Can Rosemary Grow in Shade?

Part of my garden is shady, while the remaining portion receives full sun. I have been thinking of putting the shady part of the garden into use by planting flowers that can thrive well. One herb that came into my thoughts is rosemary. I conducted thorough research to determine if they can succeed in shady areas; here are my findings.

Can rosemary grow in the shade?

Although rosemary prefers full sunlight, it can also grow in the shade. However, in full shade, they will not thrive well as they prefer fertile and well-drained soil. The perfect time to plant rosemary is in warm climates. The sweet scent of rosemary makes them a favorite for most gardeners. Typically, they are evergreen plants that grow well in warm areas with proper humidity.

Varieties of Rosemary

Rosemary has a lot of varieties. Among them are: 


The first variety of rosemary is Arp. It is a bushy growing variety that can survive in cold conditions. It tends to grow in an upright state and produces light blue flowers. The good thing about Arp is that it won’t give you a hard time developing. It thrives in average and well-drained soils. The fragrant flower Is suitable for containers and is bee-friendly.

  • Tuscan Blue

This is a hardy variety of rosemary. It produces blue-green foliage that can be shaped easily.  Its branches are stiff and can be used in soaps and decorations. Tuscan blue won’t disappoint you when used on the grill.

  • Barbeque

Barbeque is a variety of rosemary with solid branches and is commonly known for its aroma and flavor. Moreover, this plant does well in summer and can be used as barbeque skewers. If you are a lover of rosemary garlic marinade, consider the barbeque variety as it will give you the best taste ever.

  • Roman Beauty

Roman beauty is another variety of rosemary that grows into a gorgeous look. The most outstanding feature about it is growing into a team to form an excellent design. Although it’s a slow-growing plant, it can do well in containers or direct soil.  Additionally, the plant has gray-green flowers and violet-blue flowers.

  • Laurentius

The last but not least variety of rosemary is the Laurentius. Although it’s among the best type, it can take quite some time to branch out. With extra patients, this variety will grow into a beautiful plant. What’s more, is the uses that are accompanied with it. You will get to enjoy the sweet and pleasant fragrant and serve as a marinade when preparing grilled pork tenderloin.

How to Grow Rosemary in Partial Shade

Rosemary is a perennial evergreen shrub. Its blue flowers and aroma make it a particular plant. Here’s how to grow rosemary in the garden.

  • This plant is grown from cuttings obtained from already mature plants. Cuttings are recommended because they enhance modest growth in good conditions. Moreover, the plant will be ready in about eight weeks. Alternatively, you can plant it from sees but note that there will be slow germination.
  • Remember to plant them indoors (8 to 10 weeks) before the last spring frost.
  • Water the plant throughout the growing season, but make sure that the soil is not waterlogged.
  • Prune regularly.
  • If you prefer fresh ones, grow them indoors.
  • Divide or get cutting for the next season, significantly if they can’t withstand winter.

Rosemary’s Growth Requirements

Rosemary requires various things to reach its full potential. Among the requirements includes; soil, water, sunlight, and site.

Site Requirement

Topping the list of rosemary’s growth requirements is the location. It plays a vital role since it’s the exact place where the herb will thrive or die. After selecting a site, ensure that it receives adequate sun and well-drained soils because it does not tolerate a lot of water. 

Moreover, make sure that the site has adequate space. This is because it will grow to a much taller height and spread about 4 feet. If you are planting Rosemarie’s in the garden with cabbage, beans, sage, and cabbage, ensure that it is near them because they are perfect companions for herbs.

Sunlight Requirements

Rosemary is an attractive plant that fills the air with a lovely scent when fully grown. Most people are not aware that rosemary requires adequate sunlight for it to mature. About 6-8 hours of light each day will do it well. If you are planting them indoors, ensure that its located in a place that receives some light. Lack of sunlight will make them weak as a result of less production of energy. 

