How to grow Rosemary

Rosemary is one of our favourite, highly versatile, delicious, hardy and evergreen herbs to grow within your herb garden.  It’s a herb plant that will provide you with delicious flavour throughout the year with highly attractive ornamental foliage that adds evergreen structure to your growing space.  The local bee population will also enjoy the beautiful flowers that emerge from your Rosemary plant.

We highly recommend growing Rosemary and stock several different varieties.  We absolutely love the flavour of the classic Traditional Rosemary, which is simply perfect of using to season roast dinners.  BBQ Rosemary is another fun variety, which combines the classic Rosemary flavour with a smoky kick.  Likewise, Trailing Rosemary contains all the delicious flavour of classic Rosemary within foliage that naturally trails and spills, making it ideal for growing in a hanging basket or raised bed.


How to plant Rosemary

We generally recommend that Rosemary is easier to grow beginning with an established starter plant.  This herb plant can then be planted on into a larger container or into the ground.  Rosemary is frost hardy and very low maintenance as a variety, but will not enjoy being waterlogged so care should be taken to ensure that its planting location is free draining and not prone to waterlogging.  Ideally, Rosemary will enjoy being planted in a sunny position.

When does Rosemary flower?

Rosemary will typically flower during spring, and its gorgeous blue flowers become a magnet for local bees; they will enjoy working away on the flowers under cool, spring sunshine.  The flowers are really beautiful and are perfect for pairing with other ornamental planting.

How to prune Rosemary

It’s really important to prune your Rosemary plant regularly, not only to shape the plant but also to promote positive, healthy and productive growth.  Rosemary is a herb plant that can be pruned regularly throughout the growing season, although it’s best not to prune too close to the projected date of first frost.  

You can prune back up to one third of the Rosemary plant. This will encourage the plant to produce compact, healthy growth and prevent the Rosemary plant from becoming woody or leggy.


How to propagate Rosemary

You can propagate Rosemary by taking cuttings approximately 10-15cm long from an established Rosemary plant.  Remove the lower leaves as this will reduce moisture loss from the cutting and leave you with a length of stem without leaves. ‘Leaf nodes’ are the point in the stem where foliage begins to emerge from the stem and you will cut the exposed stem just below one such leaf node.  At this point, you could dip your new cutting in hormone rooting powder, which should reduce the time it takes for roots to be produced, although this shouldn’t be necessary.  Finally, place the cutting in a fine compost mix with grit to help drainage and wait for the magic of the growing process to begin.  The cuttings can be covered in a cold frame, propagator or with a plastic bag, which should help retain moisture.  Within a few weeks, your cuttings should have developed roots and as they continue to grow, you will be able to pot them on into individual containers.

How to care for Rosemary plants in pots?

Like many herbs, Rosemary is perfectly suited to growing in a container.  It’s a hardy herb with a beautiful aroma, versatile flavour and really ornamental too.  Rosemary is relatively low maintenance and quite tolerant of neglect, making it a great herb to grow in containers if you are new to growing your own herbs.

It’s generally easiest to plant up your Rosemary container using a ‘starter’ plant already established in it's pot. Choose a suitable container to pot your new Rosemary plant into; as a general rule we suggest initially potting up into a container at least three times the size of the starter plant pot.  Place a little compost in the base of your new container, tease the young Rosemary plant from it’s pot and position it within the new container while carefully packing compost around it.

Rosemary will enjoy growing in a sunny position, reminiscent of it’s native Mediterranean climate.  This is also a herb plant that will enjoy free draining conditions, so you should ensure that your Rosemary container is free draining.  During periods of warm, dry weather, you may need to give your container a little extra water.

How long does Rosemary live in a pot?

Rosemary is a long-lived herb, that is low maintenance and perfectly suited to life growing in a container. It’s growth can be controlled by the size of container in which you plant it, but ultimately Rosemary can grow into a large plant even within a container.

Rosemary will live within a container for many years, provided that it’s basic requirements for sunshine and moderate watering without waterlogging are met. It will occasionally benefit from being potted into a larger container, but not often.

You can also ensure that your container grown Rosemary remains strong and healthy by pruning regularly, promoting positive healthy growth, keeping the plant compact and preventing it from becoming ‘woody’ or leggy.


We really hope that you have enjoyed this guide to growing Rosemary as it's truly one of our favourite flavours within the kitchen garden.  If you have further questions please don't hesitate to reach out to our team on Instagram!