How to Grow Rosemary Indoors [7 Easy Tips]

To grow rosemary indoors, begin by repotting rosemary into a pot slightly larger than the nursery container. It’s essential to plant rosemary in high-nutrient potting soil. Then, place your potted rosemary in a room where it will receive full sun and warm temperatures. Once the soil in the pot is dry to a depth of one inch (25 mm), water your rosemary until water drains from the holes in the bottom of the pot. Keep your rosemary growing strong by adding nutrients to the soil. That way, you can harvest fresh rosemary for cooking.

How to grow rosemary indoors

Does Rosemary Grow Well Indoors?

Rosemary grows well indoors as long as it’s provided with the proper soil, water, and light. Rosemary needs a lot of sunlight, and the biggest challenge for indoor rosemary is providing enough natural sunlight to keep your plant healthy. That’s why we recommend using grow lights or an indoor garden with built-in lights to grow rosemary indoors.

What is the Easiest Way to Grow Rosemary Indoors?

Click and grow indoors gardens are the best option for growing rosemary indoors. The Smart Garden 9 is perfect for growing rosemary alongside other herbs and vegetables. There’s no messing with watering cans, potting soil, or grow lights. Click and Grow rosemary pods sprout from their own growing medium. Then, they thrive thanks to Click and Grow’s built-in LED grow lights and automated watering. So, you can grow rosemary in any home.

Easily Grow Rosemary Indoors
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7 Tips to Grow Rosemary Indoors

Whether you’re new to indoor gardening or have had a bad experience trying to grow rosemary inside your home before, we’ve got the essential tips that help your plant succeed.

Select a New Pot

Do not leave a newly bought rosemary plant in its original pot. Often, the containers store-bought plants come in are too small and have poor drainage. Instead, choose a sturdy pot with a diameter one inch (25 mm) bigger than the original pot. This increased size will allow proper rosemary root development.

  • Repot newly purchased rosemary in a slightly larger container.
  • Repotting allows your rosemary to grow healthy roots.
  • Make sure your new pot has 2–5 drainage holes.

Look for a pot with three or more drainage holes in the bottom. This will allow excess water to escape. The pot itself can be made out of ceramic, wood, or any other material you wish. Just remember not to increase the size of the pot too much. A small rosemary plant in a large pot won’t be able to soak up the water in the soil. Planting rosemary in an oversized pot can lead to rotted roots and a dead plant.

Use the Right Potting Soil

Rosemary cannot be potted in regular soil from your garden. High-quality potting soil is a must. The right potting soil contains plenty of nutrients for healthy growth, plus soil additives that improve drainage.

  • Use this potting soil for your rosemary plant.
  • Potting soils designed for cactus are great for rosemary.
  • Don’t use soil from your garden for potted rosemary.
  • Potting soil contains perlite and other additives to help indoor plants thrive.

Rosemary grows naturally in Mediterranean climates with arid, fast-draining soil. So, a potting mix designed for cacti and succulents works best. These soil types dry quickly enough that your rosemary won’t suffer from root rot. But, your plant will still get enough water to thrive.

Repot Your Rosemary

To repot your rosemary in its new container, begin by gently removing the rosemary from its current container. To do this, grasp the plant at its base, turn the plant and container upside down, and gently wiggle the rosemary free. If the roots are tangled and swirled around each other, use your fingers to gently break up the soil and loosen the ends of the roots.

  • Gently remove the rosemary plant from its original pot.
  • Detangle bound roots if necessary.
  • Add a layer of potting soil to your new pot.
  • Place the rosemary on top of the potting soil.
  • Add more potting soil around the sides of the plant.

With the rosemary free from its original pot, pour a layer of potting soil into the bottom of the new pot. Then, place the rosemary into the new pot. The base of the stem should be one inch (25 mm) below the rim of the pot. Fill in the space around the sides of the plant with potting soil. Stop once the soil level is one inch below the pot’s rim.

