How to care for rosemary trees indoors

How to Grow Rosemary Indoors

There’s no need to be a pro gardener to enjoy the benefits of fresh herbs. Anyone can learn how to grow rosemary and other herbs and edibles indoors. Pick off the needle-like sprigs anytime you need to liven up a lamb or chicken dish. Just make sure to give the aromatic herb plenty of room to grow.

Add some variety to your kitchen herb garden with rosemary. Here’s how to grow rosemary indoors, from seed to harvest.

Tools & Materials
  • Packet of fresh rosemary seeds
  • 8- to 12-inch terra-cotta pot
  • Soilless potting mix with excellent drainage
  • 10-10-10 liquid fertilizer


Professional growers typically use cuttings to propagate rosemary. However, rooting rosemary cuttings requires you to have an already established plant on hand, and seeds are more accessible to home gardeners. Expect seeds to germinate very slowly—some may not even germinate at all. For best results, sow more rosemary seeds than you think are necessary.


The following instructions explain how to plant rosemary seeds to grow mature plants. If you’re impatient and don’t want to wait for seeds to germinate, you can choose to purchase potted rosemary and follow the care tips below for how to grow rosemary indoors.

Keep reading to find out how to start your rosemary plant from seed.

STEP 1: Choose where to grow rosemary indoors.

Rosemary is a Mediterranean plant that prefers full sunlight and loses its vitality in the shade. To ensure your rosemary thrives, pick a sunny spot indoors or use an artificial grow light. If you plan to grow several plants indoors, consider a grow shelf equipped with grow lights.

STEP 2: Plant rosemary seeds.

Plant rosemary seeds by sowing them in a pot of well-draining soil and covering them gently with an extremely thin layer of soil mix. Carefully mist the topsoil without soaking it. Use bottom heat to help speed up germination. An example of a bottom heat source is a heat mat like this highly rated option available at Amazon—a top pick in our researched guide to the best seedling heat mats.

Be careful not to overwater once seeds germinate, since rosemary seedlings are prone to damping off. When seedlings get their second set of leaves, thin to all but one seedling

To grow rosemary seeds or mature plants indoors, be sure to choose a container that’s at least 8 inches in diameter and fill it with a well-draining, sandy soil mix, plus a drainage hole. A terra-cotta pot is ideal because the material doesn’t hold water and helps the soil dry out between waterings.

STEP 3: Water, and monitor temperature and humidity. 

Rosemary plant care requires a few essential considerations. How often to water rosemary depends on the pot you’ve selected. If the plant is in a terra-cotta container, you’re unlikely to overwater. However, you should still be careful not to overwater. When watering rosemary, feel the topsoil to make sure it has completely dried out. In some cases, you may not need to water for 2 weeks or more.


However, while rosemary plants love to have dry roots, they also appreciate high humidity levels. You can keep humidity levels high without drowning plant roots by misting your plant every few days. This is especially important during the winter when heating sources can dry out the air more than usual.

Like other Mediterranean herbs, rosemary prefers warm temperatures. Aim for ambient temperatures between 55 and 80 degrees. Anything lower than 30 degrees can potentially harm or kill your rosemary plant.

STEP 4: Provide the right light and fertilizer.

When growing rosemary, you’ll need plenty of bright direct sunlight. A windowsill often won’t provide enough light in most homes, especially during the winter months. Opt for a south-facing window or an artificial light source instead. Keep the light source close to the plant, but make sure there’s enough room between the grow light and the foliage to prevent damaging the leaves.

Feed rosemary monthly with a balanced liquid fertilizer starting in the spring. You can pause feedings during the late fall and winter until the growing season begins anew.

STEP 5: Harvest indoor rosemary.

Foliage will grow back faster if you harvest sprigs of rosemary during the growing season. Still, it’s OK to cut pieces at any time of year if you’re growing rosemary indoors. During the growing season, aim to harvest more often to encourage growth. Weekly trimmings will help keep your plant healthy.

Typically, rosemary is most pungent just before it begins to flower. This is when you want to harvest if you plan to dry the leaves.

Now that you know how to care for rosemary, you can enjoy harvesting from your plant all year round. Resist the urge to overwater, keep the plant away from drafty spots, and keep harvesting for a healthy, fragrant rosemary plant.


Tips For Care Of Rosemary Plants Inside

Growing rosemary indoors is sometimes a tricky thing to do. Many good gardeners have tried, and, despite their best efforts, end up with a dry, brown, dead rosemary plant. If you know the secrets to the proper care of rosemary plants growing inside, you can keep your rosemary plants growing happily indoors all winter long.

Most often, there are four things on the list of what kills rosemary plants indoors. These are:

  • lack of sunlight
  • poor watering practices
  • powdery mildew
  • pests

If you can avoid these issues, your rosemary plant will live happily inside. Let’s look at how to avoid each.

Lack of Sunlight
Most people aren’t aware that the lack of sunshine is the most common reason for a rosemary plant growing indoors to die. Often, rosemary plants are brought indoors without any acclimation. They go from six to eight hours of strong, direct light to four to six hours of weak or indirect light. The rosemary plant is unable to produce enough energy to stay alive on this amount of weak light and simply dies.

The first step to preventing rosemary light starvation is to put your rosemary on a sunlight diet before you bring it indoors. Several weeks before you plan on bringing the rosemary inside, move the plant to gradually shadier areas of your yard. This will force the rosemary plant to grow leaves that are more efficient at turning light into energy, which will help it cope with weaker indoor light when it moves inside.

Once your rosemary moves indoors, make sure that you place it in the brightest window in your house, which is normally a south facing window. If your rosemary plant is not getting at least six to eight hours of light a day, place a lamp with a fluorescent light bulb as close as possible to the plant to supplement the sunlight.

Poor Watering Practices
The second most common reason for an indoor rosemary dying is watering practices. Often, indoor rosemary plants are watered too little or too much. Make sure that the drainage on the container with the rosemary is excellent. Only water the soil when the top of the soil is dry to the touch. But, that being said, never let the soil dry out completely.

In the winter, rosemary plants grow much more slowly and need much less water than they do in the summer. Watering too often will cause root rot, which will kill the plant. On the other side, if the soil of the rosemary plant is allowed to dry out completely, the roots will die back and the plant will not have enough roots to support itself.

Powdery Mildew
Indoors or outdoors, rosemary plants are very susceptible to powdery mildew. Most homes don’t have the same air circulation as the outside world does, which makes this an even worse problem for the plant inside.

The best way to drive away powdery mildew on rosemary plants is to increase the air circulation around it. Letting a fan blow on it for a few hours a day or taking it out of more high humidity rooms, like the bathroom or kitchen, will help improve the air circulation.

You can also treat the plant with a fungicide to help keep away the powdery mildew.

To be honest, while pests may get the blame for killing a rosemary plant, most pests will only infest a plant that is already weakened. Unfortunately, most rosemary growing indoors, despite all best efforts, are growing in a somewhat weakened state. The stricter you are with yourself about making sure that your rosemary plant is watered properly and gets enough light, the less likely pests will bother the plant.

But, if your rosemary is infected with pests, use a houseplant pesticide to remove them. Since rosemary is an herb and it is mainly grown to be eaten, look for organic pesticides. One that is growing in popularity is neem oil, as it is very effective against pests but is completely harmless to humans and pets.

growing tips: care, planting and transplanting, fertilizers and soil Peter Pete, watering, pruning, diseases and pests

Rosemary officinalis (ordinary, wedding flower, dike, bride's dress, incense grass) - evergreen fragrant subshrub of the Lamiaceae family native to the Mediterranean, Western Europe, Turkey and North Africa, reaching a height of up to 2 m. The literal translation of the name of the plant from Latin is “sea dew”: according to legend, a few drops of sea moisture fell on rosemary from Aphrodite emerging from the waves of the sea, and the passion-ridden plant turned bluish and took on a strong camphor smell.

The themes of love, eternal youth and devotion associated with rosemary have run like a red thread through the cultures of many peoples. So, the ancient Greeks and Romans attributed to rosemary an increase in vitality, an improvement in memory and potency; in medieval Europe, the plant was considered a symbol of marital fidelity and at the same time, oddly enough, the eternal memory of the dead; in the late Middle Ages, an unknown perfumer created the famous "Water of the Hungarian Queen", thanks to which a certain 72-year-old representative of the Hungarian ruling dynasty charmed youngsters indiscriminately and actively replenished financial assets at the expense of the older wealthy population.

Rosemary is rich in trace elements, borneol, essential oils, camphor, cineole, plant resins, tannins and acids. It has an aroma somewhat reminiscent of the smell of pine, its leaves have a pronounced bitter taste, so you need to use this spice in a dosed and correct way. Rosemary is suitable for roast lamb, pork, goose, duck and fish. The famous French vegetable stew "Ratatouille" also includes this classic spice. Often, to give an exciting aroma to dishes cooked on an open fire, smoldering coals are sprinkled with leaves and sprigs of rosemary. In combination with other spices and components, rosemary can not only shade, but unusually change the taste of seemingly thoroughly familiar dishes: for example, a perfect combination of eucalyptus, bay leaf and rosemary; rosemary is perfectly complemented by garlic, capers and lemon zest - in general, a whole field for your culinary experiments.

