How to Plant Rosemarinus Officinalis Seeds


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.

Step 1

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.

Step 2

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.

Step 3

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.

Step 4

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.

Step 5

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.

Tips and Warnings

  • Rosemary can't tolerate temperatures below 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Plant in containers, and bring them inside for winter if your temperatures dip below this. Rosemary seeds may not germinate, so plant extra. Aid germination by soaking the seeds in warm water for three hours prior to sowing.

Things You'll Need

  • Pots
  • Potting mix
  • Plastic bag
  • Heat mat


  • University of Wisconsin Extension: Rosemary
  • North Carolina University Extension: Growing Herbs for the Home Gardener
Keywords: growing Rosemarinus officinalis, planting rosemary seeds, herb garden

About this Author

Jenny Harrington is a freelance writer of more than five years' experience. Her work has appeared in "Dollar Stretcher" and various blogs. Previously, she owned her own business for four years, selling handmade items online, wholesale and via the crafts fair circuit. Her specialties are small business, crafting, decorating and gardening.