Rosemary Watering Guide – How To Water Rosemary Plants

Watering rosemary can be tricky because it enjoys dry soil, and frequent watering is not necessary. Many people asked me common questions like “how often to water rosemary” or “how much water does rosemary need”. To answer your doubt, I am going to tell you everything you need to know about watering rosemary today.

1. What Is Rosemary?

Rosemary is one of the most popular herbs you can use for numerous culinary purposes. While beneficial with a beautiful aroma, rosemary is also very easy to grow. Many home cooks out there love to plant rosemary in their garden or the pots by the kitchen window. The cooking benefits are one thing, and the ability to repel bugs and insects is another awesome fact. Rosemary has a strong scent that some pests don’t like, so having them at home is a total plus.

2. How To Water Rosemary

As I have mentioned above, you can grow rosemary on the ground in your garden or indoors in containers. Different ways of growing also mean different watering methods that you should know about. Unfortunately, many people out there overlooked this part and ended up having the wrong watering sessions for their rosemary. Let’s get into details on how to water rosemary properly below.

2.1 How To Water Rosemary In Containers

Growing rosemary in containers is convenient and easy since you can hang or place the pots by the window. The first thing that you should know is that growing rosemary in containers limits their chance to grow an extensive root system. This also means they not are able to seek additional water, hence less drought-tolerant. Therefore, when you grow rosemary in a container, you want to provide frequent watering so that it can thrive.

For rosemary in containers, you want to water it every time the top part of the soil dries. Make sure that the soil does not dry out completely because lack of water will kill the plant. You may also see some signs, such as droopy leaves of wilted stems when your rosemary needs extra water. If you don’t recognize this problem soon enough, your rosemary will die which means there is no way to rescue it.

Note: While rosemary in containers needs a more frequent watering schedule, do not overwater it. Rosemary is prone to root rot which is a problem caused by too much water in the soil. Another thing is to make sure the pot has proper drainage holes so that excess water can escape. With the right pot, your rosemary will flourish healthily for you.

2.2 How To Water Rosemary In The Ground

Rosemary is a drought-tolerant herb, so growing it on the ground is actually quite easy, even for beginners. When you begin to plant rosemary, bear in mind that it needs frequent watering during the first and second week. This is to ensure that the herb can healthily and properly establish and flourish in the ground. If you grow it during hot summer days, make sure to keep the soil moist but not damp and soggy.

For the rainy season, you won’t have to give it water as much, even if you just plant it in the ground. The rain will do the work for your herb. Even if it does not rain every day, remember that rosemary can go for quite some time without water. The moisture in the ground will keep alive even if you don’t water it too often, so don’t worry.

3. How Often Should You Water Rosemary?

When it comes to the question of how often to water rosemary, the answer is rather simple. In general, you should water rosemary once every 7 to 14 days. However, it also depends on many factors such as climates, growing spots, season, and more. For example, you will need to water rosemary twice a week during hot summer days when the soil dries fast. The only proper way to water rosemary is by checking the soil moisture of the top layer. When an inch of the top soil is completely dry, it is watering time.

4. How Much Water Does Rosemary Need?

This is a tricky question because rosemary’s water requirements depend on various factors. Some of the most common ones that you should know include:

4.1 Location

Growing or placing rosemary pots in open spaces also means the water will dry out fast. The sun and wind will dry the soil faster, which means you want to water it more frequently. Outdoor growing also takes a lot of moisture from their leaves, hence more watering. So if you grow them in sunny spots, you will need to water them more often. Although rosemary is drought-tolerant, it still needs water to grow.

4.2 Pot

As you probably already know, large pots will dry out faster than the little ones. So you will have to water a little more frequently if your rosemary container is big. Another thing is the material of the pots, such as ceramic, clay, metal, and plastic. The first two retain moisture and water while the latter two heat faster, so the water dries faster also. And if your rosemary pots have a good drainage system, the water will also dry fast.

4.3 Seasons

The temperature in your area is also among the factors, which means the frequency of watering will change. So how often to water rosemary in different seasons? Spring and the first half of summer are the growing seasons of rosemary, and they need more moisture and water. During the first 10 days, you will need to provide your rosemary with up to 2 gallons of water. This amount of water is only when there is no rain and when you grow it outdoor. Indoor growth does not require this much water, so just making sure to keep the soil moist will do.

When autumn comes, your rosemary will not need as much water since the growing season has passed. At the same time, the temperatures are getting colder, so the water will dry out slower also. That means you should only give your outdoor rosemary a small portion of water for around one gallon in ten days. As for indoor rosemary, the amount of water should be twice less.

4.4 Soil

One of the most important factors that affect the rosemary watering schedule is the type of soil. To make things easy to understand, we can discuss fast-draining and slow-draining soils.

  • Fast-Draining Soil: is the type that can pass water easily, like loam soil and sandy soils. This is the type of soil that will dry out fast, and it saves your rosemary from root rot. With fast-draining soil, you will have to water your rosemary once a week or more often on dry and hot days. Once you notice that the top soil dries out, it is time for watering.
  • Slow-Draining Soil: includes heavy soils like black soil or clay soil. This type of soil can retain plenty of moisture, so it takes longer to dry. If you give it too much water, the soil will be too damp for the roots, which lead to root rot. To fix this, you have to focus on the drainage holes and the size of the pot. Then add permeable materials such as gravel or small stones to help with water drainage. Simply put, you will not have to water your rosemary too often if you use this type of soil.

5. Watering Rosemary In Winter

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Just like many other plants out there, rosemary hibernates in winter, so watering is not necessary. The thing that you should know is that the plant will use internal water that it reserves. When your winter is freezing and snowy, your rosemary will not need water at all. However, you will need to give your rosemary a little water if your winter is warm without rainfall. The amount should be around half a gallon every 20 days to maintain moisture for their soil.

6. Rosemary Watering Technique

You can use either a hose or a watering can to water your rosemary, depending on the size of your area. Normally, you will need a hose for a garden outdoor and a watering can work for both indoors and outdoors. When watering rosemary, begin with a small amount of water on a dry surface. Give it a few minutes for the soil to absorb the water and wet the top layer of the soil. You may use tap water and water on their leaves because rosemary absorbs moisture through their leaves.


This fragrant evergreen herb is useful in culinary, and it is also an effective pest repellent. Growing rosemary is very beneficial since you can use them for a number of different purposes. With a proper watering habit, it will grow beautifully and healthily all year long for you. I hope that I have answered all of your questions about watering rosemary and feel free to ask if there are more.