Salvia Species, Rosemary

Salvia rosmarinus

Family: Lamiaceae (lay-mee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Salvia (SAL-vee-uh) (Info)
Species: rosmarinus (rose-ma-REE-nus) (Info)
Synonym:Rosmarinus angustifolius
Synonym:Rosmarinus officinalis
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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

Dark Blue

Medium Blue

White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Blooms repeatedly




Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Flowers are fragrant

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round in hardiness zone


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

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

Citrus Heights, California

Clovis, California

Corralitos, California

El Cajon, California

Elk Grove, California

Elkhorn, California

Granite Hills, California

Harbison Canyon, California

Highlands-Baywood Park, California

Interlaken, California

JACUMBA, California

Lawndale, California

Long Beach, California

Los Angeles, California(3 reports)

Menifee, California

Menlo Park, California

Merced, California

National City, California

Pajaro, California

Palm Springs, California

Penn Valley, California

Pleasant Hill, California

Rancho San Diego, California

Sacramento, California

San Diego, California

San Jose, California

Santa Ana, California

Santa Rosa, California

Watsonville, 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(2 reports)

Longwood, Florida

Lutz, Florida(2 reports)

Maitland, Florida

Miami, Florida(2 reports)

Naples, Florida(2 reports)

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

Savannah, 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

Portsmouth, Virginia

Bremerton, Washington

Freeland, Washington

Issaquah, Washington

Olympia, Washington

Renton, Washington

Seattle, Washington(2 reports)

Spokane, Washington

White Center, Washington

Volga, West Virginia

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jan 16, 2018, Sempervirens206 from Seattle, WA wrote:

Rosemary thrives in Seattle. In the Northwest, ensure good drainage and ideally grow it in the hottest, sunny part of the garden. Being a Mediterranean plant it enjoys dry summers so don't water it unless your garden is exceptionally hot and dry. I'm unsure what cultivar I grow, but it's roughly 4-feet tall and 6-feet wide after about four or five years since planting from a 4-inch container. In full sun mine starts blooming just after New Years Day continuing though July. The bloom commences a few/several weeks later if only receiving part sun.

January flowers provide a striking winter splash of color and critical winter food for growing numbers of overwintering HUMMINGBIRDS. Pair with winter-blooming Sentinel Manzanita and hummingbirds will love your forever. Combine with... read more


On Feb 12, 2016, madisontate from Naples, FL wrote:

I live in Southwestern Florida, USA and this plant does extremely well outdoors.


On Aug 25, 2015, Fannyfarny from Auckland,
New Zealand wrote:

Rosemary grows well here in Auckland, New Zealand, despite our increasingly tropical climate and the heavy rain in winter. I see it everywhere, both upright and trailing. Both forms are widely used in private gardens and public ones. I have always lived in homes surrounded by clay soil, and because rosemary hates to have wet feet, I have never planted it in the ground. I grow the upright form in pots, potting up new cuttings as I need them. I start new pots each spring (which begins in September in our hemisphere), because I prefer the fresh new growth to look at and to cook with. (Although in New Zealand, many professional chefs like to use firmer stalks of rosemary as skewers for meat, vegetables or both, adding a wonderful flavour.) My potted rosemary flowers readily in our hot and incr... read more


On Aug 24, 2015, damatapa from Highlands-Baywood Park, CA wrote:

This has been a winner in California Bay Area garden. We planted five 1 Gal. plants three years ago, in full sun. They have grown very slowly, and perhaps have reached their potential growth at about 3' round- and that would be fine for where they are. With the water problem here, these plants, as well as just about everything else, have had to adjust to our "tough love" approach: deep, slow hand watering once a week. The plants have flowered on occasion, they have not gotten very leggy, and the new growth always looks healthy


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,


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.


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 ... read more


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.


On May 28, 2012, SallieKr from (Sallie) 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.


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.


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 ... read more


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 .


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


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... read more


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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... read more


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.


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.


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.


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.


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 t... read more


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???


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.


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.


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.


On Jun 17, 2004, jcangemi from Atascadero, CA (Zone 8a) 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.


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.


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. ;)


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.


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.


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).


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!


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*.


On May 31, 2002, MikeandSusan from Springtown, TX 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.


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.