Examples Of The Best Pots for Rosemary

Terracotta and clay pots that measure minimum 12 inches in diameter are the most suitable pots to grow rosemary. Terracotta and clay are porous, which makes it possible for that the ground to dry out after irrigation, but they don’t get hot as fast in the sun as metal or plastic pots, and offer more protection against frost during Winter.

The rosemary plant is an Mediterranean plant that has evolved to withstand drought. It prefers that the soil dry out slightly between irrigation, which is the reason porous materials such as clay or terracotta is the best because it permits for the soil to dry out quickly after rain, while plastic pots aren’t breathable and may hold too much moisture for rosemary to withstand.

Continue reading to find out what pots and containers are ideal for the growth of rosemary, and also how to avoid making the most frequent mistakes made when cultivating rosemary in pots…

Best Pot Size for Growing Rosemary

Rosemary comes in various sizes , with some varieties reaching up to 2 or 3 feet in diameter (such as “Tuscan blue”) while others are smaller with annual pruning.

But I would recommend to plant the rosemary into a pot minimum 12 inches in width with the same depth, even if you are using a less varieties of rosemary, or if your rosemary is in the undeveloped stage of development.

It is essential that you plant your rosemary inside a container or pot that has a minimum of 12 inches in diameter because the container must be large enough to accommodate enough soil for the rosemary’s roots to remain warm during winter and also to ensure that the pot doesn’t dry out too fast in the scorching summer sun. the summer.

A 12-inch pot provides enough space for rosemary’s roots to grow so that it can get the moisture and nutrients it needs to thrive and remain healthy.

All kinds of rosemary thrive extremely well in pots because pots offer better drainage conditions than garden boards and flower beds which is crucial since the rosemary species is a Mediterranean plant species that are adapted to drainage conditions that help to prevent root rot.

Since rosemary is an Mediterranean species, the plant blooms scents, tastes, and blooms most beautifully when it’s in fully sun-drenched.

But full sun can dramatically increase the speed that pots begin to dry during the hottest times This is the reason having a an extra-large pot that has the capacity to hold soil is crucial because pots smaller than 12 inches could be so dry that rosemary roots don’t have enough time to soak the water they require.

It is also important to remember that pots are essentially raising the rosemary’s root system over the ground, which exposes the roots to freezing temperatures during Winter.

rosemary plants in cloth wrapped pots

The rosemary roots are the most sensitive to cold portion of this plant. Usually, the soil around them acts as an insulation against cold, ensuring the temperature that the roots are able to tolerate.

If the pot isn’t big enough, it is not containing enough soil to adequately protect the roots from the harshest of cold that could cause the rosemary to wither in winter.

A bigger pot is able to hold enough soil to protect the roots and shield them from frost in areas that have colder winters, so they can thrive and bloom well next year.

(Read my article on the the best soil to plant rosemary in pots).

Good Drainage is Key for Rosemary Pots and Containers

Whatever type of container or pot you pick for your rosemary, the most important thing to remember is that, it has drainage holes at the base that allow for the excess water to drain after the watering.

If the pot doesn’t have drainage holes, then water accumulates at the bottom of the pot and the soil around the roots of the rosemary plant becomes overly saturated, which creates conditions for root rot , causing the rosemary to turn brown, yellow or black, and then die again.

(Read my article on the best way to bring back the dead rosemary plant).

It is crucial to stress that drainage holes must be kept clean to allow water to flow easily from the root.

The soil can get compacted in pots over time , so the best method to make sure drainage holes remain free of obstruction is to apply 1 inch of gravel at the base of your pot prior to adding the potting soil.

The gravel creates an aerated, porous design at the bottom of the pot, allowing the water to drain easily because soil that has consolidated at the bottom can result in the drainage of water slowly and create boggy conditions.

It is also a good idea to put potted rosemary on small ornamental pots ‘foots’ or on stands to ensure it is near enough to elevated above the ground.

