April 19, 2024

Growing rosemary in pots

Rosemary is a fragrant herb that is popular in the kitchen, but it can be difficult to grow. 

Many people have difficulty growing rosemary because they do not have a green thumb or they live in an area with cold winters.

Growing rosemary in pots is the perfect solution for people who want to enjoy this fragrant herb year-round. By growing your own rosemary in a pot, you will always have fresh herbs on hand for your favorite recipes.

Why growing rosemary in pots

Rosemary is a great herb to grow in pots. It is an evergreen perennial that will keep growing and producing leaves throughout the year. Growing rosemary in pots is also a great way to keep the plant under control, as it can become quite large if left to grow unchecked.

There are a few things to keep in mind when growing rosemary in pots. Firstly, the pot should be large enough to allow the roots to spread out and the plant to grow freely.

Secondly, the pot should have good drainage to prevent the roots from becoming waterlogged. Finally, rosemary likes a sunny spot, so make sure to choose a location that receives plenty of sunlight.

Growing rosemary from seed

To grow rosemary from seed, start with a container that is at least six inches deep and has drainage holes.

1. Fill the container with a soilless growing medium, such as peat moss or coir, and moisten it with water.

2. Sow the rosemary seeds on the surface of the growing medium and lightly cover them with more growing medium.

3. Place the container in a warm, sunny location and keep the growing medium moist.

4. Once the rosemary seedlings emerge, thin them to one per pot.

5. When the rosemary seedlings are six inches tall, transplant them into individual pots that are at least eight inches deep.

6. Grow the rosemary plants in full sun and water them regularly to keep the growing medium moist.

7. Fertilize the rosemary plants once a month with a half-strength all-purpose fertilizer.

8. Harvest the rosemary leaves as needed for cooking.

9. Overwinter the rosemary plants indoors in a cool, sunny location. Water them sparingly and fertilize them every other month.

Rosemary seedlings

If you are growing rosemary in pots, you will need to start with seedlings. You can buy rosemary seedlings at most garden stores or online. Once you have your seedlings, pot them up in a well-draining potting mix.

Rosemary does best in full sun, so make sure to place your pots in a sunny spot. Water your rosemary seedlings regularly, letting the soil dry out between waterings. When your rosemary plants are big enough, you can start harvesting the leaves.

Growing rosemary from cuttings

Rosemary is a perennial herb that can be easily propagated from cuttings.

To propagate rosemary from cuttings, take a 6-8 inch cutting from a healthy plant and remove the bottom leaves. Dip the cutting in rooting hormone and plant in a pot filled with moistened potting mix.

Place the pot in a warm, sunny location and keep the soil moist. In 4-6 weeks, roots should form and the plant can be transplanted to a larger pot or outdoors.

Propagating rosemary in water

If you have a piece of rosemary stem with leaves on it, you can propagate it by placing it in water. Place the stem in a glass or jar of water, making sure that the leaves are above the water line.

Change the water every few days to keep it fresh. Within a few weeks, you should see new growth starting to form at the base of the stem. Once the new growth is several inches long, you can transplant it into a pot of its own.

Rosemary varieties

There are many different varieties of rosemary that can be grown in pots. (1)


One popular variety is called ‘Arp’. It has a bushy growth habit and produces dark blue flowers.

Hill Hardy

Another variety, ‘Hill Hardy’, is more tolerant of cold weather and has a more compact growth habit.

Tuscan Blue

‘Tuscan Blue’ is another variety that is well-suited for growing in pots. It has a more upright growth habit and produces blue flowers.

Growing rosemary outdoors

Growing rosemary outdoor can be a great decoration for your garden.

When growing rosemary outdoors, it may be necessary to prune the plant regularly so it does not become too tall and spindly. Rosemary can also be pruned to encourage bushier growth.

When growing rosemary outdoor, it can ensure the sufficient sunlight and well-drained soil. If you live in a colder climate, growing rosemary in pots can also be a great option to overwinter the plant.

Rosemary growing conditions

Rosemary is a Mediterranean herb that does well in pots. There are many reasons to growing rosemary in pots. Potted rosemary can be moved around the garden to where it is most convenient, or indoors during cold weather. They are also useful for growing in small spaces. Rosemary growing conditions are not too demanding, as long as the pot is well-drained.

Rosemary plant care

Follow the below steps for rosemary plant care to ensure that your potted rosemary plants stay healthy and thrive.

Rosemary soil type

Rosemary prefers a sunny spot and well-drained soil. The ideal growing medium for potted rosemary is a mix of one-third sand and two-thirds organic matter.

A slightly acidic soil pH of 6.0 to 7.5 is best for growing rosemary. (2)

Watering Rosemary

Water potted rosemary plants when the soil feels dry to the touch. Do not overwater, as this can lead to problems with root rot. It is better to underwater than to overwater rosemary.

