The Tasty Evergreen Anyone Can Grow

by Ken Lain, the mountain gardener

Imagine growing Rosemary that tumbling over a wall or spreading across a dry rock lawn. This tough little gem is the perfect plant for garden walls, pots, banks, or a dry, sunny patch of ground in the garden. A superb ground cover for hot, dry locations, its habit is low and mounds just 12″ inches high, and spreading vigorously. Deep blue flowers arise in great masses that are both deer and pest resistant.

Creeping Rosemary forms a beautiful carpet of deep blue flowers backed by herbal green foliage for an attractive ground cover. This waterwise evergreen is outstanding for cascading from retaining walls or planters and is very useful in erosion control on banks and slopes. The aromatic leaves are often used as a flavorful culinary seasoning.

Its Latin name, Rosmarinus officinalis, means ‘dew of the sea,’ that most associate with Mediterranean cooking.

Botanical Name Rosmarinus officinalis

Common Name  Rosemary

Plant Type Perennial evergreen herb

Mature Size 12″ inches x 5′ feet wide

Sun Exposure 6+ hours Full sun

Soil Type Sandy loam

Soil pH 5 to 10 pH

Bloom Time March to May, often in Fall

Flower Color Blue, white, and pink

Hardiness Zones 7 to 11 USDA

Native Area  Mediterranean

How to plants

1.Dig hole 2-3 times the width of the container but the same depth.

  1. Score the root ball sides and bottom with a utility knife or pruners and plant in the planting hole.
  2. Blend Watters Premium Mulchinto the native soil at 1 part mulch with two parts soil dug from the hole and pack firmly around the roots.
  3. Sprinkle 7-4-4 All Purpose Plant Foodaround the planting area.
  4. Prevent ‘Transplant Shock’ by adding Watters “Root & Grow”to your water at 2-week cycles for the first 2 months.
  5. Use the remaining Watters Mulch inside the tree well as a top dressing. This will keep weeds down, insulate roots from heat and cold, and keep the roots moist.


To keep Rosemary happy, give it 6+ hours of full sunlight each day. When growing it indoors, place it in a south-facing window for bright light.


Grow Rosemary in loamy, well-draining soil. This plant is native to the rocky hillsides of the Mediterranean and doesn’t do well if its roots stay soggy. Test the planting hole by filling it with water in the morning. If water is still pooling in the dug hole at the end of the day, you have drainage issues that will need more work.


Water newly planted Rosemary regularly with a garden hose for at least one month (2 months in Summer). Automatic irrigation systems may not be sufficient initially. Water frequency will vary according to the season, exposure, and plant size.

April – Oct Rosemary should be irrigated 2 x weekly.

Nov – Mar Rosemary should be irrigated 2 x monthly.


Feed 4x Times per Year with either 7-4-4 All Purpose Plant Food, Soil Sulfur, or Humic. Here’s the recommendation by season:

Spring = 7-4-4 All Purpose Food + Soil Sulfur

Summer = 7-4-4 All Purpose Food + Humic

September = 7-4-4 All Purpose Food

December = 7-4-4 All Purpose Food

Common Pests/ Diseases

The biggest problem with growing Rosemary indoors is getting the humidity level right. High humidity and poor air circulation commonly result in Powdery Mildew on rosemary plants.  Powdery Mildew is a white, powdery fungus that develops if the surrounding air is humid and there is not enough air movement.

Bugs to look for in spring or summer are aphids and spider mites. These pests seem to live on houseplants through winter. Catching an infestation early makes for easy control.  Triple Action by Watters Garden Center cures both Powdery Mildew and most insects quickly.