Rosemary is a good immune stimulant and has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, tonic, wound healing and choleretic properties. Rosemary is contraindicated in pregnant women, young children, as well as people with hypersensitivity of the skin, suffering from epilepsy, convulsions and hypertension.

In general, this odorous southerner is unpretentious in care, but, like any individual, requires a special approach, “promising” in return medicinal help and unbroken taste sensations, so go for it!

Recommended cultivars

  • 'Prostratus' - a variety with soft shoots creeping along the ground, height 15-20 cm.
  • 'Roseus' is a variety with large pink flowers, used in garden/greenhouse landscaping in warm climates.
  • "SevernSea" - a variety up to 50 cm in height, used in garden landscaping in warm climates.
  • "Albiflorus" - a variety with large and fragrant white inflorescences, excellent for growing at home.
  • Rosemary ordinary, varieties "Tenderness", "Rosinka", "Veshnyakovsky Semko". It will be discussed below.

Growing equipment: planting container 15 cm deep; clay, ceramic or terracotta pots Ø35 cm and 40 cm high with a drainage layer of 15% of the volume (for example, expanded clay PETER PEAT of the VITA line) and holes at the bottom; drip tray for excess water; picking peat pots 7x10 cm; small scoops and rakes; phytolamp; prepared nutrient soil.

Seed preparation

If you decide to grow rosemary from seed, the best time to do so is early March. It is best to purchase encrusted rosemary seeds ready for planting in advance from a trusted outlet / nursery, but you can also get hold of seeds from friends and prepare them for planting in advance:

  • disinfect rosemary seeds in a 2% solution of potassium permanganate for 15 minutes to prevent fungal diseases and infections.
  • Next, immerse the seeds in woven bags (napkin, multilayer gauze) for 1-2 days in a solution of wood ash (1 tablespoon of ash per 0.5 l of water; + 20-24 ° C) or a solution of liquid humic fertilizer PETER PEAT " Living force: for soaking seeds. As soon as the sprouts begin to hatch, remove all unsprouted specimens with disinfected tweezers. Do not allow the roots to germinate - the plants will slow down in development.
  • Perform a sparging operation - place rosemary seeds in a jar of water for 12 hours and dip the aquarium processor into it. Seeds are saturated with oxygen and moisture, after which they must be immediately planted in a planting container. Bubbling is an optional but desirable procedure for seeds older than 6-8 years, which significantly affects the growth and strength of seedlings.

Growing seedlings

Rosemary loves light loose soil of neutral acidity Fill the planting container with light, loose, moisture-absorbing soil of neutral acidity, at least 8 cm thick, options:

  • mix high, leaf soil, compost, sand and peat in a ratio of 2: 2:1:1:1;
  • , use the ready-to-use PETER PEAT Seedling Primer from the HOBBY line.

Sprinkle the soil with warm (+28°C) water, then make 0.3-0.5 cm indentations in the soil with the tip of a pencil, spacing 10 cm between rows, in a checkerboard pattern. Dip 2-3 seeds into each recess and carefully sprinkle with soil. Cover the container with rosemary seeds with transparent glass / film and keep it in a room with a temperature of + 18-22 ° C, preferably under a phytolamp (at least 12 hours a day, at a height of 90 cm from the container) - in 12-14 days the first shoots will appear. All this time, the soil with seeds must be sprayed with warm water from a spray bottle, without overflowing, i.e. the top layer of soil should be only slightly damp. Once a week, it is allowed to feed the seedlings with PETER PEAT liquid humic fertilizer "Living Force: Healthy Seedlings", it is also necessary to air rosemary seedlings 3-4 times a day for 20 minutes.

Seedling picking

After the appearance of 3-4 first leaves on rosemary sprouts, pick the young seedlings either into individual 7x10 cm peat pots (when they reach a height of 8-10 cm, transplant them to the final places of growth), filled with soil PETER PEAT Microparnik "HOBBY line, or directly into "adult" pots 35x40 cm. When picking, try not to damage the tender roots: take them out along with adjacent clods of soil and plant them in new containers. Temperature - not lower than + 24 ° С, phytolamp - 12-13 hours a day, otherwise rosemary will grow and develop poorly. 10 days after picking, feed the plants with liquid humic fertilizer PETER PEAT "Living Force: Healthy Seedlings", and after another 2 weeks - complex mineral fertilizer PETER PEAT "NPK 15-15-15" of the MINERAL line.


