Rosemary Bonsai Care Guide


Your bonsai gift arrives planted in a ceramic container with humidity tray and rocks. Unwrap your rosemary bonsai and water only if the soil is dry to the touch. Place the rocks on the tray and the plant in its container on top of the rocks. Please read and follow the instructions below carefully to keep your plant healthy.


Display your bonsai where it will receive bright indirect light with up to 2 to 4 hours of direct morning or afternoon sunlight daily. During the warmer months of the year, the plant should be kept in a cool location with high humidity and temperatures between 50° and 70°F, away from heat sources, such as stoves or heaters. During winter months, your bonsai will do best in a draft-free, humid room with temperatures between 40° to 60°F. When the interior air is dry, mist your plant frequently, place it near other leafy plants or next to an open container of water, and keep the humidity tray filled with clean water so that the water never touches the bottom of the planter, unless you are actively watering.

Rosemary bonsai benefit from being placed outdoors during the growing season. It is best to move the bonsai outside in the spring after the threat of frost has passed and temperatures range between 40° and 50°F at night and below 60°F in the day, place it in light shade where it is protected from the wind, and return it indoors before the first hard frost in the fall.


Your bonsai plant requires frequent watering. During its growth period in the warmer months, the soil should be kept evenly moist but never soggy. It should be allowed to dry slightly between waterings but never to dry out completely. During the cool winter months when the rosemary is in its resting period, the soil should be allowed to go moderately dry before watering again.

Rosemary Bonsai tree

To water, place the plant in a pan with 1 to 2 inches of water and soak for an hour or so until the soil looks and feels moist. Never use water that has been treated by a water softener. After watering, the soil color will be a deep chocolate brown. The soil color will lighten as it dries, and the surface will feel dry to the touch when it needs watering.

If the plant gets too dry or excessive salts build up on the soil surface, submerge the entire pot in water to thoroughly water and wash out salts. If you are unable to water it for several days, you can seal the pot in a plastic bag immediately after watering. The bag acts as a greenhouse and will keep the soil moist for at least a week.


Apply complete liquid fertilizer every 6 weeks throughout the growing period, typically between spring and midsummer.

Jackson & Perkins offers a selection of fertilizer & plant care products. We suggest using AlgoPlus Fertilizer for the general health and maintenance of your plant.


Bonsai trees must be pruned to maintain a balanced ratio between canopy and root. Without pruning the branches, the tree would grow too large to be supported by the confined root structure. Pruning also induces branching, producing a denser, fuller plant.

Pinch back new tips as necessary to maintain the shape and to create a bushier plant. Completely remove any branch that dries out and dies. This may occasionally occur due to some stress the plant experiences and is common for rosemary. After a thorough washing, the healthy trimmings may be dried, and the leaves used for seasoning.


Every spring (March-May) your bonsai will need its roots pruned. Gently remove the plant from the pot, carefully remove some of the soil around the sides and bottom of the root ball. Cut off 1/4 of the roots all the way around and up from the bottom. Place fresh, porous soil in the pot (a houseplant soil mix is suitable) and replant the bonsai. After potting, mist the plant and water thoroughly per watering instructions (above) so that the entire root ball is moist.


Bonsai are especially susceptible to aphids and spider mites, and rosemary is also susceptible to powdery mildew fungus, which appears on the young growth as a powdery white substance, usually when it is not receiving adequate light. So, it’s important to closely inspect your plant once a month, especially the underside of leaves, and if either of these issues appear, remove by hand, or gently wash the leaves with highly diluted soapy water and follow with a freshwater rinse. Do not use toxic pesticides.

IMPORTANT: Ornamental plant material should not be eaten. Keep away from pets and children.