate frost-free climate rosemary can be grown outside year round where it grows into a bushy flowery shrub. To keep rosemary happy and healthy, provide a sandy, well-draining soil and at least 6-8 hours of full sunlight per day.

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how to grow rosemary plants

How to grow rosemary plants

As a seasoning, rosemary is a very versatile herb and complements meats, vegetables, and bread. I often use it to season asparagus and it’s one of my favorite spring side dishes. It is usually propagated by cuttings but you can also buy rosemary seeds or small seedling plants at a nursery or garden store. Seeds can be difficult to germinate so I recommend starting with a small plant unless you’re willing to be patient with your seeds and enjoy the challenge. 😉  

  1. Snip approximately a 2-inch cutting from the new growth of an established rosemary plant.
  2. Remove the leaves from the bottom inch and dip into a rooting hormone
  3. Place the end into a container of dampened, seed starting mix. Look for a mix that is loose and contains vermiculite.
  4. Place the container in a warm location with indirect sunlight.
  5. Daily, mist the cuttings so the soil doesn’t get too dry.
  6. After 2-3 weeks, very gently tug on the cuttings to test root growth.
  7. After confirming your cuttings have roots, transplant the seedlings into individual 3 – 4 inch pots.
  8. Pinch the top of the cutting so it develops branches.

how to grow rosemary plant and propogate seedlings

How to grow rosemary in a pot

If you live in a climate that reaches below-freezing temperatures rosemary must be grown in pots and moved inside during the winter months. Rosemary must be moved inside before first frost or when temperatures reach 34°F. Your rosemary plant can be moved back outdoors after your last frost and once all danger of frost has passed.

As with most potted plants, the soil in your pot is going to degenerate through watering and root growth so you should plan to re-pot your plant at least once a year. It’s time to re-pot your rosemary plant when it has had considerable growth, looks like it isn’t getting enough water, or has outgrown its pot. To maintain the size of your rosemary plant, prune the roots by snipping off a couple of inches from the bottom and sides of the root ball then replanting. It’s also a good idea to trim a little from the top of the root ball to lessen the stress placed on the trimmed plant. 

Potential problems when growing rosemary

The biggest problem you’re likely to face while growing rosemary indoors is its tendency to develop powdery mildew – a white, powdery fungus that develops if the surrounding air is humid and/or there’s not enough air movement. It won’t kill the rosemary plant, but it will weaken it considerably. You can keep the humidity low by allowing the soil to slightly dry between waterings, keeping the plant in sunlight and running a fan for a few hours a day to create a gentle breeze. Avoid keeping the plant too close to a window to get sunlight as freezing temperatures from drafty windows can damage the plant.

Learn how to grow rosemary and best practices for rosemary plant care. It\'s one of the simplest herbs to grow if you want to start a herb garden. Tips via @honeyandpineco #herbgarden #growrosemary #growrosemary
How to grow rosemary indoors

Comments

  1. I didn’t think I’d ever want to grow herbs but, now I want to try growing Rosemary. I live in New York so It will have to be inside from the beginning of October until the end of April. Thank-you I have been depressed and haven’t wanted to do anything but work on my blog in a long time.

    • Herb gardening is one of my favorite little hobbies. They are easy to grow inside and don’t take up much room unless you want them to so it’s really perfect. I almost always have rosemary, cilantro, basil, and parsley growing.

  2. My mother in law grows rosemary every year and we are lucky enough to always have it to cook with, our goal this year is to actually make a whole garden! My kiddos are actually old enough to help tend to it.

  3. I really needed this! I love planting and having fresh herbs around, but I am a plant serial killer. I needed this post to know how to plant and take care of rosemary properly!

  4. This was a lovely post with great tips for growing Rosemary at home. I love the look of fresh herbs in the home too.

      • I have a great easy no rise rustic brule bread recipe that takes rosemary if you have a ceramic baking dish/lid thing. Super easy I haven’t yet figured out how to turn it gluten free for us but had successfully made it the herbal way, a garlic and herb way and mutliple other styles but it’s such ane asy recipe I wish I could still make it!!

  5. I’ve grown thyme and marjoram successfully, but never tried rosemary. I’ll be sure to implement your tips when I eventually do!

    • You’re so lucky! My kitchen has no windows because it’s kind of in the middle of our place. We’re house shopping and I’d love a sink with space and a window for herbs.

  6. We are starting an herb garden in our backyard, and I can’t wait to have our own little patch of rosemary. It’s delicious, has many benefits, and it smells so good.

  7. Rosemary is such a great herb to grow. I live in Idaho. It definitely gets too cold here to stay outside year round and instead of going in and out I’d probably just try it inside in a pot.

    • It would definitely be too cold during the winter in Idaho for it to stay outside year-round. You either need to grow it indoors or plan to bring it in before first frost and put it back outside in the spring. It grows well inside as long as it’s not too humid.

  8. I love having herbs at home! Although we have our own pots and plants of herbs, it’s always nice to read posts like this that will help me take better care of my rosemary! Thank you so much for the tips!

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