rosemary herb plant

How To Grow And Care For Rosemary

Rosemary is a very easy plant to cultivate, and once established, this perennial herb will last for years. Rosemary is a beautiful shrub with needle-like leaves and bright blue blooms. Evergreen Rosemary blossoms bloom throughout the spring and summer, infusing the air with a pleasant pine scent and attracting numerous pollinators like bumblebees. Gardeners use this lovely herb frequently as a decorative plant in the landscape as well as for flavoring foods.

The Rosemary plant was given the scientific name Rosmarinus officinalis. This means “mist of the sea,”. Its gray-green leaf is supposed to resemble mist against the Mediterranean sea cliffs where it grows. Its classification has altered as of 2017, according to plant DNA testing. The family tree, as well as a few other near relatives, has been thrown into disarray. This trans-genera plant is now known as Salvia Rosmarinus, and it is no longer a stand-alone herb.

Read more: These 22 perennials will thrive in your garden for decades

Growing Rosemary

Rosemary, which is native to the Mediterranean Sea’s coastlines, thrives in warm climates with moderate humidity, where it may grow to be a large shrub. In fact, Rosemary grows so quickly in optimal conditions that it may become a nuisance if not properly handled!

Here are some brief facts about the popular aesthetic plant:

  • Latin name: Salvia rosmarinus    
  • Other names: Compass Plant, Compass Weed    
  • Native to: Southern Europe, Asia Minor, and North Africa  
  • Invasiveness: No   
  • Tenderness: Evergreen Perennial  
  • Sun: Full Sun
  • Water: Moderate
  • Soil: Loamy
  • Hardiness zone: Zones 8 through 10
  • When to plant: Early Spring
  • Spacing: 8–24 inches
  • Plant height: 2–6 ft.
  • Bloom period: Spring, summer
  • Time to maturity: 2 years  
  • Container friendly: Yes
  • Fertilizer: 20-20-20
  • Toxicity: No
  • Deer resistant: Yes
  • Pest resistant: No

Rosemary is a simple plant to care for. Provide Rosemary plants with well-drained, sandy soil and at least six to eight hours of sunshine while growing them. These plants like warm, humid habitats and cannot withstand harsh cold. Because Rosemary cannot resist temperatures below 30 degrees Fahrenheit (-1 degrees Celsius), you should preferably cultivate Rosemary plants in pots that may be planted in the ground. Then, during winter, simply bring them indoors.

Rosemary loves being dry, thus terra cotta pots are a wonderful choice when it comes to containers. The plant might dry out faster in these containers. Water Rosemary plants well when the soil seems dry to the touch, but let them dry out between waterings. Even inside, Rosemary plants require a lot of light for at least six hours, so make sure the plant isn’t in a draughty area. 


Once grown, Rosemary plants can withstand drought well, and it’s preferable to submerge rather than overwater them. Allow the top several centimeters of topsoil to dry out between waterings, then water evenly but not wet.


On most days, Rosemary enjoys being in full sun, which means roughly six hours of direct sunshine. Indoor growth thrives under a south-facing window, and grow lights are frequently required to supplement natural light. 

Bring house plants outside in the summer to get some fresh air and sunlight. Insufficient light might result in leggy and poor growth.


The optimum soil for Rosemary is well-draining sandy or loamy soil. It doesn’t fare well in hard clay or rainy soils. The pH of the soil should be slightly acidic to neutral. The majority of cultivars thrive on well-drained, loamy, acidic soil. The ideal pH for soil is between 6.0 and 7.0.


Rosemary isn’t a big eater. Compost may be added to the soil at the time of planting to assist the shrub to get off to a healthy start. Then, following the label’s recommendations, use a balanced liquid fertilizer to maintain quality growth.


The Rosemary plant is not invasive since it is cultivated in a controlled geographical position with plenty of sunlight, water, and nutrients, as well as regular trimming and care and, of course, healthy pollinators. Rosemary roots aren’t invasive, especially if they’re cultivated in a container that allows you to keep an eye on them. However, if not properly cared for and attended to for a few years, the roots might become invasive.

Growing Rosemary In Containers

You may bring this herb indoors during the winter by growing it in a container. Containers can also be kept near your kitchen on a patio or deck for convenient access while cooking. Choose a pot that is slightly bigger than the root ball of the plant. Check to see whether it has drainage holes. To enable excess soil moisture to escape through its walls, use an unglazed clay container.

Care & Tips

Warm temperatures and moderate humidity levels are ideal for this plant.  Although most Rosemary types cannot withstand temperatures below 30 degrees, they are fairly heat-tolerant. Temperatures between 55 and 80 degrees are ideal for them. 

Furthermore, if there isn’t adequate air circulation around the plant, extreme humidity might cause rot and fungal difficulties.

Common Problems

Powdery mildew, a white, powdery fungus, can develop on Rosemary plants due to high humidity and inadequate air circulation.  Powdery mildew does not usually kill plants, although it does weaken them. Make sure the plant’s soil is not too damp, and leave a few feet of space around it for ventilation to avoid powdery mildew. Aphids and spider mites, especially on indoor plants, should also be avoided.

Propagating Rosemary 

If you want to grow your own Rosemary plant, the easiest way to get started is to take a cutting. Not only is this a cheap way to obtain a new plant, but cuttings from an established plant can also aid to stimulate greater branching and bushier growth. Spring and summer are the greatest times to take a cutting.

The History Of Rosemary

Rosemary grows wild in the Mediterranean’s arid, rocky regions, particularly around the coast. The name Rosmarinus comes from the Latin words “ros” and “marinus”, which mean “dew of the sea” when combined. Greeks and Romans have used the plant since antiquity. To aid their memory during examinations, Greek scholars placed a garland of the plant on their heads. Charlemagne insisted on having the plant grown in his royal gardens in the ninth century. Napoleon Bonaparte’s Eau de Cologne featured Rosemary as a major component. As many as five of Shakespeare’s plays and several poems reference and feature the plant as their topic.

Uses For Rosemary

Rosemary leaf and its oil are widely used in both cuisine and medicine.

When applied to the scalp, the plant appears to stimulate blood circulation, which may aid hair follicle growth. Rosemary extract may also assist to protect the skin from the effects of the sun.

People regularly use Rosemary as ingredients in food for memory, indigestion, tiredness, hair loss, and a variety of other ailments. However, there is hardly any scientific data in support of most of these claims.

Rosemary is a fragrant and tasty herb that you can grow on your own, whether indoors in a pot or outside in your garden. This treasured plant, steeped in myth and history, has been utilized in both savory and sweet dishes since antiquity. Ancient societies such as the Greeks and Egyptians employed Rosemary’s fragrant essential oils to produce perfumes and sweet-smelling incense. The numerous varieties of Rosemary make useful and attractive ornamentals. There are two primary types: upright and crawling, both of which have a strong scent. Topiary, hedges, and specimen plants benefit from uprights, but creepers are ideal for ground coverings, pouring over buildings, and giving solidity to slopes.

Mayukh Saha
Freelance Writer
Mayukh is a Content Marketer and Social Media Manager with over 5 years of experience in the industry. Mayukh believes in the power of content; how it can positively impact lives, scale businesses and touch people. In his spare time Mayukh likes to read about latest tech trends and loves to travel in the nature. You can reach him at [email protected].