Is Rosemary a Perennial? Quick Facts

Considering rosemary’s flowering seasons, time zones, and harvest times you may be unsure of what rosemary is. Especially if the plant is having a difficult time blooming or it is actually blooming more than you expected it to. But the real question is, is rosemary a perennial?

Rosemary is in fact a perennial, It happens to be an evergreen herb that will grow and flower mostly during the warmer months, and then in the cold months, it lies dormant. Rosemary has a rather woody stem, with soft evergreen 1.5-inch long foliage and flowers that have that unmistakable scent.

Rosemary can be grown outside in the garden and it can be brought into the house during the winter months as an annual. However, rosemary can definitely withstand frost and the occasional snow. To learn more about rosemary keep reading below.

Can Rosemary Survive The Winter?

If rosemary is planted in dry conditions then it can most definitely survive a bitter-cold winter. In fact, there are specific cultivars that are bred to cope with minus temperatures but all forms of rosemary despise wet, soggy roots.

If you have a cold garden full of rosemary you should cover their roots with some thick organic mulches during the winter, they will thank you for it I promise. And if snow and frost are in the forecast you can drape horticultural fleece upon the foliage of the rosemary it will help to withstand the wet snow and frost.

Is Rosemary Easy to Grow?

Rosemary is surprisingly very easy to grow and is quite tolerant of a wide range of conditions which is certainly why it has spread so fast across the globe today. Since rosemary is a Mediterranean plant it dislikes a lot of water. So, if for some reason you forget to water them you don’t have to worry about them shriveling up and dying. They will do just fine with a little bit of water here and there.

What is the Lifespan of a Rosemary Plant?

Rosemary can live up to a whopping 30 years! However, if you plan to eat your rosemary that has been alive that long you may be surprised to know that it’s lost a lot of its flavor. I would recommend replacing your rosemary every 5 years if you plan to use it for eating.


The Different Colors Of Rosemary

Did you know that rosemary can be upright or prostrate? When rosemary is upright it can reach heights of over 6 feet tall over the time span of 10 years. Rosemary typically flowers and blooms in the summer and its blooms come in a variety of different colors which include: white, purple, pink, or blue, the color solely depending on the cultivator.

Should I Cut Off Dead Rosemary?

It’s a good idea to trip off any long stems on an as-needed basis to maintain the plant’s size and its shape. It’s also important to remove any dead or diseased branches on a more regular basis this will ensure the health of the plant is good. However, while trimming branches you shouldn’t cut them too fat back into the old wood because this will hinder new growth.

How to Prune Rosemary to Promote Growth

Trimming back your rosemary regularly will prevent your rosemary from becoming large and leggy. Below I will go over the two most common techniques for doing this and include the following:

  1. You can use this pruning method to promote new tender shoots. This method works best for younger plants and for those who want to get the most out of their short gardening season.

Step #1 Deadhead the flowers first:

Use your fingers to pinch out any dead or faded flowers, also you can use a pair of sharp snips to cut them off instead. Electrical tools and hedge shears ultimately make quick work of larger shrubs.

Step #2 Remove broken or diseased branches:

You can use your regular hand shears or your heavy-duty shears to remove any broken or diseased branches. This ultimately makes more room for new healthy stems, that are fresh and it will help to prevent any further damage.

Step #3 Cut the outer stems back:

Find any of the longest outer stems you can and make sure you cut them back about 1 inch. To prevent water from pooling into the wound you should make sure to cut the branches at a 45-degree angle.

Step #4 Repeat for the inside stems:

Locate the lore older inside stems and trim them back about the same amount as the outer stems.

Step #5 Check Your Progress Regularly:

You should take a step back to admire your handy work mostly to ensure that you aren’t over-pruning the stems or branches creating an irregular shape. You want to make sure each cut you are making is evenly spaced out so it looks like the right shape together.

How to Prune Overgrown Rosemary Bushes

Your rosemary bush may require harder pruning if it becomes to start looking overgrown or leggy. In this case, you can actually be quite aggressive in the amount you trim your rosemary bush as long as you remember not to cut below the last set of leaves and to make sure you don’t remove ⅓ of your rosemary plant at one time.

Step #1 Remove any dead wood:

To get a better look at your rosemary bush you should first start by removing any and all of the dead wood from the bush so you can get a better look at it.

Step #2 Cut the plant back:

As long as you leave several sets of leaves below your cuts you can trim the woody branches on the rosemary bush back by up to 50%

Step #3 Check for entwined branches:

You should examine your rosemary bush for any entwined branches that cross each other removing these branches will ultimately increase airflow and even reduce the risk of more damage or disease to set in.

Step #4 Lightly prune the rosemary:

You shouldn’t perform heavy prunes on a regular basis. But like the steps above you should follow up by lightly trimming your rosemary bushes to help keep them healthy and highly productive.

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