I'm a rosemary murderer...

SylviaGrace(4b)May 4, 2013

I've tried growing rosemary 3 or 4 times, and each time the plant died without me really knowing why. What's the best way to take care of rosemary so it will stay alive?

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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

We need to know what you have been doing to identify where things have gone wrong. Can you give us more details? Indoors? Outdoors? In a pot? In the ground? Your climate? Watering? Did you try to feed it?

    Bookmark   May 4, 2013 at 5:10AM
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fatamorgana2121(Zone 5/6)

Join the club! I have murdered many rosemary plants in trying to over winter them. Zone 5 is too cold. People in my zone (technically zone 6) can get it to overwinter outdoors if they have the right microclimates....sometimes. And overwintering indoors is tough at best. I've not succeeded at that either.


    Bookmark   May 5, 2013 at 2:17PM
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If I lived farther north I believe I would be taking cuttings before cold weather sat in and keep them inside during the winter months. I do not know about others but I seem to have greater success with cuttings than I do with large plants thru the winter. Now that was when I lived up that way.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2013 at 9:51AM
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zzackey(8b GA)

It needs full sun and they like it on the dry side! I lost a beautiful big one when our garden was under water for 4 days.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2013 at 6:24PM
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zackey, the next time you need to take cuttings before the ends died.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2013 at 12:32AM
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zzackey(8b GA)

I wasn't the one taking the cuttings.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2013 at 5:47PM
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balloonflower(5b Denver CO, HZ 5-6, Sunset 2b)

Thanks to an earlier posting, and FataMorgana's tip on bonsai soil, I've now managed one rosemary tree since Christmas (a personal record). I had it potted in a poor potting soil choice that wasn't distributing water well--super dry on the top, and sopping wet underneath. This led to a lot of root-rot (the needles browning from the edge then dying). When I first brought it home, I had a lot of new growth emerge. Then, things went bad and a good portion of the original tree lost needles, with the tip growth surviving. Two months ago, I repotted using a mix of the bonsai soil and a different potting soil, with some larger lava rocks in the bottom to assist drainage as well (previously had used pea gravel). The turnaround was drastic--I noticed good signs within a couple weeks, and now there's new growth starting to fill in the bare areas around the bottom. It sits inside my sliding door, east facing, so it only gets partial sun, and I find that it's happiest with a little bit of water (1 c or less) daily. It's in a 12" pot, and that doesn't seem like much water to me, but seems to be doing the trick. I also have a cheap water meter that I use to make sure it's not sopping underneath again, and if it gets too dry, I do notice the very tip growth barely start to droop. It's not a super long experiment, but so far going well. I am constantly tempted to put it outside now that it's warm, but have decided that since it seems happy, I'll just let it be.

On a side note--the bonsai soil mix also seems to help reduce my fungus gnat population.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2013 at 11:44PM
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OMG, I am so trying this. I have a fungus gnat issue indoors.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2013 at 4:30PM
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fatamorgana2121(Zone 5/6)

Fungus gnats do like it wet. They are a good sign that the moisture level is wrong.

Glad I could help, balloonflower! :)


    Bookmark   May 17, 2013 at 6:45PM
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I've killed two absolutely beautiful rosemary plants since the beginning of the month. I'm now on my third and since its starting to sprawl, I'm going to do some cuttings and get some bonsai soil.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2013 at 1:40PM
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