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Coast rosemary naturally occurs in southeast Australia where it is native to sand dunes and coastal bluffs in both sandy and alkaline soils, and where it endures daily wind and salt spray. It is a fine textured evergreen shrub mounding 5-6 ft. tall, capable of spreading 5-8 ft. wide. Small rosemary-like leaves grow to 1/2 in. long, are pale green above, white below and occur in whorls on whitish stems. Small white flowers occur at the tips of branches where they provide modest accent character during spring and intermittently throughout warm periods of the year.

The Coast rosemary is a fast growing species that is valued in Inland Empire landscape and gardens as a foliage plant that is attractive when clipped or unclipped. Plant in sunny locations, in well-drained soils and reduce watering during the summer. It is a reliable shrub with few pests or problems, and tolerant of temperatures to 10-15°F. Cultivars include: W. f. 'Morning Light' has yellow-green foliage with white margins and white flowers, grows 3 ft. tall, 4-6 ft. wide, and W. f. 'Smokey' grows to 5-6 ft. tall and as wide with pale gray foliage and white flowers.

Water Needs

Coast rosemary and its several cultivars are well adapted to sunny locations on well drained soils in the Inland Empire and with low amounts of supplemental water during summer. The chart shown below provides a recommended baseline guide to the monthly irrigation schedule and volume of supplemental water needed to maintain healthy growth throughout the average year. It should be noted there are several months indicated by an asterisk (*) when winter rains can provide sufficient moisture and irrigation is not needed. The high and low range of moisture indicates it can grow with varying amounts of water; more moisture in spring will help sustain a longer flowering cycle.

Irrigation Schedule and Graph

Low Water Use Plants

Irrigation Schedule 2

  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
Runs per Month 0x to 2x 0x to 2x 0x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 0x to 2x 0x to 2x
Inches per Run 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1"
Inches per Month 0" to 2" 0" to 2" 0" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 0" to 2" 0" to 2"

Range of supplemental summer water: 7"-14"
Range of supplemental winter water: 0"-10"

  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
For more information on how to use this Irrigation Schedule and Graph, follow this link.

For information how to calculate your irrigation system’s schedule and precipitation rate, please follow this link.

Plant Properties

Plant Type: Shrub
Foliage Character: Evergreen
Habit: Mounding, Dense
Growth Rate: Fast
Height: 4 ft. - 6 ft.
Width: 5 ft. - 8 ft.
Water Needs: Low 2
Foliage Color: Pale green
Flower Color: White
Flower Season: Spring
Soil Adaptations: Well-draining soil, Sand, Alkaline soil
Exposure Adaptations: Wind, Coastal salt air, All day sun
Function: Slopes, Screening, Residential spaces, Parks and open space, Foundations, Foliage accent plant, Commercial spaces, Background plant, Hedge


Coast Rosemary naturally has a clean, compact growth form, but may be clipped as a hedge or to shape. Hedge clipping can happen any time of the year. Main pruning is recommended for winter (D).



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