How to grow your own rosemary in the garden or on a windowsill

How to grow rosemary for herby goodness year after year

A plant stand with potted herbs
(Image credit: Future PLC)

Having a herb garden with the likes of rosemary is on the top of every cook’s wish list. The good news is that acquiring one and taking care of it is not at all difficult. So learning how to grow rosemary (and many other herbs, too) is a fairly easy feat. It’s no coincidence that herb growing is one of the first forays into gardening for most beginners.

Growing a rosemary plant is a great herb garden idea - whether you decide to pot it or plant it in your borders, grow it outside in the garden or on your windowsill in the kitchen. Rosemary is one versatile and easy-to-grow herb.

Just as long as you avoid the common herb garden mistakes, you should be good to go, according to our gardening experts.

A white kitchen with a potted rosemary plant and a fruit bowl

(Image credit: Future PLC/Joanna Henderson)

How to grow rosemary

Apart from knowing when to prune rosemary, there are a few other things that you need to do and abide by to have a healthy herb on your hands. But don’t worry, anyone can do it as it’s very easy to take care of.

‘Rosemary is very easy to grow. It's hardy and generally requires a minimal amount of care once it's properly established,’ says Steve Chilton, garden expert at LeisureBench.

But this is what you need to take care of to properly establish it first.

What you’ll need

A plant stand with potted herbs

(Image credit: Getty Images/Westend61)
Steve Chilton portrait
Steve Chilton

Steve is a passionate and knowledgeable garden expert with several years of experience within the field. As the director of LeisureBench, an industry-leading garden furniture company, Steve has developed strong expertise for all things nature and plants. 

The best time to plant rosemary is generally springtime or autumn if it is still fairly warm. 

‘I recommend planting rosemary in spring or autumn as long as the weather is still relatively warm. Planting at this time means that the plants can establish their roots before facing heat or extreme cold,’ Steve says.

Rosemary plant

(Image credit: Getty Images/saraTM)

Planting

Rosemary thrives in warmth, sun and dry conditions, which recreate the herbs native Mediterranean. So as close as you get to this environment, the more your rosemary will thrive.

‘Growing rosemary in suitable warm, sunny, well-drained conditions usually gives it the best conditions to thrive and makes it robust and healthy,’ says Petar Ivanov, Fantastic Gardeners' gardening and plant expert.

Start by choosing a sunny spot if you’re planting in your garden border. ‘I recommend choosing a sunny location in the garden that gets around 6 hours of sunlight a day,’ Steve says.

He continues, ‘Use well-draining soil. To be more specific, you could use a soil with a pH level of 6 to 7.’

A tableware display with herbs

(Image credit: Future PLC/David Brittain)
Petar Ivanov portrait
Petar Ivanov

Petar Ivanov is one of the company's top-performing experts and manages over six teams of gardeners, delivering stunning landscape results and fostering a deep connection with nature through his work.

Watering

‘Keep in mind also that if there's a lot of water in the soil or potting compost, especially in winter, its roots can rot and die, so it'll be very important to maintain good drainage,’ Petar warns. 

That’s why it’s very important to choose well-draining soil and refrain from watering the herb too much.

‘Water thoroughly at first, then let the soil partially dry out during watering. Rosemary prefers drier conditions so be wary of making the soil too moist,’ Steve explains.

Rosemary bunch being cut

(Image credit: Future PLC/Brent Darby)

Protection

If you’re growing your rosemary outside, then you need to protect it during the winter months as the low temperatures could kill it.

‘Extremely cold winters may damage or kill it, so make sure to add mulch as protection in winter in order to help insulate its roots,’ Steve advises.

FAQs

Is rosemary easy to grow?

‘As long as your rosemary is planted in a sunny place with well-draining soil, it'll be easy to grow and will require little care,’ Petar says.

rosemary plant

(Image credit: Julian Hochgesang / Unsplash)

Does rosemary come back every year?

As a perennial plant, rosemary comes back year after year and can be enjoyed almost all year long. 

‘Even if you live in a very cold climate, rosemary can grow on a windowsill every year,’ Petar notes.

Happy rosemary growing! You can do it.

Sara Hesikova
News Writer

Sara Hesikova has been Ideal Home’s News Writer since July 2023, bringing the Ideal Home’s readership breaking news stories from the world of home and interiors. Graduating from London College of Fashion with a bachelor’s degree in fashion journalism in 2016, she got her start in niche fashion and lifestyle magazines like Glass and Alvar as a writer and editor before making the leap into interiors. She feels the two are intrinsically connected - if someone puts an effort into what they wear, they most likely also care about what they surround themselves with.