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PlantFiles: Rosemary
Rosmarinus officinalis

Family: Lamiaceae (lay-mee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Rosmarinus (rose-ma-REE-nus) (Info)
Species: officinalis (oh-fiss-ih-NAH-liss) (Info)

9 vendors have this plant for sale.

102 members have or want this plant for trade.

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Tropicals and Tender Perennials

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun


Bloom Color:
Pale Pink
Medium Blue
Dark Blue
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Blooms repeatedly


Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Flowers are fragrant
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Soil pH requirements:
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)
7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From softwood cuttings
From semi-hardwood cuttings
From hardwood heel cuttings
By simple layering
By stooling or mound layering

Seed Collecting:
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

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There are a total of 36 photos.
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32 positives
3 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive MaryandLance On Apr 10, 2013, MaryandLance from Baton Rouge, LA wrote:

Our Rosemary was one of the original plants we planted that has thrived (upon neglect as others have noted).
As of today, April 10, 2013... it is a huge bush but I've noticed that the inner part of the plant has dead branches and the newer part of the plant has new growth.

How do you prune a plant like this ?

Thank you,

Positive houstonhort On Apr 5, 2013, houstonhort from Houston, TX wrote:

A plant that thrives on neglect! I planted an upright variety and a low forming one, both purchased at the grocery. They were tiny and the only plant I could afford for my new cottage. Wow. Three feet in diameter three years later they thrive with no attention. To bloom? Ignore them. Do not water the leaves and do not fertilize. I am thinking of a little corner garden with only rosemary-all types.

Positive PermaCycle On Mar 7, 2013, PermaCycle from Indianapolis, IN (Zone 5b) wrote:

Rosmarinus officinalis 'Arp' has greater hardiness than rated by the USDA. The main concern in overwintering this herb in zones above 6-7 is not the cold as it is cold moisture. Rosemary does not like frigid "wet feet". It took me several attempts to learn this, but my plants have been very productive since. Here's what to do. Prior to the first fall frost, wrap the plant(s) in row cover. I built an A-frame from two pallets and covered them with heavy duty landscape fabric. After wrapping the plants in row cover the frame was placed over them to protect against moisture. Another method is to surround the plants with bales of straw in a modified cold frame, topped off by a window or shower door. In either case, the plants will survive low freezing temperatures. My preference is for the row cover as the plants receive adequate ventilation throughout the winter.

Positive leahgrey On Jun 4, 2012, leahgrey from Xenia, OH wrote:

I have grown the same rosemary officinallis for three years here in Xenia, Ohio. It has done extremely well with little effort and has grown to about 3'5". I decided to change things around and temporarily planted in a pot, and it is not doing so well and its only been 4 days. I did however water it heavily when i repotted. I think this maybe the problem. I love this plant and highly recommend it for my area, and anyone that has a love for herbs. Any suggestions for successfully transplanting an established rosemary would be greatly appreciated.

Positive SallieKr On May 28, 2012, SallieKr from Cherry Valley, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:

I finally got my rosemary to over-winter this year. I had a large plant last summer which was planted in the ground. I was surprised that the roots weren't really huge for the size of the plant. I dug it up in early December and put in a large pot in a south window, and kept the blinds open all winter. I think that's the key- it needs LOTS of light. In fact, I wasn't turning the plant often enough and one side has a large dead area. Of course, too little or too much water will also kill it. The pot I used was a "self-watering" type, with water in the bottom which is supposed to wick up into the pot. Not sure that works so well, so I watered from the top as needed. My rosemary is now 28" tall & back in the garden.

Neutral hschulz On Feb 8, 2011, hschulz from Bluffton, OH (Zone 5b) wrote:

I was able to get my rosemary seeds to germinate. At 9 days after sowing the germination rate is quite low (9%). For anyone trying to grow from seed, I did three things: Set the seeds in the fridge for 2 weeks before planting. Soaked the soil and let it dry some a couple fo days before planting. Set tray on a seedling heat mat. My estimate is 25 to 30% germination rate after three weeks.

Positive Glorianne On Jan 20, 2011, Glorianne from Screven, GA wrote:

Our retirement home has 2 large rosemary plants, They grow on each side of the entry steps in southern exposure. During 5 years here, we have to prune them to maintain access to the steps.
I also break off branches on regular basis to hang near bird feeders for protection for the birds from hawks. I used the "leaves" in cooking until I realized they never softened up enough to be digestible. Research showed me there is more than one kind of rosemary plant. Their fragrance is wonderful
and all who come here enjoy it. I put an 8 inch sprig in water in my east kitchen window and it grew roots. I planted it and in 2 weeks it was dead. I never have been able to get another to root. My other plants flourish with same process. The rosemary has precious blue flowers several times a year.

