Rosemarinus officinalis, more commonly known as rosemary, is a perennial evergreen shrub that is prized as a culinary herb. Rosemary thrives in both container herb gardens and in planting beds. The gray-green leaves and small flowers add an ornamental quality to the garden, while the aroma and flavor of the herb is suitable for kitchen use. Rosemary seeds are slow to germinate, and it may take up to three years before the plant is large enough to harvest from without damaging it. Yet seeds are also the least expensive way to add rosemary to your garden.
Fill a seed-starting pot with a quality potting-mix. Moisten the mix by watering just until it begins to drain from the bottom drainage holes.
Sow seeds 1/4 inch deep, planting three seeds per pot. Cover the pots with a plastic bag to retain moisture during germination, and keep the pots at 60 degrees Fahrenheit to germinate. Place the pots on a seedling heat mat to maintain this temperature if necessary.
Remove the plastic bag once seeds germinate, approximately 14 to 21 days after sowing. Move the pots to a brightly lit window and water as necessary to keep the soil moist, but not soggy.
Thin each pot to one plant once the seedlings produce their second set of leaves. Cut off the weaker seedlings at soil level, leaving just the strongest and healthiest one in each pot.
Transplant rosemary outside to a well-draining, full-sun garden bed or to a larger permanent pot once it is 5 inches tall. Plant the rosemary plant to the same depth it was at in its seedling pot. Outdoors, space plants 12 inches apart.