Skip to Content

Rosemary Plant Care Guide: How to Grow and Care for Rosemary

Rosemary Plant Care Guide: How to Grow and Care for Rosemary

Let's grow together!

Notes

One plant that can stand out for its distinct appearance is the Rosemary. It is a woody herb that is easy to care for, which is why it is regarded as a must-have by many indoor gardeners as an addition to their herb garden.

In this post, we’ll talk you through all the care practices and requirements for your Rosemary. If you want to buy this plant, we also have options for you to explore below.

What Is Rosemary?

Rosemary is ideally placed indoors in a sunny spot, preferably in a south-facing window. When grown outdoors, it is only ideal for USDA hardiness zones 7-10 for higher survivability.

Also known as Romero, this woody herb plant is famous for its health benefits. Fresh Rosemary, just like other fresh herbs, is excellent for culinary uses. It belongs to the Mint family.

Origin And Family

From the Salvia genus in the Mints family, the Romero is native to the Mediterranean region and produces white flowers, pink flowers, and/or blue flowers. Discovered in 500 B.C. by ancient Greeks and Romans, this houseplant makes a great addition to any home.

Where To Buy

Rosemary is very affordable to purchase. The Rosemary is available for sale on Etsy, which is one of the most reliable sites when purchasing plants online. Most of our indoor plants at this point are purchased here.

Rosemary Plant Size

When grown as a houseplant, the Mediterranean herb grows to a height of 1 meter and spreads to a width of 4 ft. It’s a slow-to-moderate grower that flourishes when placed in a sunny spot.

Rosemary Care Needs

Most plants, including Rosemary, are simple to cultivate with the right conditions and adequate care. It favors several hours of direct sunlight and moist but not too wet soil. The pot for your rosemary bushes, like most plants, should have suitable drainage holes.

Care Difficulty

Rosemary is easy-to-care-for in most situations, assuming you have the right amount of full sun and well-draining soil. With this Romero guide, you’ll be able to quickly grow this woody herb plant.

Growth Rate

The growing speed of a Romero is typically slow-to-moderate. Indoors, it reaches a mature height of 1 meter.

You can control this plant’s height with proper pruning during the growing season in the late spring or summer.

Repotting

As your plant grows, you might need to upgrade from your current pot to a bigger pot on an as-needed basis. Typically, you do not have to repot often because this plant grows at a slow-to-moderate pace. Just make sure you will be using good potting soil.

When repotting, you may use a new batch of well-drained, loamy, slightly acidic soil which is the ideal growing medium for your Rosemary.

Soil

Rosemary grows well when grown in well-drained, loamy, slightly acidic soil, though, at times, it can tolerate sandy soil. If you want to make your own instead of purchasing a medium, start by adding in weekly in summer and add in once every two weeks in early spring and fall.

Additionally, sufficient drainage is critical to avoid fungal disease, root rot, and other issues.

These are some soil options we recommend:

Photo Title Price Buy
Miracle-Gro Indoor Potting...image Miracle-Gro Indoor Potting Mix 6 qt., Grows beautiful Houseplants, 2-Pack $12.99
Burpee, 9 Quarts...image Burpee, 9 Quarts | Premium Organic Potting Natural Soil Mix Food Ideal for Container Garden-Vegetable, Flower & Herb Use for Indoor Outdoor Plant $12.99
SUNGRO HORTICULTURE Black...image SUNGRO HORTICULTURE Black Gold 1310102 8-Quart All Purpose Potting Soil With Control, Brown/A $14.81
Miracle-Gro Potting Mix Miracle-Gro Potting Mix $16.99
FoxFarm Ocean Forest...image FoxFarm Ocean Forest Potting Soil Mix Indoor Outdoor for Garden and Plants | Plant Fertilizer | 12 Quart + THCity Stake $19.99

pH

A soil pH of roughly 6.0 and 7.5 is ideal for the Romero. For those who are concerned about the acidity of the soil, a basic pH meter equipment may be purchased.

Add sulfur or aluminum sulfate to bring down pH levels. To boost the pH level, use wood ash, baking soda, calcitic or dolomitic lime.

