pruning a rosemary plant

nina394(z6CT)November 14, 2006

I just took a look at my prostrate rosemary plant, still outside in a pot due to the warm temperatures we've been having this November. I have to admit I neglected the plant this summer but I am vowing to treat it better from now on. I'd like to prune it before bringing it in, particularly since so many of the rosemary's needles have turned brown. The problem is that the needles that have stayed green and healthy are growing closer to the branch ends than to the trunk of the plant, so if I prune it back, I will end up with mainly brown dead looking stumps. Any advice?

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Heathen1(10a)

I wouldn't prune it more than 1/3 of the plant.... that is a good rule and it should leave some green for photosynthesis and the plant should recover next year if you take care of it. :o)

    Bookmark   November 15, 2006 at 9:52AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ankraras(8/9AZ)

....."The problem is that the needles that have stayed green and healthy are growing closer to the branch ends than to the trunk of the plant, so if
I prune it back, I will end up with mainly brown dead looking stumps." .....

I would let those continue to grow and develop for now in helping sturdiness and giving a strong visual impression. Once those become more
mature it will sprout out new growth all along these branches.

As for leaves turning brown, that may indicate that the drainage is insufficient or an under/over watering issue.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2006 at 7:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
greth_gardener

Maybe just pinch out the growing tips to encourage new growth back along the branches.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2006 at 6:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
jackz411

How old and what size is your Rosemary? For the time being I would do nothing other than bring it in and let it adjust to indoors. With leaves only on the tips and the lower ones withering you indeed do have a problem. I'd give the roots some water and do not mist the plant or prune anything...yet.

Give it some time to adjust and for the roots to hopefully

revive and get circulation going better to the lower (older) part of the plant. That the newer tips have leaves seems to indicate that there is some circulation moving. Some diluted vitamins may be helpful too.

Hopefully it will recover. Clearly the plant had problems this summer/fall. I am in a much colder zone and I dug up my Rosemarys yesterday when temps threatened 15 degrees. They are very robust...so something wrong happened to it.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2006 at 5:32PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
HerbLady49(Z6 PA)

Rosemarys are strong growers. When you plant in a pot you need to check the roots throughout the season to see if it's root bound. When you lift your plant out of the pot and the roots are showing or circling it will start to decline. It's too late to top prune or root prune now that the plant is going into dormancy. In early spring (March in your zone)lift your plant out of the pot and cut off a couple of inches from the bottom and with a serrated knife slice some off the sides and replant in new soil and a larger pot. Don't prune from the top until you see some new growth. When you grow herbs move them to larger pots or root prune and return them to the same pot and you will have happy, healthy plants. I have large stock plants of rosemary that I have done this to for 10 years.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2006 at 10:40AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
nygardener(z6 New York)

What herblady49 says about dormancy may be true, but I'd still consider doing what greth suggests and just pinching out the growing tips. You'll get a few little shoots growing along the stems as an "insurance policy" against the whole stem turning brown, at which point it will be too late to rescue the plant. Gently remove the needles that are entirely brown and dead and keep the plant in a cool and humid place with plenty of air circulation during the winter.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2006 at 9:20AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
nina394(z6CT)

Thank you all for your advice and encouragement. I will follow the advice given and will let you know (next spring) how it turns out.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2006 at 5:39PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Rosmarinus officinalis 'Barbeque'
I received this plant mail order and found it to be...
chervil2
Small ant like insect in chamomile flower
Hello dear friends This is first time I am growing...
saoodhashim
Cilantro indoors
How do I grow cilantro indoors? I'm in Colorado for...
timetraveler
Need help with basil and other herbs
I am trying to grow herbs and I live in India. Firstly,...
zenovia_p
Leaning Basil
I have this basil I grew from a cutting and since I...
Shower-MayFlower
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™