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Rosemary Plant Care Instructions

By Sarah Terry ; Updated September 21, 2017
Young rosemary plant

Rosemary (Rosemarinus officinalis) is an evergreen shrub-like plant that’s grown for its aromatic needle-like leaves, which are used to flavor cuisine. Rosemary plants are easy to grow and care for, and they can survive winters in regions where temperatures rarely dip down to 0 degrees F. Rosemary plants have leathery, narrow leaves that are dark green on the upper surfaces and grayish on the undersides. Growing as large as 6 feet tall and wide, the rosemary shrub blooms in clusters of pink, pale blue or white flowers during spring.

Keep your rosemary plants in full sunlight. If you’re planting the rosemary in the ground outdoors, space the plants 12 inches apart in well-draining, slightly acidic soil.

Water your rosemary plants deeply to soak the soil down to and around the roots once each week in the absence of rainfall. Keep the soil evenly moist at all times but not overly wet or waterlogged.

Harvest the rosemary throughout the growing season, cutting 4-inch-long branch tips. You can harvest the rosemary branches year round.

Over-winter your rosemary plant if you live in a colder region by potting it in a 12- to 24-inch-diameter container that has drainage holes in the bottom. Plant the rosemary in an all-purpose potting soil, and bring the plant indoors during winter, keeping it beside a sunny window.


Things You Will Need

  • Garden hose or watering can
  • Scissors
  • Planter pot, 12- to 24-inch diameter
  • All-purpose potting soil


  • You can grow rosemary plants from garden or nursery transplants or from stem tip cuttings. Rosemary is difficult to grow from seeds, because the seeds don't germinate easily, especially if they are more than two weeks old and not extremely fresh.


  • Don't remove more than 20 percent of the plant's growth at one time. Doing so can cause the plant to decline or even die.

About the Author


Sarah Terry brings over 10 years of experience writing novels, business-to-business newsletters and a plethora of how-to articles. Terry has written articles and publications for a wide range of markets and subject matters, including Medicine & Health, Eli Financial, Dartnell Publications and Eli Journals.