Light requirements: Full sun is ideal. Plants tolerate part shade, but growth will be scraggly.
Planting: Space 2 to 3 feet apart.
Soil requirements: Plants grow best in light, well-drained soil with a pH between 6 and 7. To improve soil drainage, add builder’s sand or small limestone gravel, or tuck plants into raised beds or atop a stone wall.
Water requirements: Keep soil uniformly moist, but allow it to dry out between waterings.
Frost-fighting plan: Established plants can survive a few hard frosts (under 28º F). Use a frost blanket to protect newly planted seedlings from late spring frosts or prolong the growing season. In general, potted rosemary can stay outdoors in a protected location until nighttime temperatures are consistently below 25º F.
Common issues: Mildew and root rot can devastate plants in humid regions. Plants can rot if mulch is piled against stems. Whitefly, scale, spider mites, and mealy bugs may attack rosemary.
Harvesting: Pick leaves at any point in the growing season. Snip individual leaves or stems.
Storage: Fresh stems last in water five to seven days. Refrigerate unwashed stems in a paper towel slipped into a loosely closed plastic bag that’s stashed in a warmer area of the fridge, like a door compartment. Use within 7 to 14 days. For longer storage, individually quick freeze leaves or stems on a parchment-lined tray and store in freezer bags, or freeze in ice cubes.
Rosemary is a woody-stemmed plant with needle-like leaves that can commonly reach 3 feet in height, eventually stretching to 5 feet in warmer climates unless clipped. In zone 8 and farther south, rosemary bushes make a good evergreen hedge. In zone 7 and colder, try growing rosemary in a container you can bring inside in cold weather. You can even train rosemary into topiary shapes. Plants are tolerant of salt spray, making them a good choice for pots on the beach.