Rosemary Cones_greenhouse

Pruning a Rosemary Topiary

June 6, 2022
Adams Fairacre Farms

Topiary rosemary plants are shaped, fragrant, beautiful and usable plants. In other words, they have a little bit of everything to offer. With a rosemary topiary you get an herb that smells lovely and that you can harvest to use in the kitchen. You also get a beautiful, sculpted plant that adds decoration to gardens and the home.

Growing a Rosemary Topiary
A rosemary topiary is simply a shaped rosemary plant. You can grow your own and practice the art of topiary, or you can by one that is already shaped. The latter option does require that you prune to maintain the shape if you want to keep it looking neat and tidy.

What makes a rosemary a good plant for topiary is the fact that it is a woody plant with dense growth. You can plant your topiary right in the garden if you have the right climate for rosemary, but it is more commonly grown in a pot. Start with good quality potting soil that has vermiculite or peat moss to keep it loose. Make sure you choose a pot that is big enough for the plant you’ll be shaping.

Rosemary is a Mediterranean native, used to dry and hot conditions. Depending on your climate, you may be able to leave your potted topiary outside at certain times of the year, but most likely you’ll need to bring it in for the winter at least. When you do, give it a spot in a sunny window. Water regularly, but be sure the pot drains and never overwater rosemary.

Shaping a Rosemary Plant
Topiary is an art and a science, but with practice and a few rosemary topiary tips, you can make a beautifully shaped plant. Popular shapes for rosemary include a cone, like a Christmas tree, and a sphere. More complicated shapes can be attained using wire frames for support and training, but if you’re a beginner, a cone or sphere is easier. Pruning rosemary into topiaries requires some patience and time, but anyone can do it.

If your rosemary plant is still fairly small, start by trimming off lateral shoots regularly. This will encourage the plant to grow upright. You want a foot or two of height to have a good plant to shape. Once your plant is the size you want it to be, and tall enough for the shape you have planned, simply prune it into shape.

Rosemary withstands a lot of pruning, so don’t be afraid to clip away. Just avoid pruning while it’s flowering. Once you have the right shape, trim regularly to maintain it and to promote full, bushy growth.

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