Water

Proper watering is essential for Romero. If you water too much, you risk causing diseases such as root rot. If you water too little, your plant’s roots may dry out, especially during warm days.

There is an easy method to determine if your plant needs to be watered. Stick a pencil or a wooden skewer into the pot and see if wet, muddy soil is still clinging to it. Or, simply use your finger to feel for moisture. If you notice the soil is dry, it’s the best time to water your plant.

A porous pot with adequate drainage holes plus an aerated, chunky soil mix can help eliminate excess moisture.

Light

Rosemary prefers 6-8 hours of sunlight per day. Don’t forget that you’re trying to recreate the growing conditions in the Mediterranean region. Placing this plant in a sunny spot works well in most situations.

You’ll know your Rosemary is getting too much light when the soil dries out faster, the plant will wither, and the leaves will begin to seem soft and loose and eventually get dry. On the other hand, without sufficient light, it will be unable to produce enough energy to stay alive on this amount of weak light and simply dies.

Fertilizer

Here’s a frequent mistake by several indoor growers, they forget to fertilize. They think that water and direct sunlight are sufficient sources of nourishment. However, the nourishment in the soil is equally significant to the general health of your plant.

Feed your plant every week during late spring or summer. If you’re using a potent fertilizer, you may need to dilute it first.

Propagating Rosemary

Rosemary can be propagated from the comfort of your home. Here are steps for making more of this plant.

Stem Cuttings In Soil

Rosemary cuttings directly planted in the soil are a hassle-free way to propagate your Romero. It is best to propagate this plant when it’s actively growing during late spring to early summer.

1. Cut. Make a 3-inch cutting from a healthy section of your plant with new growth and some visible nodes. Ensure that you’re scissors sterilized to avoid bacterial infection.

2. Plant. Put the cutting in damp soil, burying the nodes. Then, squeeze the soil around the stem to keep it in place.

3. Maintain. Make sure to frequently moisten the soil while keeping the plant near a window in bright, indirect sunlight to allow faster rooting. 

4. Wait. In about 2-3 weeks, you will find new buds on the top leaves, which means that your cutting is now rooted!

Stem Cuttings In Water

Here is how to successfully develop Romero cuttings in water:

1. Cut. Cut the stem just below a node with a sharp knife. Remove flower stems and lower leaves so that your cutting may concentrate its resources on root growth.

2. Submerge. Keep the cutting in an old glass bottle filled with water. Any part of the stem submerged in the water should not have leaves.

3. Maintain. A window with good airflow and well-lit is the ideal location for your new plant. Keep a humidifier nearby to maintain perky leaves. 

4. Refill. Check every 3-5 days and replenish with a clean batch of water if needed.

5. Transplant. When the roots have grown about an inch or longer, your cutting is ready to be potted in soil. 

Air Layering Technique

Air-layering is often the safest way to propagate rare, expensive, and sensitive plants. Air-layered cuttings, unlike traditional soil and water propagation procedures, will develop roots before being separated from the mother plant.

Here are the steps in air-layering your Romero:

1. Choose a section to propagate. Find the section of the stem which you want to grow into a new plant. Make sure it has a node.

2. Wrap the stem. Wrap using sphagnum moss and clingwrap, or you can fill a plastic or paper cup with soil, cut it in half, then reattach it with tape, wrapping the stem in the middle.

3. Wait for roots. It may take 2-4 weeks to grow roots, depending on the temperature, humidity, and health of your chosen section. Keep your chosen medium moist but not soggy.

4. Cut and plant. When the new roots are punching through the layer of substrate, you can detach the cutting and directly plant it into the soil.

Humidity And Aeration

Rosemary is a perennial herb that prefers moderate to high humidity, often between 45-55%.

When you find browning edges on your plant’s leaves, you may try these options for increasing humidity:

• Arrange your houseplants together to form a humidity bubble.

• Consider purchasing a humidifier.

• Arrange your pots on top of a tray of stones and water. This will cause a mist to form around your plant.

