Pruning My Rosemary

Unpruned Rosemary

Unpruned rosemary

Pruned rosemary

Pruned rosemary

I think there are lot of ways to prune woody herbs like rosemary. Perhaps the most common approach to pruning rosemary is to snip the stems as you need them. But if your plant, like mine, is not only used for culinary purposes but also as a landscape element, more than a clip for cooking might be needed. The rosemary you see in the photo is a Carolina Jessamine, and it was too leggy for the look I wanted. I simply pruned each of the tall stems with my pruners slightly shorter than what I ultimately wanted it to be. I really like to prune rosemary right before it puts out its new foliage. And as you can see from the unpruned shot, the time was right. Once the stems break into new growth, it will be a handsome plant and perfect for the space. For cooking, I will clip the stems that seem out of place.

John Floyd

John Floyd has been gardening--and learning about Birmingham area gardening--for more than 30 years. In addition to his day-to-day experience, John has degrees in horticulture from Auburn and Clemson Universities and was Editor-in-Chief of Southern Living.

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