Pruning and fertilizing mature Rosemary
I'm growing rosemary outdoors (not in pots). They are into their third year. I'm in coastal NC (Zone 8). Soil is very sandy. The plants are about 2.5 feet tall. My culinary needs do not take much from these plants, so harvesting for cooking does not prune sufficiently. Compared to store-bought, fresh rosemary cuttings (in the refrigerated produce section), my cuttings are less flavorful. How should I cut these plants back to encourage bushier plants AND what soil additives will increase the characteristic rosemary flavor? Thank you, Jim.
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Unlike many other plants, rosemary actually produces better flavor when it is grown in nutrient-poor soil. Depriving the plants of fertilizer might actually help the flavor. However, there are also differences between rosemary varieties, so you might just have a less flavorful variety.
As for pruning, please see this article: