Rosemary growing really slow

PunkRotten(9b)September 8, 2011


I received a Rosemary plant about 2 months ago. It was basically just 2 stems about 5-6 inches long. It is planted in the ground. I used some cactus mix and mixed it into my dirt. The Rosemary looks just like it did when I received it.

No new growth at all. Is this normal? I know they grow kinda slow but should there be some new growth? I have not pruned it at all. I was worried that since it is so small that pruning it was not a good idea. Next to it I have a Sage plant about 2 1/2 to 3 feet away. It was received and planted at the same time. It is small still too but I noticed some very tiny new growth.

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fatamorgana2121(Zone 5/6)

You have heard, "perennials sleep the first year, creep the second year and leap the third year," right? ;)


    Bookmark   September 9, 2011 at 8:20AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Punk, horticulturally speaking, your rosemary is a woody shrub. As such, what you've described is pretty much normal for a late summer/fall planting. In your mild climate, the roots will continue to develop over the winter and as soon as the days begin to get longer in the spring, you'll see new growth. And you are correct, rosemary is considered a slow grower...slow but steady once established.

Do not be tempted to fertilize your plants "in order to get them to grow faster". The last thing you want to do is to force a bunch of new growth before the plant is ready to support it...and before the onset of some chilly temperatures.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2011 at 3:03PM
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Fatamorgana has put it very well indeed. Rosemary is very slow to start with, and yours is very much still an infant. Give it another couple of years, and then it'll take off.

Rule of thumb put another way: the longer a plant's life-expectancy, the slower it is to grow. A huge forest tree can take hundreds of years to reach maturity. Some annuals can live their entire life-cycle in a matter of a couple of weeks.

Rosemary can live more than 30 years.

And Rhizo is correct, too. Think of plants as being not unlike people in many ways. You can feed up your children to the eyeballs, but they won't grow up any faster - you'll just be making them unhealthy by over-feeding! Rosemary does better with a lean diet.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2011 at 7:07PM
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It will enjoy the winter season and then it should take off. One thing I did found out the hard way was I thought I could bury the branches that were on the ground. They all died, cuttings work well in the fall through the winter season better or early spring before it turns hot. In 3 years my rosemary was over 3 by 3 feet. I try to provide starts to my friends and neighbors as they do well in this area.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2011 at 12:42AM
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