Pruning rosemary : when and how ? Our advice

A highly appreciated aromatic shrub, Rosemary (Rosemary officinalis) finds its place in all the gardens provided that it is installed in the sun. It can be grown alone, in a hedge, in a rockery and even in a pot. To maintain a nice shape, it is advisable to prune it regularly. Let’s take stock of the ideal period for pruning a Rosemary and the method to adopt.

When to prune Rosemary?

The end of the branches of an aromatic Rosemary is regularly cut, as needed, since it is used throughout the year to flavor a number of culinary preparations. The Rosemary officinalis is indeed an evergreen shrub. But this is not enough to maintain its aesthetic appearance. After a while, this sub-shrub ends up growing all over the place, in an anarchic way, and it doesn’t look like much anymore. To avoid this, it is necessary to carry out from time to time a maintenance pruning aromatic rosemary.

You can quite prune a Rosemary In early springsay in April, or during the fall before the first frosts. Some gardeners even prune their rosemary in any season, in sunny weather, with the exception of periods of frost of course. However, it is preferable to wait for the end of flowering, knowing that a Rosemary is capable of flowering several times a year, in spring, summer and autumn.

How to prune a Rosemary?

As soon as it is no longer flowering, as long as it does not freeze, a Rosemary can be cut down by half if it has grown too large or is no longer very aesthetic because if it is left outside abandoned for several years, it is losing its hair considerably. Be that as it may, pruning the Rosemary is a task simple enough which boils down to remove all dead branches. In regions with a harsh climate, the best time is spring.

It is strongly recommended not to prune the branches that appear on dry wood, this being a sometimes very old part of the shrub, because no new branches will grow back. Only green wood, that is to say of the year, can be pruned to allow a ramification of Rosemary.

Everyone can give it the desired shape, but in general it is pruned once a year so that it retains or regains its ball shape silhouette. To do this, all you have to do is:

  • To reduce it by a third, or even 50%.
  • To remove all large wood and dead wood because they will not bear any leaves in the future,
  • Ventilate the heart of the shrub by eliminating the oldest branches.

Severe pruning must be carried out on an adult Rosemary which has never been taken care of.

Make sprouts to replace an unkept Rosemary

It happens that a Rosemary has been completely neglected for many years. All its branches are old, more or less dry, or even completely dead, and the shrub has become totally shapeless. It’s time to replace it. Never mind: just take a few branches before pruning it completely. They will serve to make cuttings.

To do this, we keep the ends of the few still vigorous stems that we cut to 15 or 20 cm in length and we simply plant them in compost which must then be kept moist. Cuttings usually do not take long to form roots. All that remains then is to transplant in the desired places, in the ground or in pots, in order to obtain new, very fragrant Rosemary which, this time, should not be left abandoned…

Note that when pruning a Rosemary, all the cut branches can be kept to be dried. They give off a strong scent and make it possible to make bouquet garni with parsley, thyme, bay leaf sauce, and other aromatic plants, each gourmet can create their own combinations. Finally, for stimulate the formation of new branches and at the same time allow a Rosemary to branch out well, you have to think about picking it from the wood of the year.

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