Known as a symbol of remembrance and friendship, rosemary fills a garden with aroma, flavor, and activity — busily pollinating bees love the blooms. This herb comes in various forms, from stiff and upright, ideal for a hedge planting, to mounded and spreading, perfect for scrambling along a slope or wall. The secret to beautiful rosemary is to give plants a hot, dry footing. Grow plants in well-drained soil or a raised bed and surround them gravel mulch for best results. Rosemary thrives in containers, too.
In coldest zones, overwinter rosemary in an unheated room with a fan. Protect overwintering plants from extreme humidity. Too low humidity can cause plants to drop leaves; too high can favor powdery mildew.
Type: Herb, perennial, Shrub
Height: Under 6 inches to 8 feet
Width: 2-4 feet wide
Flower color: Blue, Pink, White
Foliage color: Blue/Green
Seasonal features: Fall bloom, Reblooming, Spring bloom, Summer bloom, Winter bloom, Winter interest
Problem solvers: Deer resistant, Drought tolerant, Groundcover, Slope/Erosion control
Special features: Attracts birds, Fragrance, Good for containers, Low maintenance
Evergreen Rosemary Plant Care
Rosemary plant care is easy. When growing rosemary plants, provide them with well-drained, sandy soil and at least six to eight hours of sunlight. These plants thrive in warm, humid environments and cannot take extremely cold temperatures. Since rosemary cannot withstand winters below 30 F. (-1C.), it’s often better when growing rosemary plants to put them in containers, which can be placed in ground and easily moved indoors during winter.
Rosemary prefers to remain somewhat on the dry side; therefore, terra cotta pots are a good choice when selecting suitable containers. These pots allow the plant to dry out faster. Thoroughly water rosemary plants when the soil is dry to the touch but allow the plants to dry out between watering intervals. Even indoors, rosemary plants will require lots of light, at least six hours, so place the plant in a suitable location free of drafts.
Pruning rosemary will help make a bushier plant. Most herbs thrive on being trimmed every now and then, especially those used for flavorings. Snip sprigs just as you would when cutting back a houseplant, trimming rosemary once blooming has ceased. The general rule for trimming rosemary is not to take more than one-third of the plant at any time and make cuts just above a leaf joint. These can then be dries like any other herb by hanging tied bundles upside down in a cool, dry place.
Evergreen Rosemary Propagation
Rosemary plants are usually propagated by cuttings, as it can be tricky getting evergreen rosemary seeds to germinate. Successfully growing rosemary plants from seeds comes only when the seeds are very fresh and when planted in optimum growing conditions.
Start new rosemary plants with cuttings from existing evergreen plants. Cut stems that are about two inches long and remove leaves on the bottom two-thirds of the cutting. Place the cuttings in a mixture of perlite and peat moss, spraying with water until roots begin to grow. Once roots have developed, you can plant the cuttings as you would with any rosemary plant.
Rosemary plants are prone to becoming root bound and should be repotted at least once a year. Yellowing of the lower foliage is an early indication that it’s time to repot.