Positive silnik On Jan 17, 2011, silnik from Manchester, NH wrote:

This plant grows in zone 5 but does not overwinter. this year I had mine in the ground till november then it died. I have grown it indoors in years past on an east window . It lasted a few years but it was a bit thinner ,then in spring I would take it out and it would get thicker , still keeping it in the same pot . Eventualy it died out and I don't know why. Maybe too much water . I have not been able to grow it from seed , I buy the plants every year now.
This plant is suceptible to mildew. I bought one that had it and had to throw it out . I believe it was because we had a very rainy spring and they do like to be dry, even though I kept it in doors on the porch , it did not like the humidity.
It is a great addition to your herb garden .

Positive tulpen On Jan 17, 2011, tulpen from Los Angeles, CA wrote:

Have 2 varieties - one the featured in Dave's newsletter -
grow well since the 2 yrs. of purchase. My question is: why will they not bloom??? Any suggestion? They are in the ground. Thanks, Susan

Positive ejanelli On Jan 17, 2011, ejanelli from San Francisco, CA wrote:

Rosemary is, as most have written, a beautiful and useful plant. I'm a life-long Californian living both in the Central Valley and, for the last 50+ years, in the San Francisco Bay area, a landscape architect for over 45 years. Rosemary grows well in coastal and lowland California. Cold in the mountains is, of course, limiting. It thrives in the Bay area.

To expand a little on two fronts, first in the kitchen, Rosemary is the classic herb for lamb dishes. It can be thrown in the roasting pan, used the French way in a mustard-olive oil-garlic-rosemary coating prior to roasting lamb, added to stews, and used in the body cavity of poultry the Italian way with a split whole lemon, garlic, and (I like) parsley. Just stuff it in and roast. It's useful in many sweet foods as well as savory. Try simmering it in a light syrup to combine (just the syrup) with citrus fruit - amazing and refreshing. Simmer it with lemon zest in syrup to infuse a warm poppy-seed cake. Use your imagination.

On the design front, it's a most useful plant with the rich, dark green needle-like foliage. It makes a terrific background mass for colored foliage and flowers. Fall colors - deciduous Azaleas, small Japanese Maples, Barberries,Euonymus and so on - are great with a Rosemary background. It's a fine hedge either softly trained to size or formally sheared. Some varieties can grow to as much as eight feet tall. It's a fast grower, so shear or prune it regularly to keep it looking its best. It can be used for formal topiary in containers or in the ground, and there are varieties that can be used to spill over walls or containers. Just be sure the plant gets plenty of sun for this use or it will tend to grow up rather than spill. Give it excellent drainage and plenty of water for a lush look or more limited water if soil is heavy or you want a more mediterranean look (and maximum flavor).

Give it plenty of room in its favored climates, or plan on periodic replacement for smaller-scale uses especially if formally trained. As one writer noted it roots readily, so this is not a big issue. It is not short-lived, but it will show its age and look rougher, even gnarled, like most of us do, with advancing years. Some find this increases its appeal, others simply replace it. Any way you use it it's well worth having in the garden.

Positive erinbee On Jan 17, 2011, erinbee from Las Vegas, NV wrote:

The bees and hummingbirds love this plant. In the dead of winter, when nothing else is blooming in my yard, Rosemary is covered in tiny, light-blue blossoms for the bees. I even see the hummingbirds visiting Rosemary for a little something to eat. Truly a marvelous plant. Very easy to grow here in the Mojave Desert.

Positive LeslieT On Jan 17, 2011, LeslieT from Bellaire, TX wrote:

To grow it successfully in my Houston-area garden, I purchased chimney flues (clay containers open at both ends) in the largest size. This allows the plant better drainage in our torrential rains and with my sprinkler system, even though the bed is slightly raised. Mine is blooming right now. I've found the prostrate variety and 'Arp' cultivar hardier in my 9b garden. I use only a small amount of Micro-Life once or twice a year, but no other fertilizer.

Neutral magnoliafreakWI On Mar 17, 2010, magnoliafreakWI from De Pere, WI (Zone 5a) wrote:

I grow Rosemary every year in my garden for cooking purposes and every year I try winterizing it and it dies :( However this past winter i decided to not winterize and just let it be and it is still alive! maybe it was because of a reasonably mild winter here in Wisconsin, but I am still surprised that it made it.

