How to Grow Rosemary Indoors

Rosemary plant

The strong flavor and clean scent of rosemary makes it a favorite herb in the kitchen, and its antiseptic properties are helpful around the rest of the house. But fresh rosemary may not always be available at your local supermarket. Fortunately, if you have a sunny window, rosemary is an attractive and easy-care houseplant.

Step 1 - Choose a Spot For Your Rosemary

Find a window that gets at least five hours of direct sun daily. A full day of sun is best. Make sure the windowsill is big enough to support a pot, or find a table that can sit right next to the window.

Step 2 - Choose Your Rosemary

flowering rosemary bush

Rosemary plants are difficult to start from seed. Instead, purchase seedlings at your local garden supply store. Most herb seedlings are the perfect size for a standard six-inch flower pot. If you want more than one rosemary plant, either plant each in its own pot, or purchase a much bigger pot. Each rosemary plant will need six inches of space around it.

Step 3 - Prepare The Potting Soil

Rosemary plants prefer slightly dry soil. To create this soil, you can mix clean sand into standard potting soil. Most garden supply shops carry bags of sand suitable for indoor gardening; simply buy a small bag of this sand along with your potting soil. Then, prepare a potting mix just for the rosemary with one part of sand for every four parts of potting soil. Mix the sand and potting soil thoroughly to combine.

Step 4 - Re-Pot Your Rosemary

If your pot has a drainage hole at the bottom, cover it over with a few small rocks so water doesn't drain out too quickly. Fill the pot with your sand-and-soil potting mix, and wet it thoroughly. Add a bit more potting mix if necessary. The wet potting mix should come up to within one inch of the top of the pot. Dig a hole about four or five inches deep for the rosemary plant.

Water the rosemary seedling thoroughly, carefully sliding it out of the pot it came in, and place the roots and soil into the hole you dug in your flower pot. Fill in the gaps around the rosemary with more potting mix and water a bit more. Place your rosemary in your selected spot.

Step 5 - Care For Your Rosemary

hand touching a sprig of rosemary

For the first two months keep the soil moist, but not soggy. Watering once a week should be fine. Once your rosemary is a bit bigger, let the rosemary dry out a bit between waterings, but wait until your rosemary starts to wilt a bit. This will not hurt your plant and will concentrate the oils in the leaves, leading to stronger-flavored rosemary.

Make sure your rosemary receives at least five hours of direct sun daily.

Fertilize only once every few months.

Check your pot periodically to see if roots are growing out through the drainage hole-if you see any, re-pot your rosemary to a bigger pot.

Avoid harvesting any sprigs from your rosemary plant until you've seen at least two inches of new growth. Then, to harvest, simply snip off a sprig with a pair of scissors, making sure you leave plenty of growth left on the plant.