View & Print Coupons
  • |
  • |
Please insert a friend's information that you would like send an email to.
Friend's Email Address:  
Friend's Name:
Your Email Address:
Your Name:
Special Message:

Creating and Maintaining Rosemary Topiaries


The pungent and aromatic rosemary has long been used in recipes and natural remedies. More recently, the perennial herb with pale blue flowers has become a favorite as a home accessory. Because rosemary is so easy to grow, gardeners train the plant into topiaries. Deliberate trimming methods turn the plant into spheres, cones and hearts. This time of year, decorative and aromatic rosemary topiaries add a natural accent to holiday décor.

A cone-shaped Rosemary topiary decorated as a miniature Christmas treePotting and watering

Grooming rosemary into a topiary can take several years, but if you're in a hurry mature topiaries can be purchased from your local nursery or Southern States Garden Center, especially near the holidays. Otherwise, place a young plant in a container with a soil mix of two parts potting soil, two parts peat and one part compost.

Lightly water and then stake the rosemary to train the plant to grow straight upward. Regularly check the ties securing it to the stake to make sure they’re holding the plant firmly. Look for pests that could be lurking under the ties.

Lightly mist the leaves regularly, but let the potted plants dry out between waterings. Overwatering turns the tips brown and the leaves will die and drop off. Fertilize every fourth or fifth time the plant is watered. Apply fertilizer based on the container size.

Native to the Mediterranean, rosemary prefers a sunny location and constant temperatures. It dislikes extreme cold. Rotate the plant ¼ turn regularly so each side gets sufficient sun.

Potted rosemary plants should thrive for three to four years when the foliage and roots are routinely pruned. Occasional root pruning is preferred over transplanting to a bigger pot.

Topiary shapes

It can be difficult to choose a shape for a rosemary topiary, because there are so many to choose from. Styles range from conical to ball shapes to outlines of hearts and circles.

Novices may want to start with open designs like hearts or circles, or a dense ball. They’re easier to work with and water.

Those with more advanced topiary skills may want to tackle dense conical shapes. Outer branches require close clipping. The size and density of the plant compared to the size of the pot make watering messy. The conical shape is the most challenging rosemary topiary style to keep alive, so transplant it into a slightly larger pot to improve its survival rate.

Training the topiary

As the rosemary plant grows, cut off the lateral shoots to encourage upward growth. A good height for rosemary topiaries is between one and three feet.

It's through selective pruning that the plant is trained to grow into the desired shape. Rosemary withstands fairly severe pruning and can be pruned into shape almost anytime except during flowering. Pinch back the growth of any stems or leaves that are growing where they aren't wanted. For a full, bushy topiary, prune the plant often. The more new growth is trimmed, the more the tips branch out. (A yummy side benefit: fresh rosemary for cooking.)

Let the side branches off of the main stem grow eight- to 12-inches long. They should be equally spaced around the main stem. Form the topiary's outline using craft wire or a metal coat hanger. Determine which branches will be used to create the form. Pliable branches can be gently wound around the metal shape. Woody branches can be attached with wire. For added fullness, also gather in and attach selected side stems. Remove unneeded side stems, as well as those that are woody or unevenly spaced.

What successes have you had with growing a successful rosemary topiaries? Share your stories in the comments area below.


Related Products

GridList

Arugula Herb 1/4 lb
COMPARE
Starting At
$2.29
Arugula Herb 1/4 lb
Check Store Availability
Add to Cart
Check Store Availability
Dill Herb
COMPARE
Starting At
$2.29
Dill Herb
Check Store Availability
Add to Cart
Check Store Availability
Coriander Herb 1/4 oz
COMPARE
$2.29
Coriander Herb 1/4 oz
Check Store Availability
Check Store Availability
Forest Green Parsley
COMPARE
Starting At
$2.49
Forest Green Parsley
Check Store Availability
Add to Cart
Check Store Availability


Product availability and pricing may vary by location.
These products may be purchased at your local store.
Images are representative only. Color and size may vary.
Your Current Store:

You will see pricing and specials based on this store.