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How to Start Growing Rosemary From Seed

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) is a culinary herb used for flavoring or garnishes that grows as an annual in most locations. However, some people may not know that rosemary is actually a woody evergreen shrub that often reaches more than 6 feet tall in U.S. Department of Agriculture hardiness zones 8 through 10. Gardeners who live outside this region can start rosemary from seeds inside during the winter and transplant outside when the warm spring weather arrives.

Things You'll Need

  • Cactus soil mix
  • Seed tray
  • Plastic wrap
  • Clay pots (optional)
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    • 1

      Fill a seed tray with a light potting media, like a cactus mix or a combination of vermiculite and sand. Sow two or three rosemary seeds every 3 to 4 inches in rows. Cover the seeds lightly with additional soil mix.

    • 2

      Add water slowly to dampen the soil without displacing the rosemary seeds. Cover the seed trays with a cover or a piece of plastic wrap. This will keep the environment moist and encourage germination.

    • 3

      Place the seed tray in a warm location. Check the tray often and water as needed to maintain moist but not soaked soil. Look for rosemary seedlings to emerge in two or more weeks.

    • 4

      Move the seed tray to a sunny location and remove the plastic when the rosemary seedlings appear. Water the rosemary regularly to keep the soil moist.

    • 5

      Thin seedlings to one per spot, if more than one seed germinates in each location. Continue to grow the rosemary indoors until the plants reach at least 3 inches or more.

    • 6

      Transplant the rosemary seedlings into individual clay pots or directly into your herb garden outside to continue growing.