Best Location for Rosemary Outside

I tried to grow rosemary twice and I failed twice. This time I’m going to plant it outside in my garden.

I’m in Zone 6 and rosemary is borderline hardy. But some of the local gardeners stated their rosemary overwinter outside just fine. Some put on some winter protection.

So I just wonder what is a good place to grow rosemary. I know it needs sun, no wet feet. No strong wind. Sun and wind seem mutually exclusive.

I’ll probably plant them on a slope that facing East. So it gets morning sun and the wind is not very strong with the slope…

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Loves heat. Put it where hottest


For a plant that is generally robust, it’s pretty finicky when you first plant it. I’ve had much better success planting very young rosemary plants than planting larger rosemary plants. Go figure.

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Maybe I can plant one or two in my flower garden near front door. The red brick wall should give it plenty heat. Also it is easy to cut some clippings.

I assume deer does not bother rosemary.

Funny, I just transplanted few year old 4 footer today because I have two in my vegetable garden and I want to run the 55" tiller past where it was :). We converted from permanent raised beds with wood chip paths, to annual tilling with mowed grass paths.

It was much, much easier to deal with the thistle this way.


There are some hardier rosemary varieties.
Arp overwintered fine for me in zone 6b. Two of three plants survived with no damage at all. The third one got most wind and frost, and had some severe dieback but still made it.

Adding Salem and Madeline this year. Plus planting a lot more of Arp along a west facing wall painted black.


Arp is definitely the most cold hardy variety I’ve found. Growing outside in a pot in zone 7b.


I just got a couple plants from stores. All common varieties. I also tried to germinate from seeds. The success rate has been poor.

So do not know much about the named varieties. Sure they sound better.

I would also recommend making sure you have excellent drainage. Think gravelly raised beds or a rocky slope. Especially with a lot of the Mediterranian herbs and other plants from dry climates, it’s really the wet that gets them more so than the cold in areas where they’re marginally hardy. You really need to treat them a lot like alpine plants. There’s a rosemary plant in the neighborhood here in southern NH (5b/6a line) that made it through the winter. It’s planted in a gravel mulched bed above a stone retaining wall. Granted, we had a mild winter and it’s smack in the middle of an urban heat island, but it definitely made it. I’ve been meaning to track down the resident gardener to ask if it’s any special variety.


Excellent. That is one of the locations I plan to do. It is a flower planter about 6’ diameter that has brick retaining wall and red brick wall of the house. It gets more than half sun though. But definitely the micro-climate is mild.

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I actually did a little experiment with rosemary this year. I planted 4 rosemary plants.

1 got a rosecone over it all winter long.

1 was left in a whiskey barrel (which has actually worked for me a couple times) but received no further protection.

2 more were planted up against the house (west-side facing) and protected by a burlap wall in front of them. The two ends were closed off with bags of leaves.

3 of the 4 looked good up until about a week ago. (the barrel one was a goner by the end of January)

The one with the rosecone looked great when I uncovered it, but it browned out quickly thereafter (and out temps have been well above freezing since the uncovering)

Of the two behind the burlap wall, only the one with the wider leaves (needles?) still looks good. In fact that plant actually increased in size over the winter.


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It sounds like the rose cone one may have gotten sunburned when you took the cone off. It might maybe sprout back as things warm up.

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So the best way is to block the wind, but leave the plants to the air and sun? Or partial protection?

How much wind are we talking about? Rosemary and its narrow leaves have never been 40mph wind- snow- or ice-damaged here.