Articles, Gardens, Herb Gardens, Herb Guides

RosemarySunlight: Full sun to partial shade
Maturity: 60-75 days from transplant, 90-120 days from seed
Height: 12 to 48 inches
Spacing: 2 to 3 feet apart, 3 to 6 feet between rows

Native to the Mediterranean and favored by many home gardeners, growing rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) is popular for its many culinary qualities. The aromatic and pungent leaves may be used fresh or dried and are traditionally paired with poultry, game, lamb and stews.

As an ornamental shrub, rosemary’s rich aroma and beautiful blue-green, needle-like foliage make it a perfect addition to borders or walkways. Plants grow well in containers with good potting soil and can be brought inside during winter months. Tender perennial shrub grows 1-4 feet tall.

Rosemary is a member of the mint family and was traditionally used to strengthen memory. In fact, the ancient Greeks would put sprigs of the herb in their hair before taking exams.

Flavorful and exotic, heirloom herbs have passed through kitchens and tea rooms for generations. And they’re easy to cultivate… try raising them indoors! Planting instructions are included with each packet and shipping is FREE!

Quick Guide

  • A savory favorite for hundreds of years for culinary and medicinal purposes
  • Start seeds indoors or take cuttings from an established plant
  • Seed germination takes 2-3 weeks — be patient
  • Plant in soil that drains easily located in full sun
  • Use fresh or dried
  • Pests include whitefly, spider mites and botrytis rot

Site Preparation

Like most Mediterranean herbs, rosemary can tolerate a wide variety of soils but does best in light, well-drained conditions. Plants require plenty of light and protection from frost. Rosemary thrives in containers and can be grown year-round in a sunny window. Read our article container gardening to learn more.

How to Plant

Sow seeds indoors under plant lights several months before setting outdoors. Germination occurs in 2-3 weeks and the seedlings grow very slowly. Do not overwater. Rosemary has tender roots and care should be taken at transplanting time not to disturb them. To propagate established plants, take cuttings of semi-woody growth in spring or fall. To prevent wilting, place cuttings in water as soon as they are removed from the plant. Rosemary benefits from frequent pruning at any time of year; do not hesitate to cut it back severely (watch our video How to Grow an Herb Garden).


Harvest leaves anytime throughout the year for fresh use. Pick in the morning for best flavor. Cut 3-4 inches from one branch rather than cutting 1/2 inch from a number of branches. To dry, tie the cuttings in small bunches and hang upside down in a well-ventilated, dark room.

Insects and Disease

Rosemary is susceptible to whitefly and spider mites. Keep an eye out for these pests and apply least-toxic, natural pest controls when necessary. Damp conditions will encourage botrytis rot. Remove infected plants to prevent spread of the disease.

Note: Rosemary is a good companion plant and is said to deter bean beetles, cabbage moth and carrot rust fly.

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