  • Do not keep rosemary in a draft - the plant will actively shed its leaves.
  • Temperatures below + 12°С will already be uncomfortable for the plant: at home, be careful with airing and taking rosemary into the fresh air in spring / autumn to “breathe”.
  • Rosemary is quite drought-resistant, but does not tolerate overwatering very well. Watering is carried out every 4-5 days, when the topsoil dries out by 3-5 cm. Also, the plant really likes spraying with warm settled water 1-2 times a day.
  • After each watering, loosen the soil in pots 1-1.5 cm deep and remove possible weeds.
  • Top dressing of adult rosemary is carried out once every 4 weeks, and it is better to use complex fertilizers once a quarter, and liquid humic fertilizers once a month. Ideally, nitrogen fertilizers are suitable in spring, complex fertilizers in summer, and phosphate fertilizers in autumn.
  • Do not skimp on a phytolamp (12-14 hours/day): your apartment lighting will not be enough, and with its help rosemary grows 1. 5-2 times faster. Lack of lighting will impair development, reduce the amount of essential oils, and, accordingly, the aroma of the plant.
  • To form a beautiful crown (in early March and after flowering) and rejuvenate the bush (every 7-8 years, “under the stump”), rosemary should be cut periodically.

Propagation by dividing the bush

The easiest way to propagate rosemary is by dividing the bush. In March, carefully remove the rosemary bush, previously spilled with warm water, along with a clod of earth from the pot. Secateurs, trying to disturb the lump as little as possible, separate the parts and immediately plant them in new pots.

Propagation by cuttings

Most commonly propagated by cuttings of annual shoots. The best time for harvesting them is September-October. Bark-covered and peeled bottom cuttings 10 cm long with 3-4 internodes immediately plant in a prepared container, deepening them by 3-4 cm at an angle of 45 °. For a week, it is a good idea to cover the rosemary cuttings with a transparent film / plastic bottle with small holes for ventilation. Rooting with this method will be 60-80%. With a feeding area of ​​10x10 cm per seedling and good care, standard future rosemary bushes are grown throughout the year.

But you can first dip them into glasses with a solution of liquid PETER PEAT humic fertilizer "Living force: for soaking seeds", while the place of residence should be illuminated, but without direct sunlight. It is important to maintain a temperature of + 22-24 ° C all the time, spray and water the plantings with warm settled water and once a week feed with liquid humic fertilizer PETER PEAT "Living Force: Healthy Seedlings". After 3 weeks, roots will appear, then rosemary cuttings can be transplanted into separate pots with nutrient soil PETER PEAT "Microparnik" of the HOBBY line. Carry out cuttings at the end of June.

Harvesting and storage

Since the highest concentration of essential oils in rosemary is observed during its flowering period, at this time prepare dry spices for the winter. It is advisable to cut only young shoots. The twigs can simply be tied together with string and hung to dry in a shady spot. Store dried seasoning in glass jars or canvas bags - this way it will retain its aroma and beneficial properties for 3 years.

Fresh rosemary leaves give a stronger and brighter aroma, and this spice does not lose its aroma during long cooking, it can be added at the beginning of cooking, and then removed before serving, however, calculating the dosage, otherwise the bitterness of rosemary can spoil the dish.

Diseases and pests

  • Mu pure dew – rosemary leaves develop a coating that is barely visible due to their color, they darken and crumble.
    Treatment: spray with cooled wormwood decoction (100 g of dry wormwood per 400 ml of boiled water, bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes) or strong tincture of garlic. In extreme cases, spray rosemary with special preparations - colloidal sulfur or copper sulfate. But after insecticides, rosemary leaves cannot be used, you need to wait for new ones.
  • Spider mites, whiteflies, aphids are harmful insects that undermine the health of rosemary.
    Treatment: spray with cooled wormwood decoction (100 g of dry wormwood per 400 ml of boiled water, bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes) or strong tincture of garlic. Or use insecticides - FAS, Aktara, Kinmiks, Strela, Intavir.

