QUESTION: How do I keep my rosemary plant healthy? I just planted one in my front yard in a full sun location, but I’m wondering if there’s anything specific I should be doing or looking out for. Got any advice? – Andy U
ANSWER: Rosemary plants are specific in what they need from you but, at the same time, don’t require a ton of extra care.
Follow these steps to keep your rosemary plants happy and healthy. The first thing you should do is know your planting zone.
In most cases, rosemary is only hardy in planting zones eight and nine. This is what causes some people trouble when growing this herb.
Rosemary doesn’t like to be disturbed once planted in the ground. Therefore, if you aren’t in the above-mentioned planting zones, rosemary will only work as an annual in your area if left outdoors.
However, you have two additional options if you don’t live in the ideal planting zone. The first option is to grow rosemary in a container.
You may plant the container in the ground during the warmer season and dig it up to move indoors when the temperature changes, or you can incorporate rosemary into your container garden.
The other option is to treat rosemary as an annual but ensure you remove cuttings from the plant before it dies each year to start new plants.
Once you’ve established how you’d like to grow rosemary, then you must understand how to properly care for it. Rosemary desires to grow in an area with well-draining soil and full sunlight.
This plant loves warmth and can’t handle temperatures which dip below 30-degrees Fahrenheit. It’s also extremely important that rosemary is never left in an oversaturated state.
In fact, if growing this plant in a container, terra cotta is recommended as it allows the plant to dry out fully between waterings.
Finally, you must ensure you prune, repot, and fertilize rosemary. Prune your rosemary plant regularly to keep it at a desired size and encourage new growth.
You should only fertilize rosemary if it’s showing signs of needing a boost of nutrients. Should the plant appear stunted or stressed, add a balanced fertilizer to the growing area to see if it helps the plant rebound.
Also, if growing rosemary in a container, be sure to repot the plant once per year. It’s common for these plants to become root bound, so repotting annually should help deter this issue.
These are the few things you must do to keep rosemary healthy. This herb throws many gardeners through a loop due to its requirements with watering, transplanting, and avoiding the plant becoming root bound.
However, once you decide if you’re going to treat rosemary as an annual or keep it year-round in a container, this should help you develop a routine to grow rosemary year after year while ensuring the plant thrives.