Is Rosemary Indoor Or Outdoor Plant

Large, shrubby rosemary is usually planted outside, but potted plants can be brought inside if you give them careful care. Rosemary benefits from a lot of sunshine and a regular watering schedule that keeps its loamy soil moist without becoming soggy.

Is it better for rosemary to grow inside or outside?

The Mediterranean plant rosemary enjoys direct sunlight and withers in the shade. Choose an indoor location with plenty of sunlight or use a grow light to guarantee your rosemary grows successfully. Consider a grow shelf with grow lights if you want to grow multiple plants indoors.

Can you grow rosemary indoors?

Growing rosemary indoors in containers is the simplest method. If your rosemary is in a container, start preparing the plant for the lower light levels it will experience once it is moved indoors. Since rosemary needs direct sunlight, even the brightest window cannot compare to a sunny garden. If you have the time, move your rosemary to a more shaded area of the garden for a few hours each day to begin acclimating it. The plant will adapt to the interior environment better the longer you are able to do this.

Light: Position your brightest window with the rosemary. If the plant begins to suffer from a lack of light, supplement the situation with a fluorescent light.

Humidity: Whether rosemary is grown outside or indoors, powdery mildew is a problem. Use a fan to generate a breeze for a few hours each day to lessen the possibility of mildew. The better for the plant is less humidity exposure.

Water: Rosemary dislikes having wet roots, sometimes known as wet feet. Water the plant once the top inch of soil has dried off. The plant will naturally begin to limit its growth throughout the winter, requiring less water.

Cuttings: Don’t worry if you don’t have rosemary in a pot or maybe you don’t have it in your garden. Simply take a cutting from a friend’s plant, with permission of course.

  • The spring, when the plant is actively growing, is the greatest time to take cuttings. However, cuttings from the fall will also work. Use clean pruners to make a cutting that is at least 4 inches long, measured from the branch’s tip toward the plant, from the youngest, healthiest-looking branch. With the pruners, remove the lowermost leaves; do not pull or rip any leaves from the plant.
  • Put the end in a container of water, cover it with rooting hormone powder, and expose it to light. There should only be a portion of the stem in the water that has been stripped of its leaves.
  • Every few days, replace the water.
  • Plant in new potting soil that has been improved with sand, vermiculite, or perlite once the roots have emerged for the best air and water circulation. Loose, well-draining soil is ideal for growing rosemary. Until the plant has developed a strong root system, you can either put it straight into its permanent container or into smaller containers.
  • Consider selecting a permanent, attractive container that is at least six inches deep, has good drainage, and can be used all year long both indoors and as a focal point in an ornamental or culinary garden.

Can rosemary in a container survive indoors?

Despite their best efforts, many good gardeners have failed to grow rosemary successfully, leaving them with a dry, brown, and dead plant. You can keep your rosemary plants thriving happily indoors all winter if you know the tricks to good care for indoor rosemary plants.

Does rosemary require exposure to the sun?

The Texas A&M University System’s Stephen King and Joseph Masabni Assistant Professors of Horticultural Sciences and Extension Horticulturists, respectively

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) is a fantastic choice for any home herb garden because it’s reasonably simple to grow. Rosemary is a common cuisine ingredient because of its strong flavor and pine-like aroma. Both fresh and dry uses benefit most from the upright varieties.

You can cultivate rosemary as either an annual (it goes through its life cycle in a year) or a perennial (completes its life cycle in 3 or more years). It is frequently grown in herb gardens alongside thyme, oregano, sage, and lavender. When planting, pick a variety that is appropriate for the environment, the soil, and the intended usage.


The finest varieties for Texas are these:

  • Arp
  • Sky Boy
  • Creeping
  • In motion waters
  • Silver Rai
  • a pine scent
  • Pink
  • Islands of spices
  • Upright
  • Pine White

The greatest rosemary for cooking is scented rosemary due to its superb flavor and delicate leaves. Additionally used in food are Blue Boy, Spice Islands, and White rosemary. For landscaping purposes, the Arp, Dancing Waters, Golden Rain, Pink, and White kinds are more frequently employed.

Site selection

You can grow rosemary in containers or in a herb garden (Fig. 1). The majority of types thrive on loamy, somewhat acidic, well-drained soil. The ideal pH range for soil is between 6.0 and 7.0.

Rosemary grows best in full sun, so it needs at least six hours of sunlight each day. If you want to grow rosemary as a perennial, pick a location where tilling won’t cause any damage.

Soil preparation

To get the soil ready, take these actions:

  • The planting area should be cleared of all rocks, shrubs, weeds, plant waste, and tree roots.
  • Pitch fork or rototiller the organic waste or compost to a depth of 6 to 8 inches after adding about 4 inches to the surface. The plant benefits most from raised or slightly mounded beds that provide good drainage.


Like the majority of herbs, rosemary can withstand a light freeze if it is in good health. It is also moderately drought resistant. It thrives best when grown from transplants or cuttings. Despite being widely accessible and typically affordable, seed typically only germinates at a rate of approximately 15%.

