How to Grow Rosemary in Winter


A Mediterranean herb cultivated throughout the world for its flavor and aroma, rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) is an evergreen shrub that produces beautiful light blue, purple or white flowers in bloom. Rosemary does not survive temperatures below 30 F, so grow it indoors in the winter to reap the benefits all year round. Provide the rosemary plant good drainage, light and air circulation so it thrives indoors, even in the winter. Use homegrown rosemary to savor dishes, for aromatherapy or as a potted plant to spruce up an indoor spot.

Step 1

Inspect the base of the container or pot for drainage holes, and drill if necessary. Spread an even layer of gravel over the base to improve drainage. Add two to three fistfuls of tea compost with good quality potting soil and pour into the container until an inch or two below the rim.

Step 2

Plant the rosemary in the container at the same depth as it was in the nursery one. Tamp the soil around the base of the young plant to remove air pockets. Water the soil lightly with a watering can. After that water only when the soil feels dry.

Step 3

Keep the container or pot in a sunny spot that receives six to eight hours of sunlight everyday, such as a western or southern facing window. Make sure it is away from drafts from open doors or windows, or heating vents. Supplement lack or poor lighting by with a grow light. Hang it 6 to 8 inches over the plant, and raise it as the rosemary grows to provide the necessary spacing. Keep it on for 10 to 12 hours everyday.

Step 4

Place a small electric fan near the rosemary plant and turn it on for 10 to 20 minutes everyday. Rosemary likes good air circulation it usually does not get indoors, especially in the winter. The plant grows a powdery mold on its foliage if air circulation around it is poor.

Step 5

Feed the rosemary tea compost once every month from spring to fall. Use compost tea on the soil around the plant that provide essential nutrients. Spray antibacterial soapy solution over the plant to deter pests, such as spider mites.

Things You'll Need

  • 10 to 12-inch container
  • Gravel
  • Tea compost
  • Potting soil
  • Rosemary plant
  • Watering can
  • Grow light
  • Electric fan


  • Penn State Consumer Horticulture: Growing Herbs Indoors
  • University of Illinois Extension: Plant Pelette--Rosemary
  • Botanical-Journeys- Growing Rosemary Herb
  • National Gardening Association: All About Rosemary
Keywords: rosemary herb, growing rosemary indoors, winter rosemary

About this Author

Tanya Khan is a freelance author and consultant, having written hundreds of thousands of words for various online and print sources. She has an MBA in Marketing but her passion lies in giving her words wings.