How to Harvest Rosemary - Backyard Boss
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How to Harvest Rosemary

Rosemary is a wonderful plant to grow in your garden; it smells amazing, is used in oils and perfumes, and can be used in cooking many meals. But like any other plant, it is important to know how to harvest your rosemary properly

If you are growing rosemary in your garden and think it is the right time to harvest, you’ll need the proper tools and know-how to harvest so you do not damage the plant. That way, your rosemary can keep growing for you to enjoy again and again. This guide will help you harvest your rosemary easily.

Materials Needed:

Gardening Tools
Image credits: Gardening Tools By StockPhotoPro

You won’t need a lot of materials to properly harvest your rosemary. All you need is:

  • Gloves
  • Pruning shears or sharp scissors
  • Twine/rope (for storing the rosemary)
  • Dehumidifier (if you’re drying the herb)

About Rosemary

Rosemary Plant
Image credits: jopstock via Canva

There are many amazing benefits to incorporating rosemary into your everyday life. Rosemary smells wonderful, and its flowers come in a variety of colors including pink, white, purple, and blue.

This shrub is originally from the Mediterranean and is widely used in cuisine from that region. While rosemary is in the same family as mint, they don’t taste very similar. Rosemary is spicier, with hints of lemon and pine.

Rosemary is also incorporated into fragrances and has long been used medicinally. Studies show it helps with indigestion, may relieve stress and anxiety, and could possibly inhibit the growth of cancer. Some of its other popular uses include treating muscle pain, stimulating hair growth, and increasing blood circulation, but these topics haven’t been well researched scientifically.

Growing Rosemary

rosemary plant after repotting in new clay pots
Image credits: Bogdan Sonjachnyj via Shutterstock

In warmer climates, you can grow rosemary outside and this evergreen perennial will thrive with little effort. If it gets cold where you live, consider growing your rosemary in containers so you can take it inside during the cooler months.

Rosemary likes full sunlight — at least six to eight hours each day — but can tolerate partial shade. So, if you are growing this plant inside your home, it is important to pick a sunny spot. This shrub can do well in many soil types but prefers loamy soil with good drainage. It rarely requires fertilizer to grow to its full potential.

Most plants need to be watered every week or two. If your plant is larger or you live in a drying climate you may need to water your plant more often. A good rule of thumb is to let your plant dry out completely between watering.

When to Harvest:

Rosemary plants in pots
Image credits: Samantha Chapnick via Creative Commons

As your rosemary grows, you will start to wonder when is the best time to start harvesting. With rosemary, it is best to wait until the end of spring or summer to harvest, giving it plenty of time to grow.

Rosemary can be very bountiful so it is important to prune regularly and your plant will keep growing possibly year-round. As soon as your rosemary plant starts to flower, that is a good indicator that your plant is mature enough to harvest.

How to Harvest:

Image credit: Virginia via Adobe Stock

Harvesting rosemary can be very simple if you don’t rush it. Rosemary needs to be handled gently so you do not break the branches. You will be able to gather many branches and keep your plant healthy and thriving if you follow these simple steps.

  1. Look for branches that are at least 8 inches tall, those bigger ones are ready to be harvested.
  2. Use your shears or scissor to cut 3 inches of the stem.
  3. Leave the rest of the stems, they will continue to grow.
  4. Never over-harvest your plant. Do not take off more than 1/3 of the plant stems at one time.
  5. Let the stems grow back to at least 8 inches before harvesting again.

As you are waiting for stems to grow back, your plant will be producing new growth for your next harvest.

Storing Rosemary:

fresh picked rosemary
Image credits: Andreas N via Pixabay

After harvesting your rosemary, you may want to store it. You can use twine or rope to gently tie the rosemary together. Then fill a cup with a few inches of water, and place the rosemary stems down in the cup, and loosely cover the top. Rosemary can last up to two weeks like this.

You can also air dry your rosemary by tying your stems together and hanging them or placing them in the sunlight. Your rosemary with naturally dry out and smell wonderful as it does.

There is also the option of drying your rosemary out with a dehydrator and storing it for long-term use.

Don’t Miss Out On Your Rosemary Harvest!

Harvesting rosemary is not difficult as long as you know what you are doing.

As long as you have the right timing, the supplies you need, and the proper steps, you’ll have an abundant harvest.

If you follow this guide you’ll be able to keep your plant thriving. Just remember to get the most out of your plant and let us know how it goes in the comments below.