The ideal method for growing rosemary is to take a cutting from a healthy plant:

  • Cut a 3-inch branch from the plant’s stem.
  • To 11/2 inches up the stem, remove the majority of the lower leaves.
  • One or two cuttings should be planted in a 3-inch pot.
  • The clippings need water.
  • Put the pot on a windowsill where there is some indirect light and a temperature range of 60 to 70 F.
  • The cuttings will be rooted and prepared for transplanting to their permanent site after around 8 weeks.


Fertilizer is rarely needed for rosemary. However, fertilizer should be used once in the early spring before new growth occurs if development is sluggish or the plant seems stunted or pale yellow. Any all-purpose fertilizer, whether it is in liquid or dry form, can be used as long as it is applied properly. Avoid putting fertilizer directly on the plant to prevent leaf burning.


Root rot may result from excessive water use. Because rosemary plants’ needles do not wilt like wide leaves do, it can occasionally be challenging to tell when they need water. In general, rosemary has to be watered every one to two weeks, depending on the size of the plant and the climate. Allow the plants to completely dry out in between waterings.


Although most diseases do not affect rosemary, occasional occurrences of powdery mildew have been documented. Check the plants frequently, and use the right fungicides as necessary, to stop the illness from spreading.

By cutting overgrown plants to enhance air circulation within the plants, you can lower the prevalence of diseases. Additionally, pruning encourages them to grow new shoots.


Pests don’t bother rosemary too much. Any organic or inorganic insecticide may be applied if scales, mealybugs, or spider mites do start to appear.

Scales are stationary insects, so if the plant has them, chopping off and discarding the infected plant tips is a simple treatment. Spray water, pyrethrum soap, or a soap-based insecticide on the plants to get rid of mealy bugs.

There are typically more sap-sucking insects in locations where excessive nitrogen fertilizer has been used. By fertilizing appropriately, you may prevent the majority of bug problems.


When the plant reaches an appropriate size, you can safely pick a few little branches from it. Compared to cuttings and seeds, nursery plants can be harvested sooner (Table 1).

Although rosemary plants can be picked multiple times during a season, they should be given time to produce new foliage in between harvests. Some species are prized for the delicate blossoms they produce, which are used in salads.

You can use the clippings right away or dry them for later use (Fig. 2). For two to seven days in the refrigerator, fresh cuttings will maintain their greatest flavor. Dry rosemary by hanging it in bundles for extended periods of time.

Figure 2. Freshly cut rosemary will continue to taste its finest in the refrigerator for 2 to 7 days.

Is rosemary hardy outside?

It’s understandable why the International Herb Association named rosemary Herb of the Year in 2000. This fragrant evergreen serves as an essential kitchen herb as well as a garden ornament and an aromatherapy ingredient.

In areas of the world with moderate winters, rosemary grows as an evergreen perennial shrub in the Labiatae, or mint family. Its Latin name, Rosmarinus officinalis, which alludes to its Mediterranean origins, means “dew of the sea.”

But the climate where I reside is nothing like that of the Mediterranean. The growth circumstances for rosemary are not the best here in Minnesota, but I still persist. However, it can be difficult to cultivate rosemary inside in the winter. It is simple to over-nurture and over-care for indoor rosemary. I let the soil dry out before giving the plant a good watering because too much moisture will harm the roots and make the plant die. Rosemary needs to be exposed to the south, and my kitchen window is the ideal location for this.

I noticed that there is a lot of variation within the genus Rosmarinus when I first started learning about rosemary. The several varieties provide a variety of plant forms and flower colors, as well as a selection of foliage colors and somewhat distinct flavors (both leaves and flowers are edible).

Propagate by cuttings

The majority of rosemaries are clones or cultivars that are propagated through cuttings. When growing rosemary from seed, poor germination and considerable plant variety are usual outcomes. Cuttings always produce plants that are identical to the source plant. Rosemary is simple to grow, and occasionally roots will appear in a glass of water on a warm windowsill. The optimum time of year to take cuttings, in my experience, is in the late fall and early winter.

Cut 2-1/2-inch stems from new growth on an established plant to obtain cuttings (see Propagating rosemary). Instead of plucking the bottom leaves off, snip them off and then cover the bottom 1/4 inch of the plant with hormone rooting powder. Put the cuttings in a container with an equal mixture of perlite and peat moss. On sunny days, lightly spray the cuttings.

Propagating rosemary

Cuttings typically take 14 to 21 days to take root, while bottom heat will hasten this process. Transplanting the cuttings into 3-1/2-inch pots is possible once they have rooted. In order to promote branching, pinch the uppermost terminal bud.

Good drainage and full sun keep rosemary thriving

The primary conditions for growing rosemary in a garden are full sunlight (six to eight hours each day) and sufficient drainage. The addition of well-rotted manure to the soil in the garden will promote new growth, but it is typically not necessary.

Prior to planting, lighten up heavy soils because proper drainage is crucial. In southern areas, mulch should be used to surround rosemary plants to keep the roots cool. Choose a mulch that drains quickly, such as white sand. A liquid fertilizer based on kelp can be used in the spring to feed mature rosemary plants that have been in the ground for several seasons.

