How to Prune a Rosemary Bush


Rosemary is an ideal addition to any landscape or garden because of its fragrant aroma, flourishing growth, culinary uses and beautiful draping appearance. A plant can live up to 15 years, and requires minimal attention once established. Rosemary can be grown in pots, along walls or in the ground. It is necessary to prune rosemary for continued healthy growth in early spring or late fall.

Step 1

Use only sharp, clean scissors. Lightly prune off soft new growth around the edges of the rosemary bush for use in cooking.

Step 2

Prune back any stems that are growing out at awkward angles or are overcrowding other parts of the plant. Cut them back to the base.

Step 3

Focus on the lower part of the bush, around the base. Cut back all the branches about 4 to 5 inches from the tips for fully matured rosemary (at least a foot tall). For younger plants, trim it back 2 to 3 inches.

Step 4

Repeat Step 3 all around the base of the bush until it's even all the way around.

Step 5

Move to the midsection of the plant and prune it back about 1 inch farther than the bottom branches in order to shape the bush.

Step 6

Move up to the top of the bush, and trim it back 1/2 inch more then the midsection. Continue to clip soft, new stems as they grow to gather for herbs and to maintain the shape of the rosemary bush.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning scissors


  • Pruning Rosemary Bushes
  • Caring for Rosemary Herbs
Keywords: rosemary care, trimming herbs, pruning rosemary

About this Author

Lauren Wise is a journalism major from Arizona State University with over forty published magazine and media articles and over 400 Web site articles. Wise owns Midnight Publishing with over eight years experience as a writer, editor, copywriter and columnist. She specializes in food and wine, music and pop culture. Her writing has appeared in magazines including Runway, A2Z, Scottsdale Luxury Living and True West.