How to Grow Rosemary Shrub - Plant Care & Tips

By NorwichGardener Team   /   2024

Rosemary shrub is a plant that is very easy to take care of. It does not require a lot of water or sunlight to survive. This plant is very versatile and can be used in many different dishes. Rosemary shrub can also be used for decoration purposes.

How to Grow Rosemary Shrub - Plant Care & Tips

Also known as

  • Lavandula angustifolia
  • Salvia rosmarinus
  • Rosmarinus officinalis
  • Melissa officinalis
  • Thymus vulgaris

Basic info

  • Native to the Mediterranean, rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) is a fragrant, evergreen shrub with oval, leathery leaves and small, blue flowers.
  • prized for its culinary and medicinal uses for centuries, rosemary is relatively easy to grow in well-drained, sunny locations.
  • Rosemary can be used fresh, dried, or as an oil extract.
  • When used in cooking, rosemary can help to flavor meat, poultry, stews, soups, andstuffing.
  • Rosemary oil is often used in aromatherapy and has been shown to have various health benefits, including improved circulation and memory.
  • Rosemary can also be used as a natural insecticide or pest repellent.
  • Some common pests that rosemary can help to repel include moths, flies, fleas, and mosquitoes.
  • Rosemary should be used sparingly, as it can be quite strong.
  • Rosemary can be toxic to pets if ingested in large quantities.
  • Rosemary can be an invasive plant in some regions.

How to Grow

  1. For rosemary shrub, first step is to find a suitable location. The plant prefers full sun and well-drained soil.
  2. Next, till the soil to a depth of about 6 inches.
  3. Then, add organic matter to the soil such as compost or manure.
  4. Once the soil is prepared, you can plant the rosemary shrub.
  5. Water the plant regularly, especially during the summer months.
  6. Fertilize the plant every few weeks with a balanced fertilizer.
  7. To encourage growth, prune the plant regularly.
  8. The rosemary shrub will produce flowers in the late spring or early summer.
  9. After the flowers fade, the shrub will produce small, black berries.
  10. Once the berries are ripe, you can harvest them and use them in cooking or dried for later use.

Related plant:
Rosemary Tree

Soil Requirement

About soil condition, rosemary can grow in relatively poor soil, but will do best in loose, well-drained, somewhat sandy soil that is high in organic matter. The rosemary will also do well in a pot as long as it has good drainage.

About light

Like the other herbs, rosemary requires full sun to grow properly. This means that it should be placed in an area of your yard that gets at least 6 hours of direct sunlight each day. If you live in an area with hot summers, it's best to grow rosemary in a spot that gets some afternoon shade to prevent the leaves from burning.

Good Temperature

The temperature condition that is best for growing rosemary shrubs is one that is warm during the day and cool at night. Rosemary shrubs do not like extreme heat or cold and will not do well if the temperature fluctuates too much.

Humidity Requirement

Ideal humidity condition for this plant is around 40%, anything lower than that will result in the leaves becoming dried out and falling off. The plant will also become more susceptible to pests and diseases. If the humidity is too high, the plant will start to produce excess moisture which can lead to fungal growth.

The Fertilizer

Discussing fertilizer, this family of plant nutrients is important for the growth and health of your rosemary shrub. Fertilizer provides plants with the necessary nutrients for proper growth and helps to replenish nutrients that may have been lost due to weather or other factors. When choosing a fertilizer for your rosemary shrub, be sure to select one that is specifically designed for shrubs. Using a fertilizer with too much nitrogen will encourage leaf growth at the expense of flower production.

About light

Pruning a rosemary shrub is simple and easy to do. First, identify the woody, older stems near the base of the plant. These need to be pruned away to encourage new growth. Cut the stems at an angle just above a leaf node. Second, thin out the branches to create an open, airy shape. This will help the plant to produce more flowers. Finally, cut back any long, straggling stems to neaten up the plant.

Plant Propagation

Propagation is best done from semi-ripe cuttings taken in late summer or early autumn. Cuttings should be 10-15cm (4-6in) long and taken from the current season's growth. Remove the bottom leaves, dip the cuttings in hormone rooting powder and plant in a propagator or pot filled with moist, free-draining propagating compost. Cover with a plastic bag or propagator lid to maintain high humidity. Place in a light, warm position out of direct sunlight. Keep the compost moist but not waterlogged and after 8-10 weeks the cuttings should have rooted.Pot them up individually into 9cm (3½in) pots filled with moist, free-draining potting compost. Gradually acclimatise to outdoor conditions over 10-15 days before planting out in their final positions.

Plant Growth

Usually, the plant growth rate is determined by the type of plant. Mediterranean rosemary grows quickly and can produce new leaves in as little as four weeks. However, some varieties of rosemary, such as those from the Atlantic Islands, have a growth rate that is much slower. No matter the type of rosemary, proper care is essential for encouraging growth. This includes ensuring the plant has adequate sunlight, water, and fertilizer.

The Problems

Common problems for this kind of plant are scale insects and powdery mildew. Scale insects are small, hard-bodied creatures that feed on plant sap. They can be difficult to control because they often blend in with the plant's leaves or stems. Powdery mildew is a fungal disease that causes a white or gray powdery coating on the plant's leaves. It can be controlled with fungicides, but it is often difficult to eradicate completely.

Tips on Growing

  • If you are growing rosemary for its culinary or medicinal purposes, choose a plant that is specifically labeled as being good for these purposes.
  • Rosemary grows best in full sun, but can also tolerate partial shade.
  • The soil should be well-drained and rich in organic matter.
  • Rosemary can be propagated from seed, cuttings, or divisions.
  • To encourage bushier growth, pinch back the tips of the stems regularly.
  • When watering, be sure not to overwater as this can lead to root rot.
  • Fertilize rosemary plants every few weeks with a balanced fertilizer.
  • Be on the lookout for common pests and diseases such as aphids, whiteflies, and powdery mildew.
  • To harvest rosemary, cut stems back to just above where new growth is occurring.
  • Rosemary can be dried or

Alternative Plants

  • escarlot
  • styrax
  • box-wood
  • boxwood
  • redwood
  • carpentry
  • joinery
  • craftsman
  • turnery
  • cabinet making

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) — UIC Heritage Garden
Rosemary: University of Illinois Extension
Managing Pests in Gardens: Herbs: Rosemary -

Richelle Author Photo
Reviewed & Published by Richelle
Submitted by our contributor
Herbs Category