Helping rosemary survive indoors

Beckie Fox

Rosemary doesn’t like to dry out completely.

Over the years, I’ve overwintered rosemary indoors with about a 75 per cent success rate. My track record improved once I learned that this herb doesn’t like to dry out when grown indoors, which seems counter-intuitive given that Salvia rosmarinus is native to dry, rocky areas in the Mediterranean.

Recently, I came across more about rosemary’s growing requirements from Lee Reich, a U.S. garden author with degrees in soil science, horticulture and chemistry. Reich’s article also describes how to create a rosemary topiary with step-by-step photos.

For more insight into overwintering rosemary, read Laura Langston’s advice on the Garden Making website here.

Even when I follow all of the advice, by late March my rosemary is barely hanging on, usually struggling under an unattractive coating of powdery mildew. It’s touch and go until I can whisk it outdoors in full sun and fresh air — its preferred conditions. Fortunately, it usually rewards me with healthy new growth, but if not, I start again. Rosemary is one of those herbs I can’t live without.

Easy houseplants

If you’re looking for something less challenging than rosemary to grow, Amy Andrychowicz has a list of 15 houseplants she says anyone can master.

Singing the blues

Most gardeners can’t resist a blue flower, probably because it’s an illusive hue in the plant world. Greenhouse Grower asked growers and breeders to  share their favourite blue flowers — and even blue fruit. Greenhouse Grower wrote two followups on the topic, as well, here and here.

New garden books

Two new garden books we received for review are Nature Into Art: The Gardens of Wave Hill about the iconic public garden in New York, and A Garden Miscellany: An Illustrated Guide to Elements of the Garden , which describes common design features using illustrations and historical references. Here’s your chance to win a copy of A Garden Miscellany.

For a list of other books we’ve reviewed, click here.

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3 thoughts on “Helping rosemary survive indoors”

  1. I have overwintered rosemary for a number of years now after I received the advice from Trevor Cole to water it frequently and not to let it dry out. Ed Lawrence always stresses that our houses during the winter are drier than a desert. Even knowing that now I lost one of my two plants last winter. I love having rosemary fresh for cooking all winter long.

    I miss your magazine. I have all the issues and consult them frequently.

  2. I am so happy that Garden Making is alive and well. So much useful information. Thanks for the info on overwintering Rosemary. Like you I can’t live without it!! So glad to know how I can make my rather large Rosemary plant happier!!!!

    Sylvia McNabb


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