Water Requirements

The second most crucial growth requirement for rosemary is water. It plays a significant role in the growth stages of this plant. If you have planted rosemary in direct soil, don’t water frequently. It is best to apply water when the top of the ground becomes dry. On top of that, measure a standard amount of water for the ones planted inside. 

Still, in water, one thing to note is moisture amounts during winter. This season is known for having a lot of cold and watery environments. During this period, rosemary won’t need a lot of water as it will cause root rot. This will make the plant lack enough support and die.

Fertilizer Requirements

Rosemary is a herb that can grow with or without fertilizer if the conditions are favorable. Fertilizer is only required when the growth is slow or has been affected by pests and diseases. However, note that applying directly to the leaves of the plant may destroy it. As long as fertilizer is used correctly, the tour plant will thrive well.

Soil Requirements

Another essential requirement is soil. Rosemary does well in well-drained soils. To prepare the soil:

  • Locate an area to plant the herb; remove rocks and other debris.
  • Collect a soil sample to test the soil’s fertility. If you want to apply fertilizer, do it according to the three results obtained.
  • Add about four inches of organic matter and mix it with a suitable tool such as a pitchfork. For better results, construct raised beds for an easy supply of water in the soil.

Temperature Requirement

The last but not the least essential requirement is temperature. As much as it is easy o grow as an annual plant, it does not thrive in all climates. It can be tricky to do well in temperatures below freezing point. However, if you cover or protect the area, it might thrive well.

Being a Mediterranean native, it can survive in warmer climates. However, you need to watch the amount of water given to the plant. Make sure that theirs less humidity, well-drained soil. But if you want healthy ones, plant them in an area that receives adequate sun and has sufficient space.

How to Care:

  • Water the plants regularly while watching out on the amount of water given because too much water can damage the plant.
  • Prune the plant regularly to allow new ones to shoot out and also for free circulation of air.

How to Harvest Rosemary

To harvest rosemary, follow the following steps:

  • Cut off the stem and use it while fresh, or you can hang them to dry.
  • During winter, transfer those planted in pots and containers inside so that you can pick them while fresh and in good condition.
  • Pick young stems and leaves.
  • Make sure you harvest a third of the plant so that you can pave the way space for new ones to thrive well.

Importance of Rosemary in the Garden

Rosemary has a variety of uses, starting from the kitchen to our health.

  • At home, it is used as a helper for other plants.
  • It used to add flavor in different cuisines such as Grilled rosemary lamb, rosemary chicken with spinach, and cornbread with nuts and rosemary.
  • It is used also used in the kitchen to prepare a particular type of tea. The flavor and scent produced to make the tea tastier.
  • It is also used to cure different diseases such as headaches and stimulating memory, among others.

Insects and Diseases

The sturdy fragrant herb flourishes when planted correctly. However, it doesn’t matter whether you are growing them indoors or outdoors. It needs a lot of care because pests and diseases can attack them. Some of them are:

  • Powdery mildew.
  • Spider mites.
  • Mealybugs.
  • Aerial blights.
  • Bacterial leaf spots.
  • Root rot.

If you notice these pests and diseases, make sure to prune overgrown plants to improve the air space and apply fungicide when needed. Furthermore, you can discard the infested tip, spray the plant with water, pyrethrum soap, or soap-based insect side and fertilize properly.

Final Word

Rosemary is an excellent plant to add to your garden. It will not only add beauty but assist in treating migraines but also improving your memory. Above all, the most important thing is following the tips mentioned above to help your beautiful plants thrive well. 

Some of the factors that will walk your plants along to their success are adequate sunlight, well-drained soils, water, and the right temperature. Make sure to take care of your rosemaries and assume the myths about growing on their own. 

As long as they are situated in the proper condition, you will enjoy the final results.


I love nature and fresh food from the garden. That's why I started this gardening journey and decided to share my experience with the world. So far it has been an amazing journey. I hope you will enjoy reading my gardening journal and never be the same again!

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