When to prune rosemary | Gardening On

When to prune rosemary

One of the usual plants in gardens is rosemary. Being able to be used at a culinary level, and also giving off a very pleasant aroma, it is in almost all gardens. But This plant grows up to 2 meters. That is why knowing when to prune rosemary is so important, firstly, so that it does not run amok and, secondly, because if you do it wrong it can end up dying.

Have you ever considered when to prune rosemary? Do you have one and you don’t know if you’re doing it right? Or have you had and realized that, after pruning it, the plant is gone? Calm down, today we talk about the best way to do it.

rosemary care

rosemary care

rosemary care

Before talking directly to you about pruning, we would like to discuss the basic rosemary care. These are what you should provide to ensure that the plant is strong and healthy enough to withstand pruning.

Specifically, we are talking about:

Location and temperature

Rosemary loves the sun. That’s why always it is recommended to place in full sun. But when being in the sun means suffering from a high temperature (for example, over 35 degrees), then it is better to put it in semi-shade, usually in a place where it can receive the salvo in the hours of greatest incidence.


The plant substrate It must have good drainage. Normally rosemary needs an arid and dry land, but the truth is that it usually adapts to any (except clay). Make sure the soil is loose enough to plant the rosemary in and that it has the best chance of settling in there (either in a pot or in the garden).


in the summer months It appreciates that you add some organic fertilizer such as compost or earthworm humus.

Do not fertilize it if you have just transplanted it or have put new soil on it, as this will contain the nutrients it needs and abusing it can cause the plant to wear out.


Rosemary is not very watery. In fact, you only have to do it when you notice that the soil is dry, and never water above, but below.

Depending on the climate you have, it could be once or twice a week, or every 10 days. In winter it is much more spaced because it may be that the environmental humidity is enough to keep it hydrated.

When to prune rosemary

Now that you know what the basic care of rosemary is, let’s take a closer look at pruning. Do you know when to prune rosemary?

The answer is simple, but at the same time complicated. We explain to you.

Rosemary is a perennial plant, that is, it will remain active throughout the year, with leaves. But it is not recommended that it be put on when temperatures are close to freezing, or if there is frost. It is always better to wait for the spring or summersince they are two periods of more active growth and you avoid problems that in other seasons could lead to the plant not being healthy.

Instead of going by the seasons, we recommend that you go by the weather. Wait until you notice that the temperature is pleasant, both in the morning and at night. This way you make sure that drops in temperature do not affect the rosemary.

How to prune rosemary

How to prune rosemary

How to prune rosemary

The next thing you need to know about pruning rosemary is how to do it. And in this sense there two types of pruning. Experts say that it is not necessary to prune it, but when it grows too much, or when there are branches that dry up (even if they sprout again at the tip), it is better to cut it so that the plant has more strength.

Thus, you can carry out two pruning:

Formation pruning

This pruning is carried out a few weeks after the rosemary is planted, when you see that it begins to grow (obvious sign that it has settled in its new location) and being minimal, it can be done throughout the year (although it is recommended that it not be touched in the cold, even if it leaves the formation (or design) that we wanted give him).

In this case you just have to keep in mind the shape we want it to have and cut everything that protrudes from that outline.

It is better to do a small pruning than a large one, because that way it will tolerate it much better and it will not suffer as much. Keep in mind that during the first years the plant must adapt to its new location, not only to the soil but also to a complete temperature cycle.

Cleaning pruning

Cleaning pruning is characterized by help the plant to heal itself. In other words, it seeks to eliminate dead branches, that intersect or that prevent it from breathing from all angles, thus helping to further activate its development. In general, it is to cut dry, old branches and those that hinder others.

This pruning is always done in summer, and always 1-2 months before frost or fall. That is, it could be in the months of August and September (everything will depend on the temperature).

It is a somewhat more drastic pruning, which can even revitalize old rosemary (in these cases, the plant is practically cut completely so that it re-emerges completely new).

What to do after

cut rosemary

cut rosemary

Once you have pruned the rosemary, there are two actions that can be carried out that help the plant recover a little.

One of them is to water it. You must avoid watering it from above, so that the water does not penetrate through the cuts of the branches and can rot it inside.

The other option, which can be done with the previous one, is to give it a little fertilizer that helps to further activate growth, giving it the necessary nutrients to activate and sprout again. Of course, we do not recommend it if you have just transplanted it, because the new soil will already have nutrients and an abuse of them can end up burning it.

Now that you know when to prune rosemary and how to do it, how about you go ahead with the one you have?

When to prune rosemary | Gardening On

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