Rosemary Topiary: How To Train From Single Stalk - Knowledgebase Question

Andover, MA
Question by flanagan9
April 9, 2000
I grew a rosemary plant from seed last summer. It lived happily out in my vegetable bed all summer. I then took it in for the winter into my sunroom/greenhouse where it has done just fine (much to my amazement - I kill all the storebought ones. Thought maybe I'd have more luck starting from seed so it's used to my conditions).

It is currently about 12 inches and is a single stalk with rosemary leaves all over it. I have staked it so it will stand upright. I am hoping to train it to be a tree-form topiary with a single stalk and a ball of rosemary foliage at the top.

I assume I have to prune it somehow when the stalk reaches the desired length. How do I do this and encourage the growth and branching I assume I'll need to train it into a ball shape on top?

Answer from NGA
April 9, 2000


Congratulations on your success so far! When it reaches the desired height, pinch out the top-most bud to force the plant to begin branching. Pinch or trim the new growth often to force it to continue to branch and thus grow very dense. Remove any lower sidebranches that may appear, to maintain the lollipop form.

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