I suggest planting rosemary in a clay container here in the North during the summer and taking it indoors for the winter. In fact, you have to overwinter rosemary indoors if you live in a zone 6 or colder. Although I have observed rosemary surviving in Minnesota down to around 25 degrees Fahrenheit without suffering any damage, I would bring plants inside before it gets that cold.

Bringing rosemary indoors

When the temperature falls to 30oF in the fall, it’s time to bring rosemary indoors. It takes good sunlight—the more the better—and ideally a southern exposure for rosemary to thrive successfully inside. If the plant is huge, rotate it once a week to ensure that all of its surfaces get sunshine. If you can’t boost natural light, think about utilizing artificial light as wiry growth is sometimes an indication of insufficient light. Plants can also be pruned to promote bushiness. Because of poor airflow, powdery mildew can occasionally appear on indoor plants. Run a tiny (3-inch) fan for three to four hours each day if this happens. In comparison to upright kinds, I’ve found that creeping varieties flourish and tolerate dry interior air better.

Insects are typically not a concern when rosemary is grown outside. However, aphids and spider mites are more likely to be a problem indoors. When this occurs, spray the rosemary plant frequently with an insecticidal soap until it recovers.

The ideal indoor temperature for rosemary growth is a cool 60°F. Increased humidity should be avoided because it encourages the growth of powdery mildew.

Container gardening is a cinch

Rosemary grows well in containers outside, particularly in an easterly location where it receives full sun until midday. Make sure the container you’re using is large enough to prevent drying out during the day if it receives all-day sun. One part sterilized soil, one part peat moss, and one part perlite make up a high-quality potting soil. This mixture ought to offer plenty of drainage. The roots are kept a little bit drier during rainy spells by a small layer of gravel in the pot’s bottom, which also aids drainage.

I like using rosemary as a specimen since it may be a sculptural plant with an unusual form. However, it also thrives when grown in containers with other herbs and flowers. Curry, society garlic, “Red Rubin” basil, bay, garden sage, curly parsley, and thyme are the ingredients I use to prepare it.

Two times a year, rosemary in large pots needs to be transplanted. When the plant is big enough to need a bigger pot, take it out of the container and trim about 2 inches from the bottom and outside edge of the soil and roots. Make sure to prune back a portion of the plant’s top while performing this type of invasive trimming to make up for the root pruning. After that, you can repot the plant in the original container. Both transplanting and using an organic fertilizer twice a month will encourage new growth.

A sample of rosemary cultivars

Since many years ago, my husband and I have grown rosemaries in greenhouses and gardens, selecting plants with good upright growth, dark-green leaves, and good flavor and scent. We debuted “Shady Acres” in the summer of 1999; it was called after our herb farm. These qualities of this rosemary match what we were seeking for. It grows rather quickly from cuttings and is simple to propagate. I clip the top growth of the plants when they are in 3-1/2-inch pots to promote branching. A strong, bushy plant soon emerges. The dark green leaves of “Shady Acres” grow up to 1 inch long while remaining close to the branch and are rarely floral. It’s a fantastic culinary herb with a powerful aroma and a lot of flavor.

Rosemary cultivars are unending, and many of them are available by mail order. ‘Majorca Pink’ is one of the greatest pink-flowered cultivars. It grows in an unusual way, with long branches that become older and arch downward.

The flower stalks of “Nancy Howard” develop into a huge, airy plant with virtually white flowers. The pink blossoms on the “Pinkie” dwarf bush rosemary gave it its name. ‘Pinkie’ grows tightly and compactly, with tiny leaves. Beautiful specimen “Miss Jessopp’s Upright” has light-blue flowers on a multi-stemmed plant. This plant has a maximum height of six feet.

The erect, open-growing plant known as “Huntington Blue” has pale-blue blooms. On tall, arched stems, the leaves can get as much as an inch long. My rosemary shrub ‘Silver Spires’ has variegated leaves that range in color from pale yellow to white and green that I bought last year. Green sprouts do occasionally appear, but these should be removed.

Try “Shimmering Stars” if you’re seeking for a topiary-worthy plant. This rosemary trailing plant has pink flower buds that open to medium-blue or lavender flowers.

Look for “Blue Boy” if you want a rosemary that grows well in a pot or planter with other herbs. It develops as a tiny bush with leafy clusters at the ends of the stems. It has tiny leaves that are 1/2 inch long and pale blue flowers.

The compactly growing Rosmarinus officinalis ‘Joyce De Baggio’, also called ‘Golden Rain, has blue blooms. Light yellow stripes can be seen in its new leaf growth, which turns green in the summer. ‘Dancing Waters’ is a small, compact shrub with erratic growth that has dark-blue blooms. Flowers are a medium blue-violet color, and leaves can reach a length of 3/4 inch.

The Washington, D.C., Cathedral Herb Garden is where the term “Herb Cottage” first appeared. It is a very attractive plant with dark blue flowers and compact, upright growth. It has also gone by the name “Foresteri.”

The lovely spreading shrub “Severn Sea” develops an erect habit with branches that arch as it grows bigger. It has deep blue blooms and bright green foliage. Norman Hadden brought it over from Somerset, England.

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