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Rosemary Growing Guide

Rosemary Growing Guide

SHORTCUTS: Ideal Environment, How to Plant, How to Water, Companion Planting, How to Propagate, How to Harvest, Parts Used, Preparations, Uses, Key Constituents, Key Actions, Research.


Rosmarinum Officinalis
Rosemary is an evergreen shrub that can grow up to 1.5 metres high. It is very easy to cultivate because it is draught tolerant. It is one of the best herbs to use in the kitchen, a wonderful addition to any garden and it has various medicinal uses.

Growing Environment

Ideal Environment 

Rosemary can grow in a variety of soils, sandy loam preferred because good drainage is important and lots of sun.  Rosemary can also grow in containers outside or in a sunny window.

How to Plant

How to Plant 

Rosemary can be grown from seeds, cover lightly with soil and keep slightly moist until they are established with a few sets of leaves.  To speed up the process you can soak the seeds overnight and germinate them in a small greenhouse or covering the container with plastic.


How to Water

Once the small plants are established watering Rosemary will vary according to your local climate, generally in warmer areas water only once a week or less and do not water during the rainy season.

Companion Plants

Companion Planting 

Rosemary goes well with other herbs and is a great addition to any garden because it can draw bees year around (in warmer climates). In particular it is said to go well with sage, thyme, beans, carrots and cabbages.

Here are the Companion Plants by group: Herbs, Flowers, Trees, Vegetables, Berries, Fruit and Mushrooms

How to Propagate

How to Propagate 

Rosemary is easy to propagate from an existing plant, clip a 10 to 12 cm piece from soft new growth, strip the leaves from the bottom, use with or without rooting hormone and put them straight into the soil or in water until roots have developed and they can be transplanted.


How to Harvest

Harvest Rosemary throughout the year to encourage growth and to shape your plants, strip the needle-like leaves off the main stem and use as required.

Medicinal Plants Parts Used

Parts Used

The green needle-like leaves are used and you can eat the flowers.

Medicinal Preparations


Rosemary preparations include tinctures (about 5ml dose per day), infusions (a teaspoon per cup), ointments and oils.

Plant Uses


Rosemary is calming and can be used to increase vitality and memory.  It is also said to help with sleep and blood circulation.


Key Constituents

Antioxidants, Volatile oil (borneol, camphene, camphor, cineole, limonene, linalool, isobutyl acetate, 3-octanone, terpineol, verbenol, etc.), flavonoids (apigenin, diosmin, diosmin, etc.), rosmarininc acid and other phenolic acids, terpenoids (carnasol, oleanolic & ursolic acid). (3)

Key Actions

Key Actions

Nervous system relaxant, sedative, anti-depressant, mild analgesic (topically), antioxidant, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, astringent, diaphoretic, rubefacient, capillary tonic, circulatory stimulant, cardiotonic, carminative, choleretic, hepatoprotector, emmenagogue, diuretic, antispasmodic. (3)



In a 2013 study from Saint Louis University found that Rosemary can improve learning and memory, potentially helping with age-related cognitive decline. (23)

USEFUL LINKS: About the Growing Guides, The Medicine Garden, Companion Plants, Basic Preparations and Plant Constituents. Disclaimer. References.