Rosemary Garden
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The complete guide to growing rosemary for home use and for profit

Rosemary is an evergreen herb native to the Mediterranean. It can grow anywhere in the world. It is used in cooking. Rosemary essential oil is used in cosmetic and medicinal products.

It can be grown in pots, greenhouses, gardens and farms. 

In this article, we take an in-depth look at growing rosemary for use at home and also cultivating rosemary for profit. We will also cover harvesting, processing and packaging

Some facts about rosemary

  • Rosemary belongs to the mint family alongside oregano, lavender, basil, thyme and marjoram. Below are some facts about rosemary
  • Rosemary can grow up to 3 metres
  • Rosemary small bluish-purple flowers
  • Rosemary is a perennial plant.  It lives for more than 2 years
  • Rosemary can be harmful when taken in large doses
  • Rosemary preserves most of its flavour and nutrients when dried

History of rosemary

This aromatic herb derives its name from the Latin word Rosmarinus, meaning “mist of the sea”. It has been growing for ages in the world around the Mediterranean coast.

In ancient Greece, it was believed to have magical properties that could strengthen memory. It was scattered around the grave of a loved one, to send a message that the deceased will never be forgotten. Between the 1400s and 1600s, rosemary was used as a symbol of fidelity, love and friendship where brides would give it groom during the wedding ceremony. Brides would also wear rosemary wreaths to their wedding. 

Rich couples would give each wedding guest a rosemary twig.

In traditional medicine, rosemary was used for toothaches, headaches, gas relief and baldness. In 1987, researchers at a university in New Jersey were able to derive a food preservative known as rosmaridiphenol from rosemary.  The preservative is a stable antioxidant used in cosmetics and food packaging. Rosemary was named the herb of the year in 2000 by the international herbs association

“Let this Rosemarinus, this flower of men, ensigne of your wisdom, love and loyaltie, be carried not only in your hands, but in your heads and hearts.”  – English poet Robert Herrick (1591-1674)

Benefits of rosemary

The benefits of rosemary are derived from its component oils. These are categorized into phenolic acid derivatives, and phenolic diterpenes like 1,8-cineole, α-pinene, camphene, α-terpineol, and borneol. Phenolic acid derivatives include rosmarinic acid and carnosic acid. Phenolic diterpenes include carnosol.

  • Rosemary boosts memory and improves brain function.
  • Rosemary helps in stress relief and improves mood.

        – It protects to brain from oxidative stress and excess stimulation 

  • Rosemary helps in boosting immunity.
  • Rosemary improves digestion, relieves gas and soothes the stomach.
  • Rosemary freshens breath.
  • Rosemary Stimulates blood flow.
  • Rosemary acts as a pain reliever.
  • Rosemary has anti-ageing properties

         – This helps in slowing down skin ageing.

  • Rosemary helps in detoxifying the body.
  • Rosemary has anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and antifungal properties.
  • Rosemary helps in hair growth.
  • Rosemary helps in limiting weight gain.
  • Rosemary adds flavour to food, especially meats.
  • Rosemary plant acts as a mosquito and vermin repellant

How to grow rosemary at home

  • How to grow rosemary in containers

It is extremely hard to grow rosemary from seeds. Cuttings are the preferred method. For home use, it is recommended to buy seedling from nurseries. It sells for between 20 KES to 50 KES ($0.2 to $0.5), depending on the location. If you would like to grow your own seedlings from cuttings, please see the section on “propagating rosemary” under “How to grow rosemary for profit”

Growing rosemary in pots is rather straightforward. It requires a wide pot of at least 12 inches in diameter. This ensures that the roots have enough space to spread. Otherwise, the plant will be stunted. Clay pots are the best, but you can use any type of container

Rosemary does not do well in waterlogged conditions. The soil you use must be well draining and the pot must have drainage holes to make sure water flows out of the pot. If the roots are waterlogged, they will rot, in turn killing the plant.

