How to Care for Rosemary Plants


Rosemary, an evergreen shrub native to areas of the Mediterranean, has gray-green, heavily pine-scented needle foliage and produces bright flower blooms in the spring and summer months. Although it performs best in warm, humid areas and is hardy and grows year-round in USDA zones 8 through 10, it can be wintered indoors in zones where there is a frost risk. Because it is drought-resistant, it does well in terra-cotta pots, which allow for faster drying.

Step 1

Select a planting location for the rosemary plant that offers a well-draining, sandy soil and full sunlight. According to, the plant should receive a minimum of six hours of direct sunlight a day.

Step 2

Plant the rosemary in a terra-cotta pot that can be set into the ground. Dig a hole large enough to fit the pot, set the container in the hole, and fill the space around the container with soil. Burying the pot will make it easy to remove the plant for winter storage.

Step 3

Water established plants only when rainfall amounts are less than 1 inch per week during hot summer months. Rosemary plants perform better if watered only when the soil is dry several inches down.

Step 4

Fertilize the rosemary plant in the spring with a fish emulsion fertilizer. Rosemary plants do not require heavy fertilizer applications and do not respond well to chemical fertilizers.

Step 5

Monitor the rosemary plant for powdery mildew, which is a white powder fungus on the foliage of the plant. Treat a powdery mildew problem with a garden fungicide.

Step 6

Propagate the rosemary plant by taking cuttings of new, green stem growth. Root the cutting by sticking the cut end in a glass with 2 inches of water. Plant the cutting once roots have formed to a minimum length of 1 inch.

Step 7

Remove the potted rosemary plant from the ground before the first fall frost. Grow the plant indoors during the winter months.

Things You'll Need

  • Terra-cotta pot
  • Fish emulsion fertilizer
  • Fungicide
  • Glass


  • Desert Tropicals: Rosemary
  • Texas A&M University: Rosemary
  • Gardening Know How: Growing Rosemary
Keywords: grow rosemary, plant rosemary, care of rosemary

About this Author

Jennifer Loucks has over 10 years of experience as a former technical writer for a software development company in Wisconsin. Her writing experience includes creating software documentation and help documents for clients and staff along with training curriculum. Loucks holds a Bachelor of Science major from the University of Wisconsin - River Falls specializing in animal science and business.