Growing and Saving the Seed Of Rosemary

Latin name Salvia rosmarinu is a cold-tender perennial member of the lamiaceae, or mint, family. This beloved herb is cold hardy from USDA zones 7-10, with many zone 6 gardeners reporting sucess in overwintering. Rosemary is an evergreen shrub that can grow quite tall in optimal climates; it also makes a perfectly tidy potted plant where it cannot survive over winter.



Native to the Mediterranean region. Used in ancient Egyptian burial rituals.


  • Mediterranean gardens
  • Xeriscape gardens
  • Drought-tolerant gardens
  • Culinary uses




  • Cover tray with plastic wrap or a clear dome and keep soil temperature at 80 F. (An inexpensive heat mat helps to warm soil.)
  • Place in a sunny window or under light.
  • Sow thickly, as rosemary is famous for spotty germination!
  • Start seeds indoors in a tray, barely covering seeds.
  • Germinates in 14-28 days.
  • Ideal germination temperature is 80-90 F.


  • Prefers full sun.
  • Provide well-drained soil.
  • Space plants 12-24 inches apart. A drought tolerant plant.
  • Rosemary plants cannot withstand temperatures below 30 F.
  • Terra cotta pots are ideal for rosemary, as they help keep the plants slightly on the dry side.


  • Essentially pest free, rosemary will suffer from fungal issues if planted in an excessively cool, shady location or if the soil is not adequately well draining.


  • Allow flowers to brown and dry.
  • Hand pick or shake seed pods free and store in a cool, dry place.