Positive kitty_mom On Jul 7, 2009, kitty_mom from Waverly, GA (Zone 8b) wrote:

I have two second year plants in pots, and they are more like bushes. (I'll have to plant them in the ground pretty soon). The smell is divine and the taste is beautiful. They don't like a lot of water, but other than that they're trouble free.

Positive anelson77 On May 12, 2009, anelson77 from Seattle, WA wrote:

I have one big old established plant. It blooms from January until about May, and hummingbirds and bees visit it. It is about 4 feet high and 6 feet wide. I prune it lightly about twice a year to keep it in shape. It gets no fertilizer or water and looks great.

I have another about 2 years old. It is still only about a foot high.

Positive purplesun On Apr 13, 2009, purplesun from Krapets
Bulgaria (Zone 8a) wrote:

To me, rosemary is one of the most beautiful and useful plants. I like the smell of the bruised leaves very much and rub the leaves between my fingers whenever I'm near this plant. The flowers are so dainty and airy that they greatly enhance the plant's appeal when they are present. Rosemary will never have enough of sunlight and heat and grows very fast if provided with the latter.
I grow my rosemary bush against the whitewashed wall of our toilet in good, loamy alkaline soil. It receives a bit of shade from an apple-tree, but only for a few hours in the summer. Has never lost a limb to cold.
I'm greatly fond of Mediterranean plants, especially those that are associated with Biblical realia or Greek myth, so if anyone wants to have a symbol of those times in their yard, they should plant a rosemary bush.

Positive Nick1 On Mar 30, 2009, Nick1 from Plainfield, NJ (Zone 6b) wrote:

I've grown several rosemarys outside in Zone 6B for several years. They generally overwinter fine with some mulch for protection. Occasionally one will die after a hard winter.

Positive dee_cee On Mar 11, 2008, dee_cee from Birmingham, AL (Zone 7b) wrote:

I was given an 8" rosemary (trimmed to resemble a Christmas tree) as a housewarming gift in November 2005. I planted it in the back yard the following spring & it's doing great!

After a year I trimmed it & rooted the cuttings & have planted them along the fence to form a hedge. At last count there were 49 plants in what will one day be a beautiful hedge & the original plant is about 3' tall & growing vigorously. I tried several different rooting methods & found that simply placing them in a jar of water works best.

Positive tropicsofohio On Jan 19, 2008, tropicsofohio from Hilliard, OH (Zone 6b) wrote:

i would rate this as a zone 6b plant. i have one that is still green, and it is well into jan. prob. even hardier as a die back plant.

Positive gray_53 On Dec 25, 2007, gray_53 from Mcdonough, GA wrote:

As welsherblady said, rosemary is excellent when used in abundance on lamb. I find it is also good on steak and as an addition to meat drippings and soups. It can grow to enormous sizes in a matter of years. It took about two years for ours to grow to a size that is big enough to supply plenty of rosemary for the whole family.

Positive jabowman78 On Mar 23, 2007, jabowman78 from Pleasant Hill, CA wrote:

No garden is complete without this fragrant shrub. Planted two a couple years back - one in the ground and one in a pot. The one in the ground took off and looks great and the one in the pot has thinner leaves and a thinner appearance and is also less fragrant.

Ironically, the thin spindly one is covered in flowers, but the one in the ground has never flowered. Some plants do need to be a little root bound or crowded to flower properly (african violets, kalanchoe) so this could be a factor.

Rosemary is a great substitute for white sage as it has the same cleansing properties. To make a smudge stick, simply cut about a dozen or so 6-inch stems of good quality and lay out in the house to air dry. Then, bundle together and tie lightly with 100% cotton thread. The scent is invigorating and it will perk up your mood - also it is less intense than sage and won't leave your home smelling like a campfire for days afterwards. =]

Always remember to exercise caution when burning incense of any kind - NEVER leave unattended.

Positive Taylored On Jul 26, 2006, Taylored from Brenham, TX wrote:

This is a super easy to propagate from cuttings. I love the scent of it. I have had rosemary for years. But none of mine have ever bloomed. I use a lot of compost to fertilize. I don't really like to use chemical fertilizers. Are there any organic gardeners out there that might be able to tell me why mine never blooms???

Positive bbkoi On Oct 26, 2004, bbkoi from Hawesville, KY (Zone 6a) wrote:

Have grown this plant outdoors it made it over winter.In a mulched bed no other protection.I hope it makes it again.
It is a very attractive and usefull plant.

Positive piedmthq On Oct 23, 2004, piedmthq from Dunellen, NJ (Zone 6b) wrote:

I have grown Rosemary as a Bonsai for approx 2 years now. EZ to grow plant, & looks allot like an evergreen.

