Rosemary: Dead or Alive?

veggieholic(5)February 4, 2011

I do a lot of outdoor gardening, but I don't have much experience with growing plants indoors. This year I decided to dig up my rosemary plants from the garden and keep them in the house for the winter (rosemary does not survive the winter in my climate). I have not been very diligent about my watering schedule, and recently the plant went for two weeks without water. It now appears very dry and brittle, but it has kept its green color. I would like to know how to determine if the plant is completely dead, or if there's a chance of reviving it. Could anyone offer advice?

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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

I'm going to guess that you now have a pot of dried rosemary.

Digging them up from the ground and plunking them in pots is not something that will go over very well, let alone being brought inside. The fact that it has kept its green color tells me that it died very quickly....too rapidly to go through the usual transitional steps of wilting, dropping leaves, becoming covered with spider mites, etc.

HOWEVER! You could see if it comes back in the spring. You'd have to make an attempt to keep the root system alive by occasional watering, however. Did you stick the plants in potting soil or just some dirt from the garden?

    Bookmark   February 4, 2011 at 1:18PM
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veggieholic(5)

Thank you for your response! I left a small amount of garden soil on the plant, but it's mostly in potting soil. I used miracle grow organic potting soil which, if I remember correctly, is peat based with poultry manure added. I actually had two rosemary plants and both are in the exact same condition. Assuming these plants are dead, what course of action do you recommend for next year when I purchase new rosemary in the spring? Is there a better way to protect them for winter, or will I need to grow one in a pot year-round to keep it as a perennial?

    Bookmark   February 5, 2011 at 3:34PM
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aldarondo

We put our Rosemary into pots, last winter we had a 1 yr. old plant that we took trimmings from and created 18 children plants. This winter the parent died probably due to being root bound, but our 1 year old plants are outside in their own 5 gallon pots and doing just fine. I'm in the Chicago area. I'm making grandchildren plants today from cuttings.

I'd recommend trying the same thing, keep the plants sheltered from the wind and they might just surprise you and survive like mine did.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2011 at 8:46PM
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aldarondo

We put our Rosemary into pots, last winter we had a 1 yr. old plant that we took trimmings from and created 18 children plants. This winter the parent died probably due to being root bound, but our 1 year old plants are outside in their own 5 gallon pots and doing just fine. I'm in the Chicago area. I'm making grandchildren plants today from cuttings.

I'd recommend trying the same thing, keep the plants sheltered from the wind and they might just surprise you and survive like mine did.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2011 at 9:04PM
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