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How to Care for Rosemary Cone Plant

Updated: July 2, 2023

Rosemary cone plants (Rosmarinus officinalis) are popular and versatile herbs that are often used in cooking, aromatherapy, and even as ornamental plants. With their fragrant leaves and beautiful cone-shaped growth habit, they can add a touch of elegance to any garden or indoor space. Whether you are a seasoned gardener or a beginner, here are some essential tips on how to care for your rosemary cone plant and ensure its health and vitality.

Choosing the Right Location

When it comes to growing rosemary cone plants, the first step is selecting the right location. These plants thrive in full sun, so choose a spot where they can receive at least six hours of direct sunlight each day. If you are growing them indoors, place them near a sunny window or use grow lights to provide adequate light.

Rosemary cone plants also prefer well-drained soil with a slightly acidic to neutral pH range (around 6.0 to 7.0). If your soil is heavy and clay-like, consider adding organic matter such as compost or sand to improve drainage.

Watering and Moisture Requirements

Rosemary cone plants have moderate water needs and are drought-tolerant once established. It is essential not to overwater them, as they are susceptible to root rot in soggy conditions. Water your rosemary plant deeply but infrequently, allowing the top few inches of soil to dry out before watering again.

To check if your rosemary cone plant needs water, insert your finger into the soil up to your knuckle. If it feels dry at that depth, it’s time to water. Be sure not to wet the foliage when watering as this can lead to fungal diseases.


Rosemary cone plants do not require heavy fertilization. In fact, they prefer slightly lean soil rather than overly rich soil. You can fertilize your rosemary plant once or twice a year in the spring and fall using a balanced organic fertilizer.

Avoid using high nitrogen fertilizers as they can promote excessive foliage growth at the expense of flower production. Instead, opt for a fertilizer with a balanced N-P-K ratio, such as a 10-10-10 or 5-5-5 blend.

Pruning and Shaping

Regular pruning is essential to maintain the shape and health of your rosemary cone plant. Prune your plant in the spring before new growth begins to encourage bushier growth and prevent it from becoming leggy.

To prune, use sharp pruning shears and cut back about one-third of the plant’s overall size. Focus on removing any dead, damaged, or weak branches. You can also lightly trim the plant throughout the year to maintain its shape and remove any straggly growth.

Pests and Diseases

Rosemary cone plants are relatively pest and disease resistant. However, they can occasionally be attacked by aphids, spider mites, or whiteflies. Regularly inspect your plant for any signs of infestation, such as yellowing leaves or sticky residue on the foliage.

To control pests, you can spray your rosemary cone plant with a mixture of water and insecticidal soap or neem oil. Remember to follow the instructions on the product label and avoid spraying when temperatures are high or during peak sunlight hours.

Harvesting Rosemary

One of the great benefits of growing rosemary cone plants is having fresh herbs at your fingertips for culinary use. You can begin harvesting rosemary once your plant has become established and has enough growth to spare.

To harvest rosemary, simply snip off sprigs or individual leaves as needed. Avoid removing more than one-third of the plant’s overall growth at once to ensure its continued health. Harvesting regularly will also help promote bushier growth.

Overwintering Rosemary

In colder climates, rosemary cone plants are not frost-tolerant and may need protection during the winter months. If you are growing your rosemary plant in a pot, you can bring it indoors and place it near a sunny window. Alternatively, you can cover the plant with frost blankets or move it to a sheltered location.

To help prevent root rot during winter, reduce watering frequency and allow the soil to dry out slightly between waterings. Avoid placing the plant near heat sources or drafts, as this can cause stress to the plant.


Caring for a rosemary cone plant is relatively straightforward and rewarding. By providing the right growing conditions, including ample sunlight, well-drained soil, and proper watering practices, you can ensure the health and longevity of your plant. Regular pruning, monitoring for pests, and harvesting will help maintain its shape and provide a bountiful supply of fresh rosemary for your culinary endeavors. With a little care and attention, your rosemary cone plant will thrive and bring joy to both your garden and kitchen.