Positive tjsangel003 On Oct 4, 2004, tjsangel003 from Warren, OH wrote:

I just bought a small rosemary plant today. I love the fragrance. I plan to keep in a pot and put outdoors for summer-I am in zone 5. How big does it grow in a pot? Does it need a lot of sunlight in winter? Also I pinched it back for the winter. I love many herbs and have added this one to my collection.

Positive jcangemi On Jun 17, 2004, jcangemi from Clovis, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

Rosemary grows well in the San Joaquin Valley, both in rural and urban settings. Used extensively in city landscaping, i.e. island plantings, etc. Drought tolerance makes it an ideal plant for this valley, as well as a delightful culinary herb.

Positive foodiesleuth On Jun 17, 2004, foodiesleuth from Honomu, HI (Zone 11) wrote:

I have always loved growing rosemaries. At one time we had a hedge on both sides of the walk-way in our backyard and some of the plants were nearly as tall as I.

Where we are living now, we have two in the ground and one in a pot. They all seem to be doing well. The one in the pot is in full bloom at this time.

This is one transplanted from the previous location. None of the other transplants took kindly to being moved.

Positive Wingnut On Jun 16, 2004, Wingnut from Spicewood, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

There's an old wive's tale that goes something along the lines of "As the rosemary grows, so grows the woman of the house's authority." My rosemary bush, purchased five years ago as a 4" pot sized plant, is now a four foot tall, five foot wide monster. My husband keeps eyeing it suspiciously every time he picks up his chainsaw. ;)

Positive MotherNature4 On Apr 14, 2004, MotherNature4 from Bartow, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

I grow R. officinalis, an herb that I purchase annually. The Florida rosemary (Ceratiola ericoides) of our white sandy scrubs has no scent to its leaves.

Positive forager1 On Feb 1, 2004, forager1 from Lutz, FL wrote:

Although I don't grow it I do find it growing wild on sandy ridges, weedy dunes, and upland pine barrens and scrubs throughout Florida. I use it in soups, sauces, and sprinkled lightly when dried with other herbs and papaya does wonders for cooking oily and/or bland tasting fish.

Positive lupinelover On Jan 22, 2003, lupinelover from Grove City, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

Rosemary can be grown from seed sown indoors, but it will take at least a year to grow to a sizeable plant. Named cultivars will not come true from seed.

Prostrate Rosemary is one of the most fragrant plants to use in the entranceway, it tolerates some foot traffic (although I recommend not using any planted this way as a culinary source).

Positive greengirl On Dec 9, 2002, greengirl wrote:

I have 3 rosemary plants: 2 small babies and 1 medium sized baby, and I love all 3 of them. I have them growing in terra cota pots, and they are so cute in their Christmas dresses! I bought some small snowflake ornaments and some small fake flowers to dress them up like the floral theme of the rest of the decorations. I rate this plant a solid 10 for usefulness in cooking and decorating!

Positive welshherblady On Oct 21, 2002, welshherblady from Isle of Anglesey,North Wales
United Kingdom (Zone 8a) wrote:

Our Rosemary is field grown as well as in pots for cutting and drying for culinary ,medicinal and cosmetic purposes.
A sprig of Rosemary cooked with Lamb adds a delicious taste.Rosemary made into a jelly/preserve can be added to many meals to add an interesting flavour.
Rosemary is said to have a calming and uplifting effect- can be added to bath water in a net bag for this purpose.Rosemary Oil is reputed to encourage hair growth and to be good as a massage for the scalp.
*Rosemary is the Herb of Remembrance*.

Positive MikeandSusan On May 31, 2002, MikeandSusan wrote:

We are in Zone 7-b and have used Rosemary (primarily ARP and Tuscan Blue) extensively as a landscape shrub. It is tolerant of sun conditions from full sun to partial shade and also demonstrates a good deal of drought tolerance. It is a fast grower and propagates easily from cuttings. To date we have not had to provide it with any winter protection (our plantings were made with a southern exposure to our house). It is one of our favorite plants; we highly recommend it.

Our success has been best with the erect varieties; trailing and semi-trailing varieties do not seem to be as cold hardy.

