An Ode to Rosemary ~ my favorite herb


An Ode to Rosemary ~ My favorite herb!


Rosemary about to bloom!

Hands down, no questions asked, my favorite herb is Rosemary. Although it is hard to choose, and I don’t ordinarily play favorites when it comes to plants, this sturdy little plant from the mint family is so utilitarian it is always my first pick. Rosmarinus officianalis is also a relative of the Basils, Thymes and Salvias. This unassuming evergreen herb is very drought tolerant once established and is perfect for including in a xeriscape garden. A tender perennial except in zones 8 to 10, hundreds of varieties are available for growing with flowers in white, pink, purple and blue.

Its uses are many: culinary for food flavoring, decorative in flower gardens or topiaries and medicinal in natural cleaning products or as an antiseptic. The Virgin Mary is said to have spread her cloak across a white flowering Rosemary bush which changed the flowers to blue. Hence the name Rosemary (Rose of Mary). A symbol of remembrance, Rosemary has been used for weddings and funerals for hundreds of years, primarily in Europe.

Buy it once and you never need to buy it again! Because my Rosemary has to come inside during winter, I trim it back severely and make wreaths and new plants from the cuttings each year. A little tricky to keep inside, Rosemary wants lots of light and a very cool room (55 to 60 degrees F). Let it dry out between waterings as it will rot or develop fungus problems if left wet or in standing water. But you can often root cuttings in water in a sunny, cool window! My favorite way to propagate new Rosemary plants is to snip off pieces and root them in potting soil. Some references will recommend using a hormone rooting powder, but I have never used it and had great success.

It takes a two to three weeks for the roots to grow on planted cuttings. In only about three months you will have a well-established Rosemary plant ready to use or make more new plants from. In spring, plant your Rosemary directly into the flower or vegetable garden or into terra cotta pots for easy transport. Prune it often by snipping off the tops and it will become a full, pretty plant. In milder climates, Rosemary can stay out year round and becomes shrub-size. It is just about the perfect plant in my opinion.

Below is a pictured tutorial to show you how to make all the Rosemary plants you’ll ever need from one plant! Happy Propagating!



propagating rosemary

Snip pieces off the Rosemary plant that are approximately 3 inches long. Take off flowers and leaves from 2/3’s of the cutting and cut the end of each at an angle.

rosemary cuttings

Strip the leaves on each 3 inch Rosemary piece, then “wound” the stem by scraping with a knife. Insert in potting mix and tamp the soil in tightly, then water.

rosemary cuttings

Rosemary cuttings potted up in peat pots filled with potting soil.


Rosemary cutting after three months.

You might also enjoy this post from Our Fairfield Home & Garden

Make a Fresh Rosemary Wreath!



8 Responses so far.

  1. deborah says:

    I love rosemary also and its so easy to grow. Really good on chicken and pork.

  2. I never knew it was so easy! I have 2 small plants of rosemary, one indoors in my kitchen window and one outdoors in my garden bed. I would love to eventually add more to my yard, nice to know I can use my existing plants to do so!

  3. Lor says:

    Betting that wreath has the room smelling lovely!

  4. Pamela says:

    I have tried this and it didn’t work for me :(

    • Barb says:

      So sorry to hear that, Pamela! It is really important to find just the right light and temperature spot as Rosemary is pretty particular when it comes indoors. I know some folks who just root it in water, but I haven’t given that a go yet, have you?


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