• Mist your plant occasionally, but not too regularly, or you risk inviting fungal illnesses.

Temperature

Romero plants can thrive in a temperature range of 50-65 degrees Fahrenheit.

They do, however, like constant temperatures, so keep them away from windows and openings that may let chilly air in during cold seasons. Also, keep your plants away from vents and other sources of heat, which can dry the air.

Non-Toxic

The Romero is not toxic to children or pets. There are also no ingredients in the plant that are harmful to humans. This plant will not harm dogs or cats if ingested, according to the ASPCA.

Plant GuideCare Specifics
Botanical NameRosemary
Common Nameromero
Plant FamilyMints
OriginMediterranean region
Plant Typeperennial
Leaf Shapeneedle-shaped
Leaf Colorgreen
Recommended Home Placementa sunny spot
Growth Rateslow-to-moderate
Lightdirect sunlight
Soilwell-drained, loamy, slightly acidic soil
When To Fertilizeevery week during growing season
Preferred pH6.0 and 7.5
Humidity Range45-55%
Toxic To Pets?No
Common Pests & Diseasesspider mites, brown tips, fungus gnuts, powder mildrew, scale insects, yellow leabes, root rot, aphids, mealy bugs, drooping leaves

Pests, Diseases, And Other Problems

Is your Rosemary looking ill? Most would say that this plant has a solid resistance to pests, diseases, and prevalent problems.

I’ve added the most typical problems that this plant encounters in the areas below. Use these guidelines to help you diagnose and treat Salvia.

Spider Mites

Houseplants can occasionally invite unwanted guests into your house in the form of pests. The spider mite is one such example. Although the larvae are not visible, adult mites can be seen scampering around when disturbed.

Spraying watered-down neem oil on the leaves of your plants can aid in the elimination of spider mite larvae. Adult mites are also effectively killed by organic Pyrethrin sprays. When spraying insecticides inside, use ingredients that are not harmful to humans if breathed.

Fungus Gnats

The eggs of fungus gnats are laid in the soil and will later hatch into hundreds of larvae in a couple of days, attaching themselves to the roots and slowly draining the nutrients from your Romero.

Look for grayish-black insects that are lethargically fluttering about the edge of the pot or crawling on the soil to identify fungus gnats. Infested plants will show signs comparable to root rot, such as yellowing and losing leaves, stunted and poor development, and wilting.

If you notice these gnats, reduce your watering schedules. It shouldn’t be enough to kill the plant but lengthen the period between waterings to dehydrate the eggs and larvae.

If the problem persists, mix one cup of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide with four cups of water and pour the solution onto the soil.

Powdery Mildew

Powdery mildew is a fungal infection that typically appears as round, powdery white patches on the foliage and stems of your Romero. Juvenile leaves are particularly vulnerable.

To treat, dissolve one tablespoon of baking soda and one-half teaspoon of liquid soap in one gallon of water. Liberally spray the mixture on your infected plant.

It is also a good idea to keep the foliage dry by putting your plant in an area with good ventilation.

Scale Insects

Scale insects might appear as clumps on the stems or leaves of your Rosemary. These minor bugs, which may be green, gray, brown, or black in color, usually remain sedentary once they’ve clutched onto a plant.

During a mild infestation, you can dissuade scale insects from infiltrating your plant by adding a teaspoon of neem oil to four glasses of water. Spray the plant aggressively with a spray bottle.

Neem oil and horticultural oil may not kill the bugs, but they will surely harm them. There are various pesticide sprays for scales that are considered safe for indoor usage.

Aphids

Aphids are tiny insects that will feed on the sap of your Romero. Some aphids are crawlers, and some are winged. They may come in colors of brown, black, red, green, white, and many others.

Check for aphids on the underside of leaves, on unfurled shoots, and on delicate areas of the stem. If you come across these insects (which are generally in a group), act swiftly before they spread to other houseplants!

It’s important to cover the dirt with a plastic bag first. Then, using soap and water, thoroughly clean your plant. You can also use a sponge to ensure that all surfaces are thoroughly cleaned. After cleaning, keep your plant in a shady area with sufficient ventilation so that the soap does not burn the leaves.

