Rosemary is native to the Mediterranean, especially the coastal areas where it has been used since the times of the Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians. A symbol of remembrance, happiness, loyalty, and love, rosemary has found its way into several Shakespeare plays, literature, and music (Scarborough Fair by Simon & Garfunkel anyone?). In addition to its culinary uses, rosemary can be used as a landscaping plant to make hedges and topiaries and in crafts. People make wreaths out of it and use it to create a yellow-green dye.
Size: 12 – 72 in (30 – 183 cm) tall and 12 – 24 in (30 – 60 cm) wide.
Water Requirements: Rosemary will do the best when the soil is kept slightly wet.
Soil Requirements: Prefers well-drained soil that is sandy or gravely and has a pH between 6 and 7.
Light Requirements: Rosemary likes full sun.
Temperature Requirements: Rosemary’s ideal growth areas are those that correspond with USDA zones 8-10 but it can be grown in colder climates if overwintered indoors.
Nutrient Requirements: All-purpose water-soluble fertilizer applied every two weeks is recommended for potted plants.
Pruning: Rosemary is well suited to hedges and topiaries. Yellowing or dead branches can be removed at any time, otherwise it is best to cut above the woody growth. Rosemary can be propagated from cuttings.
Pests: Rosemary is bothered by thrips, spider mites, and white flies. It can also suffer from root rot. Insects can be sprayed off with a hard stream of water or with a solution of 1 TBSP dish soap to 1 gallon of water if they’re stubborn.
Companion Planting: Rosemary is an excellent companion plant to cabbage, beans, carrots, and sage as it deters cabbage moths, bean beetles and carrot flies.
Growing Indoors: Rosemary does well in pots and containers. Containers should be be 6 – 8 inches (15 – 20 cm) deep. It can be grown indoors but will need a sunny window in a cool room, well-drained soil, and will benefit from misting regularly. If you live in a USDA zone 8 or colder it is a good idea to overwinter your rosemary indoors.
Harvesting and Use: It is best to harvest from well-established plants before they bloom (summer/early-fall). Rosemary can be used for cooking all types of meat and vegetables. Rosemary can be dried or frozen to preserve it.
Bonnie Plants Growing Rosemary – Basic growing instructions
SF Gate: How to Grow Rosemary in a Container – General rosemary growing instructions.
The Herb Society of America Rosemary Fact Sheet – Growing instructions and interesting information about the Rosemary plant.
Fine Gardening Magazine: Rosemary Outdoors and In – Has instructions for propagating cuttings, information about growing in pots, overwintering and rosemary cultivars.
Golden Harvest Organics Companion Planting – Companion planting guide.
The Kitchen Garden Grower’s Guide by Stephen Albert – My favorite gardening book. As it says on the front cover it’s “a practical vegetable and herb garden encyclopedia”