Rosemary grows well in full sun. Place the plant in your compound outside or patio/balcony where it can get maximum exposure to the sun.

Rosemary in pots should be watered well, but only when the soil is dry. To test, put your finger into the soil. If the top 1-2 inches are dry, then it is time to water your rosemary. It is recommended to let the soil dry completely in between each watering.

Rosemary seldom requires fertilization, but if the plant is turning yellow or is stunted, apply well-decomposed animal manure to give it the required nutrients. Alternatively, you can use commercial fertilizers.

When cutting rosemary twigs and leaves, make sure you cut the green young shoots and not the woody part. Give it enough time to sprout new fresh shoots. You can store the shoots in the refrigerator for 2-7 days. If you want them to last longer, hang them to dry in shade. When completely dry, you can store the leaves in airtight containers.

  • Gardening and Landscaping using rosemary

In addition to its culinary and medical benefits, rosemary can be used to add texture, colour, form and aroma to your garden.  The tall varieties can be at the borders and short varieties used near walls and for creating green walls. This all-season herb can be shaped to fit into the design of your garden.

It attracts birds, bees and butterflies during the flowering season, creating a well-balanced natural ecosystem. These insects and birds help in pollination.

  • Rosemary hedge

Rosemary can be used as a hedge plant to define the perimeters of outdoor rooms.  It is an excellent plant to define farm boundaries.

Given the repellant properties of rosemary, it can be planted alongside your vegetables to repel harmful pests in your organic garden.

Growing Rosemary for commercial purposes

The Market for Rosemary

According to Future Markets Insight,  the global market for rosemary is expected to grow to USD 1000 million by 2027. This growth is driven by the growing consumer inclination towards aromatherapy and preservatives, increasing rosemary extract demand in the nutraceutical (health supplements) industry, increasing use of rosemary in pet food and the growing personal care industry. 

Rosemary demand in the food industry includes application areas such as dairy products, bread, pastries, cakes, biscuits, sauces, dressings, and condiments. In the drinks industry, rosemary is being highly used in ready-to-drink teas and other drinks. In the personal care industry, rosemary demand is being driven by the increasing use in skincare, haircare, and perfumes. Rosemary extracts are being used in both modern medicine and traditional healing such as Ayurveda. 

Rosemary can be sold fresh, direct to the consumer, or in dried powder form. The rosemary farmer can opt for rosemary value addition in packaging dried rosemary, blending rosemary with other herbs and also extracting rosemary essential oil. 

Different Rosemary Varieties

Rosemary cultivars or varieties are divided into two major categories:

1. Upright Rosemary cultivars
2. Creeping rosemary cultivars

Upright rosemary cultivars, as the name, suggests growing upright, with some growing tall while others remain short. 

Creeping rosemary varieties crawl along the ground as they grow, acting as ground cover They do not grow upright. 

Upright Rosemary cultivars

– Arp
– Collingwood Ingram/Ingramii/Benenden Blue
– Ken Taylor
– Boule
– Tuscan Blue
– Blue Spires
– Miss Jessup’s Upright
– Golden Rain
– Majorca Pink/Spanish
– Pinkie
– Portuguese Pink // Portuguese Red
– White-flowered rosemary (R. officinalis “Albus”)
– Lady in White / Nancy Howard
– Hill Hardy
– Tuscan Blue
– Pine scented rosemary
– Salem
– Blue boy
– Spice island
– common rosemary

Creeping rosemary cultivars

– Prostratus (prostrate rosemary)
– Huntington Carpet Rosemary
– Irene Rosemary

We will be expanding this content to include the following areas:-

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How to grow rosemary for profit

  • Yield per acre
  • Ideal growing conditions
  • Propagating rosemary from cuttings
  • Number of plants per acre
  • Water and nutrient requirements
  • pest
  • diseases
  • best practices
  • Harvesting

Adding value to rosemary for more profit

  • Extracting rosemary essential oil
  • Drying and packaging rosemary
  • Packaging dried rosemary leaves and essential oil