If the aphids return, spray your Romero with neem oil, horticultural oil, or rubbing alcohol. Remember to dilute these products first. 

Mealybugs

Mealybugs can potentially infest your Romero. They leave a white powdery film, and they secrete honeydew which causes black sooty mold on the leaves. Plants infested with mealies will have yellow-drooping leaves.

Remove adult mealies using a cotton bud dipped in rubbing alcohol. They usually die and turn an orange color upon contact. Proceed to spray the rest of the leaves with diluted alcohol.

There are so-called root mealies that will bury themselves and target the roots. Dehydrate them by sprinkling Diatomaceous Earth powder on the topsoil in between waterings. You can also add a few drops of hydrogen peroxide when you water.

Brown Leaf Tips

The edges of your Romero’s leaves may turn brown when it’s not receiving enough moisture from the air and from its roots. Ensure that your plant is watered on time and that the humidity level in its area is appropriate for its need.

You may also need to evaluate the amount and frequency with that you apply fertilizers. Overfeeding may burn the foliage of your houseplants, and this is typically manifested as browning edges on their leaves.

Drooping Leaves

Drooping Rosemary leaves can be caused by inconsistency in watering, poor lighting, and a lack of humidity. Cleaning your plant’s leaves with simple water and a microfiber cloth may also aid in eliminating the coating of dust that might interfere with photosynthesis.

Yellow Leaves

Yellowing leaves on Romero can be caused by lack of light, too much light, overwatering, underwatering, nutrient deficiency, overfertilization, recent disruption of the roots, changes in temperature and humidity, presence of pests, and many others.

If you’re confused, don’t worry! Gardening requires trial and error to figure out the ideal conditions for your plants, and even master gardeners are learning new things every day.

It is usually encouraged to prune off yellowing leaves so the plant won’t waste its energy trying to “save” the leaf instead of supplying nutrients to new leaves.

Root Rot

Root rot is a particularly common cause of death for Romero. Indoor gardeners tend to overwater their plants, or they fail to provide sufficient drainage for their plants. Given the difficulty of treating root rot, the best course of action is prevention.

Allow your roots to respire by using a well-aerated soil mix. River sand, horticultural coal, pumice, orchid bark, perlite, lava pebbles, coco cubes, aqua soil, and other coarse and gritty materials will considerably increase your plant’s drainage.

Climate is another vital factor to consider before watering your plant. If your plant is in an area with little sunshine and ventilation, moisture will evaporate more slowly. Before watering your plant, always check to see if the soil is dry approximately halfway down the container.

Similar Plants

Love Romero? Below are some other similar plant options you should try:

Garlic – A species of bulbous blooming plant belonging to the Allium genus is garlic. The onion, shallot, leek, chive, Welsh onion, and Chinese onion are among its close relatives.

Ginger – The ginger plant is a tropical plant that is normally found in hot, humid settings, yet it may also be grown inside. It is a perennial herbaceous plant with one-meter-tall annual pseudostems bearing narrow leaf blades.

Microgreens – Microgreens, also referred to as “vegetable confetti,” are occasionally mistaken for sprouts, the germination of seeds that are consumed from root to shoot. Microgreens are a variety of edible young greens that are cut with scissors when the plants are up to 2 inches tall and less than a month after germination.

Indoor Herbs – Herbs are a commonly utilized group of plants with savory or fragrant qualities that are used for flavoring and garnishing meals, for medical purposes, or for fragrances.

Conclusion

The Rosemary is a stunning plant and is genuinely a delight to care for. Your plant-care efforts will be rewarded when you see fresh growth of new shoots come out of your plant. An excellent culinary herb, this will surely be a good choice for you to add to your garden.

Can’t get enough of Salvia plant guides? Check out these helpful articles from Two Peas In A Condo!

Help us grow! This post contains affiliate links, which means we receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something recommended. All opinions, however, are our own, and we do not accept payments for positive reviews.

Let's grow together!