This stops water from accumulating under your pot when it is set on a patio. This could result in the soil at the base of your pot to remain wet, as rosemary needs that the soil dry out between watering sessions.

Beware of this common error!

One of the most common mistakes I observe when I see people potting rosemary is to choose the correct pot with no drainage at the base, but then place it on the tray to avoid the water from spilling onto their patios when they water the rosemary.

The rosemary plant is native to the Mediterranean region of Europe and needs drier soil conditions than most plants. Therefore, when the pot is placed set on a tray and has water surrounding the base, it’s not in line with the conditions that rosemary prefers and could result in root rot.

Best Material Rosemary Pots

They are tough plants once they’re planted and growing under the proper conditions. They can be grown in pots made of any substance, however there are certain kinds of pots that are better to grow rosemary than others.

The rosemary plant is capable of growing in plastic, metal clay, terracotta, and ceramic-style pots.

However, metal pots (as shown in the image) and , to a lesser degree, plastic pots made of thin material tend to get hotter in the sun since the material carries all the sunlight’s heat efficiently.

If the pot is heated up excessively, it can strain the roots, causing water to evaporate too fast from the soil , causing it to harden and stop the rosemary’s roots from absorbing any water.

Rosemary can tolerate dry conditions since it is from the Mediterranean region of Europe which is tolerant of dry and hot Summers and therefore, they might be capable of growing in plastic or metal pots with no problem with the proper climate, and when the pot is large enough to ensure that it does not get as dry under the scorching sun.

If the pot is able to conduct heat throughout the day, you must be more vigilant with your watering so that your rosemary doesn’t suffer drought stress. The rosemary plant prefers drier soil , so frequent watering can result in a weak root root damage, which can make finding the right equilibrium of moisture needed for rosemary difficult in plastic and metal pots.

(Read my article on the frequency to rinse rosemary).

My personal recommendation for most effective pots to grow rosemary is terracotta or glazed clay pots.

They are more durable and durable to the elements than metal or plastic pots, but they’re also porous and breathable, which permits the soil to dry following a rain, which can help the rosemary to avoid root rot since root rot is the most frequent issue when you grow rosemary.

Terracotta and clay pots are the ideal option for growing rosemary. Terracotta and clay pots are constructed with a greater amount of strength than plastic and metal plant pots and. This means that they don’t get hot as fast in summer and bake up the soil, and protect against frost damage to rosemary’s roots during Winter.

While clay and terracotta are the most suitable containers for the rosemary plant, it’s crucial to remember that they can be very heavy when compared to metal and plastic pots especially when you consider the weight of the soil as well as the plant.

Certain varieties of rosemary aren’t cold-hardy and might need to be moved indoors during winter to guard against frost damagein areas that have cold winters.

The process of moving your pots inside every day isn’t easy, therefore a plastic pot that is lighter that is preferably of the lightest shade (so that it reflect light, rather than absorbs heat and light) could be an ideal choice.

(Read my article on on how you can take care of the rosemary inside pots).

Key Takeaways

  • Terracotta and clay pots are the most suitable pots to grow rosemary. Terracotta and clay pots are more breathable than plastic and metal pots, allowing that the soil’s moisture to drain out more effectively. They also don’t heat too fast in the sun, and they are resistant to frost that can damage the roots of rosemary in winter.
  • Terracotta and clay pots that are 12 inches wide can provide enough soil to allow rosemary’s root systems to grow and also provide sufficient insulation to shield the rosemary’s roots from the cold winter months.
  • Make sure to plant rosemary in pots that have drainage holes at the base so that excess water can be drained away from the roots in order to prevent root rot.
  • Do not place your rosemary in the tray since this will collect water, and the soil becomes boggy, causing root rot. It is recommended to put the pots on stand that ensure drainage and to prevent root rot.


Went from a bad gardener to a half-decent one over 10+ years. Super happy to share my tips and tricks with you :)