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  1. Hi I’d like to get updates…
    Hi I’d like to get updates on how to grow rosemary for profit.thanks

  2. David Mwangi says:

    I would like to plant 1 acre…
    I would like to plant 1 acre of Rosemary and already started with 1000 seedlings, I want to connect with buyers

  3. edward rukara says:

    Hi would like to plant 1/8…
    Hi would like to plant 1/8 of an acre of rosemary
    ,I have some grown rosemary where I can get cuttings,pls advice me how to plant and the care

  4. David Mwangi says:

    I have started planting…
    I have started planting Rosemary and I am looking for a costomer soon

  5. Lawrence Kasozi says:

    This is a very good article…
    This is a very good article.I would like to know more about cultivation of the herb,yield per acre,plants per acre and general care for the herb.We appreciate the contributors for this information.

  6. champika senarath says:

    I wish to grow Rosemary for…
    I wish to grow Rosemary for profit and I need full information pertaining the venture.

  7. Moses Geyoleka says:

    Let me know on the new…
    Let me know on the new updates as and when they are available.

  8. gumisiriza christopher says:

    i would like to get rosemary…
    i would like to get rosemary updates

  9. Daniel Yeo says:

    Me too! Thanks for the…
    Me too! Thanks for the article really helpful…please send me more details. I am looking to start a perfume company that manufactures its own oils.

  10. I will appreciate More…
    I will appreciate More information on rosemary farming prosses , market ,and value addition kindly

  11. Eliud Mutisya Kamula says:

    Looks like growing Rosemary…
    Looks like growing Rosemary is the way to go.
    I’m in love with it.
    Deeply please.
    I’ll go for one acre.

  12. Shawal Ssemakula says:

    I would like to also plant a…
    I would like to also plant a half acre of rosemary and if all goes well I go on to an acre and above.

  13. Very useful information here…
    Very useful information here on Rosemary. Simple and clear for any would be interested rosemary farmer. Thank you

  14. Anthony Ntuyo says:

    I want to plant one acre in…
    I want to plant one acre in Jinja,could you kindly assure me the market of the fresh leaves,quotting the current price per kilogram

  15. David Hasakya says:

    Thanks for the information…
    Thanks for the information given.
    I would like to be notified when you add more information about rosemary growing.
    I would be very grateful if you shared with me more information.


  16. Daniel kinyanjui kaguru says:

    Hi I would like to learn…
    Hi I would like to learn more about rosemary planting, how to care till growth, where to get cuttings and the market
    Daniel from kiambu

  17. Pamela Jowi says:

    Hi,l enjoyed reading this…
    Hi,l enjoyed reading this informative report on rosemary. I would like to grow the herb for commercial purposes..
    Pamela, Kenya

  18. Hope Balinda says:

    Uganda how much is…
    Uganda how much is harvested in a single acre.

  19. Thanks for that great…
    Thanks for that great information.
    How can I grow rosemary for commercial purposes. Give me more information about the type of soil, amount of rain, best zones to grow..
    Kindly let me know the availability of the market and how I can connect with the buyers..

  20. Francis Nsobya says:

    how many seedlings go into…
    how many seedlings go into an acre and how do I get Oil out of iy

  21. Joe Murrey says:

    I want to grow Rosemary for…
    I want to grow Rosemary for commercial purposes in Kenya

  22. Kenneth Alai says:

    awesome article. Where can I…
    Awesome article. Where can I get market and rosemary cuttings to plant.

  23. Simon Kibombo says:

    Thanks but what is the…
    Thanks but what is the current price for rosemary per kilo?

  24. Felix Masai says:

    I am interested in rosemary…
    I am interested in rosemary farming here in Kenya Machakos County. Planing to 5 Acres. Kindly advice/provide information on commercial farming and how to get market.

  25. Arthur Magezi says:

    I want to grow a lot of…
    I want to grow a lot of rosemary in Uganda. Where do I sell it in bulk? Thanks.