Neutral Terry On Mar 10, 2001, Terry from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

Rosemary is an attractive evergreen shrub with grayish-green, pine needle-like aromatic leaves. Pale blue flowers last through spring and summer in a warm, humid environment. Plant in well drained, alkaline soil; can be grown successfully in a container. Used in cooking as well as for medicinal and ornamental purposes.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

, (3 reports)
Anniston, Alabama
Birmingham, Alabama
New Market, Alabama
Wedowee, Alabama
Cornville, Arizona
Glendale, Arizona
Phoenix, Arizona (3 reports)
Benton, Arkansas
Fayetteville, Arkansas
Amesti, California
Berkeley, California (2 reports)
Canoga Park, California
Castro Valley, California
Clovis, California
El Cajon, California
Elk Grove, California
Jacumba, California
Lawndale, California
Long Beach, California
Los Angeles, California (3 reports)
Menifee, California
Menlo Park, California
Merced, California
National City, California
Palm Springs, California
Penn Valley, California
Pleasant Hill, California
Sacramento, California
San Diego, California
San Jose, California
Santa Ana, California
Santa Rosa, California
West Hills, California
Wildomar, California
Lewes, Delaware
Bartow, Florida
Brooksville, Florida
Eustis, Florida
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Hampton, Florida
Hollywood, Florida
Jacksonville, Florida (2 reports)
Keystone Heights, Florida
Kissimmee, Florida
Lakeland, Florida
Longwood, Florida
Lutz, Florida (2 reports)
Maitland, Florida
Miami, Florida (2 reports)
Naples, Florida
Ocoee, Florida
Old Town, Florida
Oldsmar, Florida
Pensacola, Florida
Rockledge, Florida
Tallahassee, Florida
Umatilla, Florida
West Palm Beach, Florida
Albany, Georgia
Brunswick, Georgia
Colbert, Georgia
Cordele, Georgia
Dallas, Georgia
Decatur, Georgia
Douglasville, Georgia
Lawrenceville, Georgia (2 reports)
Mcdonough, Georgia
Screven, Georgia
Smyrna, Georgia
Waverly, Georgia
Honomu, Hawaii
Cherry Valley, Illinois
Indianapolis, Indiana
Davenport, Iowa
Crofton, Kentucky
Hawesville, Kentucky
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Franklin, Louisiana
Minden, Louisiana
New Orleans, Louisiana (2 reports)
Vacherie, Louisiana
Cumberland, Maryland
Edgewater, Maryland
Valley Lee, Maryland
Billerica, Massachusetts
Florence, Mississippi
Madison, Mississippi
Mathiston, Mississippi
Saucier, Mississippi
Henderson, Nevada
Las Vegas, Nevada
Manchester, New Hampshire
Dunellen, New Jersey
Plainfield, New Jersey
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Rio Rancho, New Mexico
Roswell, New Mexico
Bronx, New York
Deposit, New York
West Islip, New York
Charlotte, North Carolina (2 reports)
Durham, North Carolina
Elizabeth City, North Carolina
Fayetteville, North Carolina (2 reports)
Greenville, North Carolina
Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina
Oriental, North Carolina
Raleigh, North Carolina (2 reports)
Sunset Beach, North Carolina
Wilmington, North Carolina
Hilliard, Ohio
Xenia, Ohio
Harrah, Oklahoma
Ashland, Oregon
Lake Oswego, Oregon
Jessup, Pennsylvania
Conway, South Carolina
Mount Pleasant, South Carolina
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
North Augusta, South Carolina
Rock Hill, South Carolina (2 reports)
Sumter, South Carolina
Clarksville, Tennessee
Memphis, Tennessee
Abilene, Texas
Arlington, Texas
Austin, Texas (3 reports)
Bastrop, Texas
Baytown, Texas
Bellaire, Texas
Belton, Texas
Blanco, Texas
Boerne, Texas
Bowie, Texas
Buda, Texas
Bulverde, Texas
Carrollton, Texas
Cibolo, Texas
Copperas Cove, Texas
El Paso, Texas
Fort Worth, Texas (3 reports)
Geronimo, Texas
Grand Prairie, Texas
Houston, Texas (3 reports)
Humble, Texas
Huntsville, Texas
Irving, Texas
Kingsland, Texas
Kyle, Texas
Lampasas, Texas
Manor, Texas
Mc Kinney, Texas
New Braunfels, Texas
North Zulch, Texas
Paris, Texas
Pipe Creek, Texas
Princeton, Texas
Red Oak, Texas
San Antonio, Texas
Spicewood, Texas
Taylor, Texas
Waco, Texas
Herriman, Utah
Lindon, Utah
Newport News, Virginia
Norfolk, Virginia
Palmyra, Virginia
Bremerton, Washington
Freeland, Washington
Issaquah, Washington
Olympia, Washington
Renton, Washington
Seattle, Washington
Spokane, Washington
White Center, Washington
Volga, West Virginia

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