Can You Use Ericaceous Compost For Rosemary?

Can You Use Ericaceous Compost For Rosemary

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Growing a rosemary bush in your home or garden is a great way to have a sprig of rosemary available at a moment’s notice for your cooking. What is the best way to grow rosemary, and will it do well in ericaceous compost?

Ericaceous compost is not needed for growing rosemary unless the soil is slightly alkaline. Rosemary prefers soil with a pH range of 6.0 to 7.0. Ericaceous compost can be used to lower the pH of alkaline soil to within this optimal range. Generally, standard compost is sufficient for rosemary.

To grow rosemary successfully, you must provide the plant with ideal conditions that stimulate healthy leaf growth. Soil pH is crucial for the uptake of nutrients, so your choice of compost will be an important aspect of how well the plant grows. Can ericaceous compost benefit your rosemary plant?

Is Ericaceous Compost Good For Growing Rosemary?

Rosemary is a popular herb for cooking and medicinal uses, especially prominent in Mediterranean cuisine. It is part of the Lamiaceae mint family, which includes all the mint varieties and basil, lavender, and thyme.

All these plants have very similar requirements for a growing medium to promote healthy, strong growth, including a specific soil pH range.

Whether you use rosemary for medicinal purposes or to flavor your meat dishes, soups, stews, beverages, and salads, it is handy to have your own fresh plants growing at home.

Rosemary is not difficult to grow but requires a certain soil pH range to show optimal growth and health.

Does Rosemary Like Acidic Soil?

Whether you grow your rosemary from seeds, cuttings, or propagate by layering, it is important to give the plant the right soil pH.

Like most herbs, rosemary prefers slightly acidic soil to a neutral pH soil as the ideal growing environment. The pH range best suited for growing rosemary is 6.0 to 7.0.

Rosemary does not like highly acidic soils the same way as plants such as camellias or rhododendrons, so too much ericaceous compost can hinder the rosemary’s growth.

Ericaceous compost can amend the soil pH to values as low as 5.0 or 5.5, which is too acidic for rosemary plants.

This does not mean that ericaceous compost has no value when growing rosemary; it just means it must be used with care.

Ericaceous compost can be beneficial for growing rosemary if your soil is slightly alkaline. It can be used to amend the alkaline soil pH and lower it to within the ideal range for your rosemary plants.

What Is The Best Compost For Rosemary?

In most cases, the best compost for growing rosemary is standard garden compost, which typically has a pH value of between 6.5 and 7.0.

Most garden soils do not need specific amendments to provide an environment for your rosemary to thrive as long as you position the plant in your garden in a location that meets its other requirements for light, warmth, and water.

If you know your garden soil has too much lime or is slightly alkaline, ericaceous compost can be a good compost choice to correct the pH before planting the rosemary. 

Use a garden soil pH testerOpens in a new tab. to check your starting soil pH before adding ericaceous compost. Add the compost in small amounts to the soil in the location where you will plant the rosemary and re-test the pH a couple of days later.

This ensures you don’t go too far, making the soil too acidic and making the spot unsuitable for growing your rosemary plant.

What Is The Best Growing Medium For Potted Rosemary?

Rosemary plants grow very well in containers such as window planters or plant pots for indoor or outdoor growing.

The best pot size for your rosemary depends on the size of the plants. Smaller pots can be used as starter pots to start the young plants off, and they can be re-potted into larger pots each year as the plant grows.

The ideal pot size for most adult rosemary plants is 14 inches or 35.5cm in diameter and a depth of at least 12 inches or 30cm.

This pot size is convenient for indoor or outdoor growing. The plant will continue to grow and can be potted into larger pots, or you can trim the roots annually and re-pot it in the same size pot.

The best growing medium to use for your potted rosemary is a good-quality potting mix with a known pH of between 6.0 and 7.0.

The potting mix must promote free draining since rosemary prefers fairly dry soil. The growing medium must not be allowed to dry out completely, but the plant must also not be overwatered. 

Ericaceous compost is not necessary for growing rosemary in a container if you choose a potting mix with the right pH as the growing medium.

What Are The Best Growing Conditions For Rosemary?

It is good practice to provide any plant with growing conditions that closely mimic its natural habitat. Rosemary is indigenous to the temperate, dry Mediterranean climate, which means it can be sensitive to extreme temperatures and overwatering.

Rosemary needs a sunny spot with well-draining soil. It does not do well in shaded locations, so be careful not to position the plant where larger plants or buildings will shade it out.

Rosemary needs at least 6 hours of direct sunlight each day. If you grow your plant indoors in pots, take the pot outside on a sunny, warm day to give it a good dose of natural sunlight. If you are growing your rosemary in an apartment, you will most likely need to provide it with a grow light for the best results.

Rosemary should not be overwatered since its natural growing environment is relatively dry soil conditions. If the top 1 to 2 inches of the soil feels dry, give the plant a deep watering, and only water it again when the same top layer feels dry.


Ericaceous is not necessary for growing rosemary unless your soil is alkaline and requires amending to lower the pH to the ideal range for the plant.

In most circumstances, standard compost or potting mix will have a pH value suitable for growing strong, healthy, flourishing rosemary plants!


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