  26. Bronwyn. white says:

    Interested in farming…
    Interested in farming rosemary as another income stream. Currently have pine nuts and Australian Native farm forestry.

  27. Thaddeus mugo kamau says:

    Kindly provide more…
    Kindly provide more information about commercial rosemary farming.I intend to start on a small piece of land first (1/8 th of an acre) as I learn about the venture.

  28. Fred Daniel Kyayi says:

    I am preparing 20 acres to…
    I am preparing 20 acres to plant Rosemary pse advise on cost per seedling, yield per acre, and estimated sale price per acre. My farm is in Uganda

  29. kisembo Moses Bahemuka says:

    Good, I want to grow for…
    Good, I want to grow for profit in Uganda I need details

  30. Carlos George says:

    i want to grow rosemary
    i want to grow rosemary

  31. Waseega Jesse Winner says:

    Good information I would…
    Good information I would like to grow Rosemary for commercial please update me on the market, how to get cuttings.

  32. MUWASO JULIUS says:

    I want to grow Rosemary in…
    I want to grow Rosemary in Uganda for commercial purposes

  33. Kuda Sibanda says:

    I would like more how to…
    I would like more how to grow rosemary for profit.

  34. I would like information on…
    I would like information on commercial Rosemary farming.

  35. Wamono Patricia says:

    how do I market rosemary in…
    how do I market rosemary in Uganda?

  36. Lisa Carmichael says:

    I’m interested in commercial…
    I’m interested in commercial rosemary growing

  37. I am interested in the…
    I am interested in the commercial aspect of its growth. The value addition part.

  38. Dale Margetts says:

    I am interested in growing…
    I am interested in growing for profit. Could i please have more information.

  39. Harriet Naboro says:

    Please send all the…
    Please send all the additional information on growing Rosemary

  40. Abdul Ndifuna says:

    Am interested in commercial…
    Am interested in commercial growing of Rosemary. So I need more info on growing it for profit

  41. Very informative,much…
    Very informative,much appreciated the additional would be of great help

  42. David Wakaba says:

    Hi. I wan to know everything…
    Hi. I wan to know everything about Rosemary growing. I i have started doing cuttings. Aldo thyme and mint and basil

  43. Henry Kaseke says:

    Good article on plant with…
    Good article on plant with great medicinal properties. Thank you and keep me posted.

  44. I would like to get more…
    I would like to get more updates on growing rosemary for profit.

  45. faisal mubarak says:

    I would liketo get more…
    I would liketo get more updates about rosemary growing

  46. John Mule says:

    Hi, i’d like to receive…
    Hi, i’d like to receive updates on everything regarding:

    The market for rosemary
    Rosemary cultivars
    Yield per acre
    Ideal growing conditions
    Propagating rosemary from cuttings
    Number of plants per acre
    Water and nutrient requirements
    best practices

    1. Rev. George Enapu says:

      I wish to grow Rosemary for…
      I wish to grow Rosemary for profit and I need full information pertaining the venture.

      1. Fidencio Alvarado Madrueño says:

        I want to grow rosemary for…
        I want to grow rosemary for sale in USA. I have my place production in Jalisco Mexico

        1. craig sanders says:

          Good day. Do you currently…
          Good day. Do you currently produce rosemary in Jalisco ?

    2. Fred Daniel Kyayi says:

      Pse send me number of seeds…
      Pse send me number of seeds per acre and tonnage

    3. Francis Onya Okolong says:

      I would like to know more…
      I would like to know more about rosemary growing.

    4. Denise Flake says:

      Starting a rosemary farming…
      Starting a rosemary farming business: how to determin we the variety(ies) of plants for the various type of market uses, where to purchase the plants or seeds, and what volume of plants are needed to sell to companies?

    5. Norah Koki says:

      I would like to receive a…
      I would like to receive a complete guide on commercial farming of Rosemary in Kenya

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