How to Grow a Rosemary Topiary


Rosemary is a fragrant herb used for many dishes in the kitchen, from spicing sauces to roasting turkeys. While it is relatively easy to grow in any home herb garden or container, if you want to take your rosemary to a new level, consider growing a rosemary topiary. As you shape your topiary, have patience, as it can take years of growth before you see the final topiary shape you are aiming for.

Step 1

Pour a 1-inch even layer of pea gravel in to a 1-gallon or larger decorative pot to cover the bottom. Add potting soil to within 2 inches of the top of the pot.

Step 2

Plant your rosemary seedling into the center of the pot and add more soil as needed to bring the soil level to within half an inch of the rim of the pot. Press the soil around your seedling to hold it in place securely.

Step 3

Insert a wood or bamboo stake into the center of your pot immediately next to your seedling without piercing the root system of your plant. Select a main stem for your rosemary and loosely tie it to the stake to train it to grow upward.

Step 4

Set your rosemary outdoors in a full-sun area around your home or indoors in a sunny window. Water the soil to moisten it well and water it as often as needed---whenever the soil feels dry to the touch an inch below the surface.

Step 5

Feed the rosemary with an all-purpose fertilizer after planting and monthly thereafter to keep nutrients in the soil. Tie the main stem to the stake every 4 inches to keep it trained upward as the rosemary grows taller.

Step 6

Clip off lateral branches from the main stem from the soil level and up the first 4 inches of the plant. Allow the plant to grow in a globe-like shape for the next 6 inches up the main stem. Create a second globe by clipping lateral branches for the next 4 inches above the bottom globe and leave the top of the plant full above that 4 inches.

Step 7

Cut off the top of the main stem after it reaches the height you want. Maintain the shape of the rosemary topiary by cutting the tips of your lateral branches to encourage them to fill in the globe areas rather than grow long.

Things You'll Need

  • 1-gallon pot
  • Pea gravel
  • Potting soil
  • Rosemary seedling
  • Wood or bamboo stake up to 2 feet long
  • String or plant ties
  • Water
  • All-purpose fertilizer
  • Herb scissors


  • "Herb Topiaries"; Sally Gallo; 1992
Keywords: rosemary topiary, growing rosemary topiaries, shaping rosemary topiaries

About this Author

Margaret Telsch-Williams is a freelance, fiction, and poetry writer from the Blue Ridge mountains. When not writing articles for Demand Studios, she works for as a contributor and podcast co-host.