Watering rosemary

Rosemary Sprigs Up Close

Rosemary is a staple of any herb garden. With its elegant look and many uses in the kitchen, growing rosemary plants is a great choice for your garden.

If you are growing your own rosemary, it’s important to keep in mind how to properly care for your plant.

In this article, we’ll be taking a look at how often to water your rosemary plant. The answer will vary depending on a bunch of factors. We’ll analyze those factors and how they affect your rosemary plant’s watering needs.

How often to water rosemary plants

When it comes to how often to water rosemary plants, the answer depends on a variety of factors.

For example, is the rosemary plant planted in a pot or in the ground? Is it in direct sunlight or does it only get a partial day of direct sunlight? What has the weather been like recently?

Generally speaking, the best way to determine how often to water your rosemary plant is to check the top half-inch of soil for dampness. As a rule of thumb, if it’s dried out, give the rosemary plant some water. If it’s still damp or moist in the top half-inch, then no need to water the rosemary plant.

Watering rosemary seedlings

When it comes to how often to water rosemary seedlings, you want to make sure you give your young rosemary plant the water it needs for its early growth.

Sometimes rosemary plant seedlings are grown in bunches. These may soak up moisture faster, so keep tabs on the dampness of the soil for these seedlings.

It’s best to water them lightly more frequently than watering them a lot less frequently. Seedlings are more susceptible to “drowning” when they are overwatered. Too much water at once can also cause the plant to uproot itself, as soil washes away easier when the plant doesn’t have a solid root structure in place.

Plan on watering your rosemary seedlings every few days, or even daily. Keep an eye on the surface level dryness of the soil, and give the seedlings a sprinkle if it doesn’t look moist.

Rosemary seedlings are faster to show it if they don’t have enough water, so if the plant is wilting and the soil is dry, not enough water is probably the problem.

Watering an established rosemary plant

Established rosemary plants should be watered when the top half-inch of soil is dry. Below are specific growing scenarios and information on how often to water the rosemary plant for each.

When to water rosemary that is planted outside

Rosemary planted outside is often healthier, as there’s more chance of direct sunlight, and airflow generally helps to protect it against disease.

Plan on watering your established rosemary plant a few times a week when it’s planted outside. If you’re not sure whether it needs to be watered, you can check if the surface level soil is moist, or if the rosemary plant is wilting.

When to water rosemary that is planted inside

Rosemary plants that are planted inside may not need as much water, as direct sunlight is normally not available. Be extra careful that you aren’t overwatering the rosemary plant inside.

If the rosemary plant is wilting, that could be a sign that it is under or over-watered. Keep track of how moist the soil is to know the difference before watering the rosemary plant more.

When to water rosemary planted in the landscape

Rosemary that is planted in the landscape is able to pull up some moisture from the ground, so it won’t need to be watered as much as rosemary plants are grown in a container.

When to water rosemary planted in containers

As mentioned previously, rosemary that is planted in a container will need to be watered more frequently since they don’t have natural water in the ground as a source of hydration.

Things to consider

There are numerous factors to consider when determining how often to water your rosemary plant. Factors like weather, sunlight, the season of the year, and spacing all play a role.


Spring weather is generally rainier in some areas, so you may not need to water your rosemary plant as much. Be careful that you don’t overwater your rosemary plant in a season with a lot of rain.

Sunlight exposure

Most rosemary plant varieties grow great in full sunlight, but in the heat of the summer, you’ll need to keep these plants watered well. 

rosemary plants that are grown in full sun will dry out fast, especially if they are getting direct sunlight during the noon of the day.

Keeping the rosemary plant well watered in these seasons ensures that they’ll be able to produce healthy new shoots of fresh rosemary in the future.


Depending on the season, you may not need to water your rosemary plant as much. In the fall, when the rosemary plant is more established and the cooler weather sets in, you may only need to water the rosemary plant once a week.


rosemary plants that are planted close together will compete for the same water, and as a result, you’ll need to water them more.

Tips for watering your rosemary plant

Here are some tips for watering your rosemary plants.

Your rosemary plant may wilt with too much water or too little

Keep in mind that a rosemary plant that is wilting does not necessarily always need water. Sometimes rosemary plants wilt when they have too much water.

Always check the soil dryness to determine if you should give the rosemary plant some water.

It may not be a watering problem, but a fertilizing problem

If the plant is wilting or looking yellow, it may not be your watering that is the problem. You may want to check the fertilizer level of the soil the rosemary is planted in to see if that’s the problem.

Make sure your pot has adequate draining

If you are planting your rosemary in a pot, it’s very important that the pot has proper drainage. rosemary is susceptible to root rot if water does not drain through the soil, so well-drained soil is essential.


If the rosemary plant needs watering a lot, you may want to re-pot the plant so that it has more soil to spread its roots in.

Watering your rosemary plant recap

In conclusion, there are many factors that will affect how often you’ll need to water your rosemary plant. The best and most simple thing to do is check the moisture level in the top half-inch of soil to determine if it needs some water.