Growing Rosemary

Botanical Name:

Rosmarinus officinalis

Common names:



Rosemary is an important culinary herb and should be included in every herb garden. Besides Rosemary's many culinary and medicinal properties and its many household uses, its trusses of blue flowers nestled among pine needle-like leaves are an attractive ornamental shrub for perennial borders and beds. Rosemary grows tall and erect or bushy and compact depending on the variety.

Life Cycle:

tender perennial


full sun or partial shade


Start plants with cuttings taken from non-flowering branches in the early summer or layer and relocate seedlings from established plants. To sow from seed, select a well-protected site with loamy, well-drained soil and full sun exposure. Keep plants compact in size with regular trimming. Rosemary is a long-lived perennial in warmer climates. Northern gardeners can grow it in containers that can be easily brought indoors in the winter.



Parts Used:


Harvesting and Storage:

Rosemary leaves can be harvested anytime. They should only be used fresh, so harvest only what you can use at any one time.

Medicinal Uses:

digestive problems; muscle relaxant; diuretic; menstrual cramps; nervousness; memory stimulant

Culinary Uses

bouquet garnish; roasted meats; potatoes; vinegars

Other Uses:

skin care; hair care; soap; posies, wreaths and crafts; potpourri
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6 Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

How can I get rosemary to survive in the northern states? I kept my thyme from dying this winter by covering it in plastic but the rosemary didn't survive.

Hardiness Zone: 5b

By Melissa M. from Southeast MI


February 12, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

This past Fall I wrapped it in clear plastic and then put burlap over that and tied it with twine then put rock around it to hold it all down, we'll see if it survives this year. I got my thyme to survive over the winter of 2008 so I'm hoping this will work for the rosemary. In Michigan You have to come up with inventions if you want to keep plants that don't normally survive.

In the picture:
Garlic is in the big bed covered with plastic, garlic chives are under the burlap in the foreground, Thyme is under the square one toward the back and rosemary is in the area between the sage and the little statue.

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How hard is it to grow rosemary from seeds? I've grown them from cuttings before but this is the first year I'm trying it from seeds.

Hardiness Zone: 8a

Thank you,
Sherry from Silverdale WA


By Cheryl (Guest Post)
May 26, 20070 found this helpful

I will pray that it works for you. I tried seeds for several years and never got even one plant out of 2 packets planted each year. I now buy small plants. I also have had terrible luck trying to get them to grow in pots, so into the ground they go!

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April 15, 2007

How can I prune the top and/or roots of a potted rosemary so I don't need to transplant it to a pot I can't lift?

Hardiness Zone: 5a

Jane from Sturgeon Bay, Wi


By Shelly. (Guest Post)
May 10, 20070 found this helpful

Just cut it! You can cut what you need off of herbs and use them in cooking. I cut mine all the time and don't have to repot it. I use it on baked chicken, salads and it's great with pork roasts and pork chops! You can also save the trimmings and put them in the freezer to use when needed.

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October 5, 2011

How much do rosemary seeds cost?

By Luna M.

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February 28, 2017

Perhaps you have seen the herb, rosemary, grown as a small plant trimmed into a tree shape for the holidays. With proper care this holiday decoration can be planted outside or kept indoors.

A rosemary plant in bloom.

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