Watering Rosemary: How Often It Needs Water?

Last updated on October 23rd, 2023 at 08:31 pm

Rosemary is a Mediterranean plant and therefore needs rather little water. But this rule applies only to planted specimens. In the pot, you should pay attention to a regular water supply. How to water rosemary correctly.

  • Rosemary comes from warm Mediterranean region
  • copes quite well with drought
  • Avoid waterlogging at all costs
  • water planted specimens regularly during the first few weeks


Rosemary (Salvia rosmarinus, formerly Rosmarinus officinalis) originates from the Mediterranean region. In its homeland, it grows preferentially on dry, calcareous and sunny sites. It belongs to the typical bush growth of the Mediterranean hardwood vegetation zone with rainy winters and dry and hot summers.

Watering Rosemary: How Often It Needs Water?

In Central Europe, the evergreen semi-shrub is kept in pots or planted out, although for the latter only hardy varieties come into question, such as “Arp” or “Rex”. You can get this rosemary in specialized stores. Plants that you bought in the supermarket from the herb shelf, it is better not to plant out, because, as a rule, they are not winter-hardy.

Tip: Plant out the aromatic herb in the spring. This will allow it to root well until summer or winter.


How much water a rosemary shrub needs depends on whether it is cultivated in a pot or planted out in the garden. However, due to its origin, the rule of thumb is “less is more”.

See also  Mint Gets Brown Spots: What To Do With Spots On The Leaves


Rosemary shrubs that are well rooted in the ground develop deep and branching roots over time, which allow them to draw water even from several meters deep in the ground. Therefore, such specimens usually manage without additional watering. However, if the summer is very hot and dry, you should water Salvia rosmarinus thoroughly.

Note: If the needles turn yellow, your rosemary is very thirsty and urgently needs help.

Watering Rosemary: How Often It Needs Water?

With freshly planted rosemary, the question of watering behaves differently. Since their roots have not yet grown deep into the ground, they need a regular supply of water, especially in the first weeks after planting. Therefore, when the rain fails, you should reach for the watering can. Make sure that you water the plant

  • once a week
  • with three to five liters (highly permeable soils).
  • water. If you are unsure about the soil permeability, reduce the amount of water slightly, because waterlogged Salvia rosmarinus does not tolerate at all.

In the tub

In pot and tub culture, waterlogging and drought are rosemary’s biggest enemies, although the latter is better tolerated than the former. To prevent waterlogging,

  • use a planter with at least one drainage hole
  • lay a drainage layer of gravel or shards of clay at the bottom of the pot
  • mix the substrate with sand
Watering Rosemary: How Often It Needs Water?

When watering, make sure that no watering water remains in the saucer, so that the moisture does not penetrate to the roots from below. If continuous rain starts, you should place the half-shrub in a sheltered place and remove excess rainwater from the drip tray.

See also  When Does Rosemary Bloom?

The danger of drought in container culture is that the plant can not root as deeply as in the open ground. If the substrate is dried out, it has no way to provide itself with water and must helplessly die of thirst. That is why you should water them as soon as the substrate dries on the surface.

Tip: For smaller specimens, it is best to place the pot in a bucket of water so that the rosemary can really soak itself.

Frequently asked questions

Can rosemary tolerate lime watering?

Lime does not harm rosemary bushes. Therefore, you can water the plants with normal tap water.

Do I have to water planted rosemary shrubs even in winter?

If it is dry and cold for a long time in winter, rosemary bushes may suffer from lack of water. In this case, a small portion of lukewarm tap water will help them.

What do I do if I have watered my rosemary too much?

Carefully lift the plant out of the pot and free the roots from the wet soil. Then remove all the rotten parts of the roots and place the half-shrub in dry substrate. With luck, it will survive the water damage.

See also  Making St. John's Wort Oil: St. John's Wort Info And Tips


  • James Jones

    Meet James Jones, a passionate gardening writer whose words bloom with the wisdom of an experienced horticulturist. With a deep-rooted love for all things green, James has dedicated his life to sharing the art and science of gardening with the world. James's words have found their way into countless publications, and his gardening insights have inspired a new generation of green thumbs. His commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship shines through in every article he crafts.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *