The Care of a Rosemary Plant


Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) is a perennial shrub that typically grows anywhere from 1 to 6 feet tall. Native to the Mediterranean regions, rosemary plants are grown for their aromatic needle-like leaves, used to flavor a variety of cuisines. Rosemary shrubs are somewhat drought-tolerant, extremely low-maintenance and hardy down to about 10 degrees F. Grow rosemary plants outdoors in the ground in many regions, or in containers that can be brought indoors to over-winter in colder climates.

Step 1

Water your newly-planted rosemary shrub once every three to five days during the first growing season. Water the rosemary plant deeply to thoroughly moisten the soil around and below the roots.

Step 2

Water your established rosemary plant once every week or two in the absence of rainfall. For rosemary growing in a container, water until the water drains from the bottom of the pot only when the potting soil begins to dry out.

Step 3

Harvest the rosemary by cutting whole branches back to the main stem. Hang the rosemary branches upside-down in a well-ventilated area away from direct sunlight to dry them. Store the dried rosemary leaves in a sealed glass jar.

Step 4

Over-winter rosemary plant indoors if your region experiences winter temperatures colder than 10 degrees F. Keep the rosemary plant indoors in bright, indirect light and maintain cooler air temperatures of 63 to 65 degrees F.

Tips and Warnings

  • Don't cut too many rosemary branches at one time. Never take more than one-third of the plant when harvesting rosemary. Also, cut the branches or sprigs from a different part of the rosemary plant each time to keep the shrub evenly branched.

Things You'll Need

  • Scissors


  • University of Arizona Cooperative Extension: Backyard Gardener -- Growing Rosemary
  • University of Illinois Extension: Rosemary

Who Can Help

  • The Herb Guide: Rosemary Plant Care
Keywords: rosemary plant care, grow rosemary shrub, Rosmarinus officinalis

About this Author

Sarah Terry brings 10 years of experience writing novels, business-to-business newsletters, and a plethora of how-to articles. Terry has written articles and publications for a wide range of markets and subject matters, including Medicine & Health, Eli Financial, Dartnell Publications and Eli Journals.