How Do You Harvest Rosemary?


Quick Answer

Harvest rosemary by clipping sprigs from selected branches during the growing season. Cut only the tender, new growth, taking off no more than 20 percent of the length of the branch and leaving needles on the remaining branch. Use the rosemary immediately, or dry and store it for later use.

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Full Answer

  1. Select branches for clipping

    Select branches that are at least 8 inches long for harvesting, leaving green needles on the remainder of the branch for regrowth. Choose the longest branches to clip first, maintaining a mounded shape for the plant. The entire plant can be cut back by 20 percent if you plan on storing the rosemary for later use.

  2. Clip the branches

    Clip approximately 4 inches off the end of the tender, green part of the branch with a pair of sharp shears. New sprigs grow from the tender, green part of the stem. To maintain the health of the plant, avoid cutting the woody portion of the stem.

  3. Use or dry the rosemary

    Strip the leaves from the stem to use for flavoring, or use the entire stem and leaves. If you plan on storing the rosemary, dry the leaves by hanging the stems or by placing the leaves on towels or in the oven.

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