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How to Make Rosemary Topiaries

By Cynthia Myers ; Updated September 21, 2017

Shape rosemary into miniature topiaries for an attractive centerpiece, a thoughtful gift, or an interesting and fragrant decorating accent. The silvery green leaves of rosemary are easy to work with and care for. The plant grows quickly, so you don’t have to wait years for the disciplined look of a bonsai. And trimmings from these herb topiaries make a great addition to meat or vegetable dishes.

Plant the rosemary in the pot. Insert the bamboo stake alongside the rosemary. Secure the rosemary to the stake with the twist tie.

Strip the bottom 2 inches of leaves from the rosemary. Continue to strip new growth periodically as the plant grows, always leaving only the 2 inches of growth in place. The stem of the plant will thicken and grow woody over time. Attach new twist ties as needed to hold it to the stake. Water regularly and feed with a slow-release fertilizer.

When the plant is approximately 1 foot tall, snip off the tip of the center stem of the plant. This will encourage the plant to grow bushier.

Continue to trim lower leaves off the topiary. Also, begin to shape the top growth into a ball. About a year from when you planted the rosemary plant, you should have a full topknot on a sturdy stem.

Transplant the topiary to a 4- or 5-inch pot. Remove the plant from its original pot and, using garden sheers, cut away any excess roots. Plant creeping thyme, or alyssum around the stem of your topiary.


Things You Will Need

  • 4-inch-tall rosemary plant
  • 2-inch pot
  • 12-inch bamboo stake
  • Twist tie
  • Garden shears


  • Save the rosemary trimmings for cooking or add to potpourri.


  • Avoid overwatering. Rosemary likes dry soil.

About the Author


Cynthia Myers is the author of numerous novels and her nonfiction work has appeared in publications ranging from "Historic Traveler" to "Texas Highways" to "Medical Practice Management." She has a degree in economics from Sam Houston State University.