There are four common ways to keep your rosemary plants healthy and thriving.
- Monitor for pests and diseases. Pests such as aphids, spittlebugs, whiteflies, and red spider mites are all attracted to rosemary and can cause its foliage to wilt. Inspect your plant frequently, and if pests are present, use insecticidal soap to deter them. Root rot is a disease that often plagues rosemary due to overwatering, so make sure your soil dries out in between waterings. Indoor rosemary is especially susceptible to mold and powdery mildew due to a lack of good air circulation. To improve air circulation indoors, run a fan near your plants.
- Prune to encourage new growth. Use pruning shears to trim away any dead or damaged shoots and flowers. Prune in spring or early summer so there’s plenty of sunlight to boost the production of new foliage.
- Harvest just before blooming. Rosemary oils are at their flavor peak right before the plant blooms. When harvesting rosemary, cut off the desired amount of sprigs and hang them upside down to dry in a cool, dark place. Once dry, strip the sprigs of their needles by pulling them between your pinched fingertips. Make sure to store the needles whole to maintain their flavor, and only chop them once you’re ready to use them in a meal.
- Plant with the proper companions. Rosemary is a companion plant to many vegetables including broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, beans, and parsnips