Alphabetical Plant Listing

Learn How To Plant, Grow and Harvest Rosemary

Planting Rosemary, Growing Rosemary, Harvesting Rosemary, Rosmarinus officinalis, Salvia rosmarinus


Native to the dry, rocky areas of the Mediterranean region, Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis or Salvia rosmarinus) is a popular aromatic herb commonly grown for its decorative, medicinal, culinary uses, and ornamental garden appeal. Rosemary is an attractive, perennial evergreen shrub prized for its strongly aromatic, needle-like leaves and clusters of pale blue, white or pink flowers. Easy to grow and drought-tolerant, Rosemary is a rewarding plant to grow outdoors in the garden or indoors in pots.

Symbol of remembrance, concentration, and fidelity, Rosemary has been used since the time of the early Greeks and Romans.

All you need to know about Rosemary

  • Rosemary is a member of the sage family of flowering plants, Lamiaceae, which includes many other wonderful medicinal and culinary herbs such as basil, thyme, and lavender.
     
  • Rosemary is winter hardy only to about 20°F (-6°C) and most cultivars can be grown in Zones 8 to 11, however, some cold-tolerant Rosemary selections can be successfully grown in hardiness zones 6 or 7 (Rosmarinus officinalis 'Arp', Rosmarinus officinalis 'Madeline Hill').
  • Rosemary is a perennial evergreen shrub and can live for several years within its hardiness range.
     
  • Rosemary shrubs vary from low-growing, prostate varieties that do not grow more than 24 in. tall (60 cm) to upright varieties that easily reach 6 ft. high (180 cm). 
     
  • Rosemary flowers are available in a wide range of colors, including dark blue, light blue, purple, white, and pink. They appear in clusters of two or three along the branches, typically in late spring to early summer, though sporadic additional bloom may occur in summer, fall, or winter, depending on geographic location.  
     
  • Rosemary leaves can be harvested all year round, but the soft new growth has the best flavor. The leaves can be used fresh or dried. Their strong, pungent scent adds flavor to meats (lamb, duck, chicken, sausages), vegetables (potatoes, tomatoes, turnips, eggplants, zucchini), stuffings, soups, and stews, as well as beverages. The leaves have a rather woody texture and should be finely chopped. Alternatively, you may want to use whole sprigs and remove them just before serving.
     
  • Besides its culinary uses, Rosemary also has medicinal properties and contains a wide variety of nutrients that are essential for health. Rosemary is popularly consumed as a tea or infused oil. Rosemary can enhance memory and concentration, improve digestion, boost the immune system and improve blood circulation. Rosemary is usually safe when taken in small doses. Large quantities of Rosemary leaves doses may lead to vomiting, spasms, coma, and pulmonary edema.
     
  • Rosemary performs best in full sun in well-drained soil. It is drought-tolerant once established.
     
  • Rosemary adds a Mediterranean touch and refreshing resinous scent to flower borders, city gardens, coastal gardens, gravel gardens, cottage gardens, or herb gardens. It can be used as a low hedge or edging to a border. It also grows well in patio containers, as a ground cover, and is often grown as a topiary. Prostrate Rosemary is great for hanging baskets. In cold climates, Rosemary can be grown indoors.
     
  • Rosemary attracts bees, butterflies, and other pollinating insects to the garden. Rosemary is not generally a plant that deer or rabbits seek out to eat, but if other food sources are scarce, they may come along and make a meal out of your Rosemary.
     
  • Rosemary tends to be trouble-free if grown in the right conditions. Root rot (plants are overwatered) and powdery mildew (high humidity and poor air circulation) may occur. Keep an eye out for aphids and spider mites on indoor plants.
     

Guide Information

Hardiness 8 - 11
Heat Zones 8 - 12
Climate Zones 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, H1, H2
Plant Type Herbs, Perennials, Shrubs
Plant Family Rosmarinus - Rosemary
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Water Needs Low, Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Showy, Evergreen
Tolerance Deer, Drought, Rabbit, Salt
Attracts Butterflies
Landscaping Ideas Beds and Borders, Edging, Hedges and Screens, Patio and Containers
Garden Styles City and Courtyard, Coastal Garden, Gravel and Rock Garden, Informal and Cottage, Mediterranean Garden
Compare All Rosmarinus - Rosemary Great Plant Combination Ideas with Rosmarinus - Rosemary Guides with Rosmarinus - Rosemary

Pussreboots, Flickr, Islavicek, Shutterstock

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.

Guide Information

Hardiness 8 - 11
Heat Zones 8 - 12
Climate Zones 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, H1, H2
Plant Type Herbs, Perennials, Shrubs
Plant Family Rosmarinus - Rosemary
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Water Needs Low, Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Showy, Evergreen
Tolerance Deer, Drought, Rabbit, Salt
Attracts Butterflies
Landscaping Ideas Beds and Borders, Edging, Hedges and Screens, Patio and Containers
Garden Styles City and Courtyard, Coastal Garden, Gravel and Rock Garden, Informal and Cottage, Mediterranean Garden
Compare All Rosmarinus - Rosemary Great Plant Combination Ideas with Rosmarinus - Rosemary Guides with Rosmarinus - Rosemary

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