Fertilizing Rosemary

Fertilize potted rosemary plants every four to six weeks using a balanced fertilizer. An all-purpose fertilizer with an NPK ratio of 10-10-10 is fine. Apply the fertilizer at half the recommended rate. Rosemary plants growing in pots do not need as much fertilizer as those growing in the ground.

Rosemary sun requirements

Rosemary grows best in full sun. If you live in a hot climate, some afternoon shade is appreciated. Potted rosemary plants can be moved around the garden to find the perfect spot.

Pruning Rosemary

Prune rosemary plants to keep them looking tidy and to encourage new growth. Use sharp pruning shears to make clean cuts. Trim off any dead or woody stems. Cut back the plant by one-third after it blooms. You can also prune rosemary to encourage a bushier plant.

Rosemary companion plants

Companion planting is a great way to improve the health of your garden plants. Some plants work well together, while others should be avoided. When growing rosemary, there are a few companion plants that can help improve the health of your plant.

1. Garlic

Garlic is a great companion plant for rosemary. It helps to repell pests and can also improve the flavor of your rosemary.

2. Marigolds

Marigolds are another great companion plant for rosemary. They help to repell pests and can also add color to your garden.

3. Basil

Basil is another great companion plant for rosemary. It helps to improve the flavor of your rosemary and can also help repel pests.

4. Thyme

Thyme is another great companion plant for rosemary. It helps to improve the flavor of your rosemary and can also help repel pests.


5. Oregano

Oregano is another great companion plant for rosemary. It helps to improve the flavor of your rosemary and can also help repel pests.

These are just a few of the many companion plants that can be used with rosemary. Companion planting is a great way to improve the health and flavor of your rosemary plants. Try out a few of these plants and see which ones work best for you.

Best time to plant rosemary

The best time to plant rosemary is in the early spring, before the last frost. Rosemary can also be planted in the fall, although it may not survive the winter in colder climates.

(Find out more: What is the temperature frost point for plants)

Best place to plant rosemary

The best place to plant rosemary is in a sunny spot with well-draining soil. Amend your soil with compost or other organic matter before planting to help the roots establish themselves.

The best Mediterranean zone to grow rosemary is in zones 8-10. Rosemary can also be grown in zones 5-7, but it may not survive the winter unless it is planted in a pot that can be brought indoors.

Rosemary plant dying

If your rosemary plant is dying, there are a few things you can do to save it.

1. First, make sure that you are watering it properly. Rosemary plants need a lot of water, so be sure to water them deeply and regularly.

2. Secondly, check the soil to make sure that it is not too dry or too wet. Rosemary plants like well-drained soil, so if the soil is too wet, it can cause the plant to rot.

3. Finally, make sure that the plant is getting enough sunlight. Rosemary plants need at least six hours of sunlight per day to thrive.

If you can provide all of these things, your rosemary plant should start to recover.

Harvesting Rosemary

You can start harvesting rosemary once the plant is established, this usually takes a few months after growing.. Cut off sprigs as needed, using sharp pruning shears. Be sure to leave enough leaves on the plant so it can continue to grow.

How to store

There are few ways you can store fresh rosemary:

1. Cut the stem

To store rosemary, cut off the bottom of the stem and place it in a glass of water. Change the water every few days.

2. Keep in fridge

You can also store rosemary in a plastic bag in the fridge.

3. Hang it

Hang the stem upside down so that the leaves don’t touch the water.

4. Dry it

Place the leaves on a paper towel and let them air dry. Once they are dry, store them in an airtight container.

5. Frozen

Rosemary can also be frozen. Cut off the stem and remove the leaves. Place the leaves in a plastic bag and store them in the freezer. Rosemary will keep for up to a year in the freezer.

Common pest and disease

One common pest and disease that affects rosemary plants grown in pots is aphids. These tiny, sap-sucking insects can cause stunted growth and deformities in the plant.

To control aphids, regularly check your plant for infestations and use an insecticidal soap or neem oil solution to treat the affected areas.

Another common problem with growing rosemary in pots is root rot. This fungal disease can be caused by overwatering or poor drainage, and it can quickly kill the plant.

To prevent root rot, make sure to plant rosemary in a well-draining pot and water it only when the soil is dry to the touch. If you think your plant has root rot, remove it from the pot and replant it in fresh, sterile potting mix.

Final Thoughts

If you are looking for a low-maintenance, fragrant herb to grow in your garden or on your patio, rosemary is a great choice. With its attractive silver leaves and piney fragrance, it will add interest and flavor to your outdoor living space.

And because it can be grown in pots, rosemary is perfect for gardeners who have limited space. So why not give this versatile herb a try?