Attention! After treatment with insecticides and other chemicals, rosemary leaves cannot be used, you need to wait for new ones.

growing in a pot at home, planting and care at home

Rosemary is known to many housewives, but not everyone has tried it in cooking. And this is a big omission. The name of this spicy herb is translated from Latin as "sea freshness". It is the freshness and special aroma that it gives to the dishes. It is not at all necessary to spend a lot of money on buying rosemary, because it can be grown at home. If you learn how to properly plant in a pot and care for a plant, then at home on the windowsill there will be not only a useful seasoning, but also a beautiful ornamental plant.


  • Rules of rosemary
  • Care and growing in a pot on the windowsill
  • The fight against pests
  • Application and benefit
  • Planting rosemary: video
  • How to care for rosemary: photo
  • Lands of rosemary

    Rosemary can be easily propagated in two ways: seeds and cuttings. Seeds are traditionally more complex. This is also due to the fact that rosemary seeds germinate very weakly. But it is, nevertheless, possible if you strictly follow the instructions.

    • Take a piece of gauze and wet it generously. Put rosemary seeds on wet gauze and leave for 2 days.
    • After that, the seeds are laid out on moist soil, the container with it is tightened with cling film to preserve heat and moisture. In order for oxygen to enter inside, you need to make several small punctures in the film with a toothpick.
    • As soon as shoots begin to appear, they should be periodically sprayed with water from a spray bottle.
    • Seedlings should reach 7-9 in 2-4 weekscm in height and at least 3 leaves should form on it. Then the seedlings can be transplanted into permanent soil. It is very important not to damage the rosemary sprouts.

    Attention! It is recommended to germinate the seeds of this crop in early spring or autumn.

    The second way to propagate rosemary is using cuttings from an adult plant. To do this, cut off the stiff shoot from the top of the bush. The lower leaves of the cutting are removed, and the cutting itself is placed in a moistened mixture of peat and sand (1: 1). If it is problematic to get such a mixture, you can replace it with a vessel of water. As soon as the cuttings give root, they are transplanted into permanent soil.

    Fragrant seasoning can be grown on the windowsill

    Care and growing in a pot on the windowsill

    The main thing in growing rosemary, like any other plant, is the soil. In this case, you will need the most fertile soil, rich in humus. Experienced flower growers recommend the following mixture: leafy soil, soddy soil, humus, peat, sand (2:2:1:1:1).

    Attention! Acidic soils are a killer for rosemary.

    But not only the soil is important, but also other aspects of plant care:

    1. Pot. Rosemary needs a lot of space, so the pot should be spacious. It is best to take pots made of clay. Be sure to provide drainage with expanded clay or pebbles.
    2. Temperature and humidity. Rosemary does not need high temperature, but loves the sun very much, so it is placed on the windows of the south side. In winter, the plant should be allowed to "hibernate" and kept at a temperature of 10-13 ° C. Otherwise, rosemary will not produce flowers. As for humidity, it is not very important. But, it is better to provide the plant with increased humidity.
    3. Watering. The flower can be harmed by both drought and excessive moisture. Therefore, you need to water rosemary regularly, but in moderation. It is more important what kind of water to water. It shouldn't be tough. In winter, water for irrigation needs to be slightly warmed up.

      Transplant rosemary

    4. Transplant. Transplant rosemary every 2 years in early spring. If the root system is too dense, you can do this every year.
    5. Feed This plant is fed during the active growing season - from March to September. Do this twice a month with the help of fertilizers (both organic and mineral).

    In order to fully saturate rosemary with the sun, in the summer pots with it can be taken out to the country. During the day, this plant is exposed to the open sun, and at night it is hidden in the house.

    Pest control

    Rosemary is reasonably resistant to diseases and pests. However, he can get in trouble too. Such as spider mites. The main sign of its presence is an almost imperceptible thin cobweb on the leaves and stem of the plant. If the tick has just appeared, you can deal with it with soapy water, which is thoroughly washed with rosemary leaves. If the infection is running, you can not do without insecticides.

    If the watering regime is violated, the lower leaves of rosemary may turn yellow. This is a signal that the plant does not have enough moisture. If rosemary sheds leaves, this indicates excessive watering. If small rust spots appear on the leaves of the plant, spraying preparations with copper will help to eliminate them.

    Uses and benefits

    Rosemary is grown not only for beauty. It is used in cooking and folk medicine.

    • Medicine. The leaves of this plant contain essential oils, resins and camphor. Therefore, rosemary is used to relieve pain of a spastic nature, as well as to eliminate inflammation. It is also used as an expectorant and diuretic. Rosemary helps with diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, liver and gallbladder, diabetes, neurasthenia, insomnia.
    Rosemary is used both in medicine and in cooking.