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Growing Rosemary in Pots

Author Teresa Odle

We love rosemary in a container for several reasons. First, you can keep it in a sunny location all year and leave it relatively close to your kitchen to snip stems for cooking. By leaving the pot close to a south-facing wall in winter, the plant, which is hardy to zones 6 through 8, will receive some extra warmth.

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Established rosemary in pot that wintered over. I took a few cuttings, but it still has outgrown this narrow container and needs transplanting.

Cutting some rosemary stems for culinary use helps keep the plant compact enough for container living. Otherwise, it might begin to flower and outgrow the pot. When rosemary blooms, it’s an attractive, evergreen Mediterranean plant, and bees love the tiny bluish-lavender flowers.

Rosemary Care in Pots

Rosemary is best grown from a nursery transplant or cutting, not from seed. When preparing your container, be sure it has a hole for drainage and mix well-draining soil that’s slightly alkaline and not too fertile. You won’t need to fertilize your rosemary, either, but adding an organic fertilizer when transplanting or once a season shouldn’t harm the plant. Just keep it as warm as you can in winter if you live on the cooler side of the zones, and if you bring the container inside, place it in a sunny location.

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New rosemary plant in a container, ready to head outside for full sun exposure.

Rosemary is drought tolerant and one of the few problems you’ll encounter with rosemary is caused by wet roots when temperatures drop. Rosemary thrives in full sun, and in summer, container plants need some supplemental watering every few days in the heat. Transplant the rosemary to a new container when the plant becomes too large.

Benefits of Growing Rosemary In Pots

The aromatic and flavorful leaves of rosemary have many uses. We love the scent of rosemary in those rice-filled neck warmers! The oil from rosemary leaves is said to help with heartburn and other digestive problems. The oil may also help soothe skin irritated by eczema. Of course, it’s widely used in perfumes, sachets and lotions.

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The only thing better than looking at a rosemary plant is running your finger over the stems, or cutting some for use in your kitchen!