Give Your Rosemary Light and Heat

Rosemary requires full sun, so you should place it in the sunniest window in your home. Large south-facing windows can sometimes provide enough natural sunlight for rosemary, but this is rare. Indoor spaces rarely provide the six to eight hours of natural sunlight rosemary requires. So, it’s best to supplement natural light with four hours of exposure to a grow light each day.

  • Provide rosemary with 6–8 hours of direct sunlight each day.
  • Place your rosemary in the window with the most sun exposure.
  • Supplement sunlight with 4 hours of exposure to this grow light each day.
  • Indoor gardens with built-in grow lights make growing rosemary easier.
  • Rosemary grows best in temperatures between 60–70℉ (16–21℃).

Rosemary struggles in cold climates. So, you’ll get the best results growing rosemary indoors if the room stays between 60 and 70℉ (16–21℃). In cooler temperatures, rosemary will grow slowly. In hot rooms, the soil may dry out more frequently, which means you’ll need to water more often.

Follow a Rosemary Watering Method

Potted rosemary needs water whenever the top inch (25 mm) of soil is dry. You can stick your finger into the soil to check for dryness, or use a soil moisture meter. When you water, slowly pour cool water onto the soil without splashing dirt onto the leaves and stems. Continue watering until water begins to trickle from the drainage holes in the bottom of the pot. Then, stop.

  • Water your indoor rosemary whenever the top of the soil feels dry.
  • Do not water rosemary if the soil still feels moist.
  • When watering, slowly moisten the soil until it drains from the bottom of the pot.
  • Water rosemary weekly in summer, once every other week in spring and fall.

Typically, rosemary needs water once per week during the summer. In spring and fall, it may only need to be watered once every two weeks. For more details on rosemary’s watering needs, as well as how to tell when your plant is overwatered, check out our detailed rosemary watering guide.

Fertilize Indoor Rosemary

Rosemary will eventually pull the nutrients out of even the best potting soil. So, it’s essential to add more soil nutrients with fertilizer. Apply a gentle fertilizer in May, then repeat the application each month through August. Do not fertilize your rosemary from September through April.

  • Fertilize rosemary once per month from May through August.
  • Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of this organic fertilizer onto the soil in the pot.
  • Water after fertilizing to pull the fertilizer down to your rosemary’s root zone.

Balanced, organic fertilizer provides excellent results for rosemary. To apply it simply sprinkle one tablespoon of the fertilizer on the soil around the plant. Then, water the fertilizer in with your regular watering method. The water will dissolve the fertilizer granules and pull the nutrients down into the soil. This will allow your rosemary to absorb the nutrients through its roots.

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Trim Your Rosemary

Once your rosemary has adjusted to its new pot and is sending out new growth, you can begin to harvest rosemary for your garden. Follow the tips for pruning rosemary to get the most from your plant without damaging it. You can use the fresh herbs for cooking, or dry them for later use.

  • Occasionally trim off rosemary branches to harvest herbs.
  • Never remove more than one-third of the rosemary plant’s branches or it may die.
  • Perform annual pruning to promote healthy, bushy rosemary.

In addition to periodically trimming rosemary to harvest herbs, it’s also a good idea to prune off dead and broken branches at the end of winter. You can also shape rosemary in spring to encourage bushier growth and a healthier plant.

How Do You Keep a Rosemary Plant Alive Indoors?

In order to help rosemary thrive indoors:

  • Choose a well-draining pot for your rosemary.
  • Fill the pot with nutrient-rich potting soil.
  • Repot your rosemary carefully, to avoid damaging the roots and stems.
  • Provide rosemary with plenty of sun and grow light exposure.
  • Water your rosemary whenever the top inch (25 mm) of soil is dry.
  • Fertilize rosemary monthly throughout the summer.
  • Harvest fresh rosemary for cooking.

Indoor rosemary plants can thrive in the right conditions. As with other potted plants that grow quickly and need a lot of sun, use gentle fertilizer and provide extra light. This will ensure you have the healthiest plant.

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