What is this bug / insect on my growing rosemary plant?

cenesiaMarch 30, 2012

Hi All,

Just noticed this bug this morning - on my rosemary plant. My rosemary plant hasn't been growing as quickly as the rest of my herbs (I have parsley, tomatoes, basil, oregano, and they were planted the same time and have grown much more than this poor rosemary). Could this be the culprit - maybe it's eating the rosemary leaves? But i haven't really noticed anything significant? Still I'd love to know what this creature is. Any ideas?

Thanks very much,


Image link:

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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

I can't really tell for sure from the image, but it 'appears' to have jumping legs. Could be a grasshopper nymph, or something similar.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2012 at 4:57AM
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What kind of soil is you Rosemary growing in?
Rosemary is often suggested for use as an insect repellent and is used in companion planting to deter insect pests from many plants and it is not known to be attractive to many of them. It is very attractive to many of the beneficial insects that may populate the garden.
Often I find people having problems growing Rosemary because the soil is too rich. Rosemary evolved growing in the middle mediteranian are soils, stoney thin limestone soils.
The picture of the insect is too small.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2012 at 7:32AM
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jimr36(5b CO)

I agree about the picture being too small. Very difficult to see.

I no longer agree with the idea that rosemary is a good repellent plant. I thought that for a long time, until I found a soybean looper family (i.e. adult/moth, youth/caterpillar, and teenager/pupa) all happily hanging out inside the plant. I think the fragrance actually attracted the moth. Many moths like nectar, and are attracted to fragrant flowers.

I've had troubles with soybean loopers eating zucchini and tomato plants. So I've stopped growing rosemary, because I now see it as a magnet for moths...

    Bookmark   March 30, 2012 at 11:44AM
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I grow mine in the soil i bought from the local nursery and was "recommended" I think it's Ocean Frost or something like that. I don't know how else to make it more suitable for this rosemary (it's btw not the upright kind, it's the other type that just sort of stays low and spills over the ledge of the planter). I've also included another picture of the insect - hope it's better this time (it's hard b/c the insect is just small).

thanks for any additional ideas..

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   March 30, 2012 at 11:50AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Does your insect look like the one in the image linked below? If so, it's a katydid youngster and aren't considered much of a problem as they don't usually arrive in hoards like grasshoppers. If not, I have one more 'guess' up my sleeve, lol. The reason I'm not jumping on this one right away is because I can't see its head. The size of the image has nothing to do with it.

So your rosemary is in a planter. Ocean Forest makes several different kinds of soils, but I don't know what the ingredients are. Some potting mixes are absolutely horrible while others do a pretty good job.

Rosemary isn't a rapid grower, perhaps you are expecting too much. Be very watchful for over watering if you have it in a large planted with other plants.

By the way, I've always considered rosemary a spider mite magnet; aphids and mealy bugs aren't uncommon at all.

Here is a link that might be useful: Tell me if this is your insect....

    Bookmark   March 30, 2012 at 1:48PM
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Thanks rhizo_1! I think it does look like that. What do they eat - i'm guessing it could be the rosemary leaves? I haven't seen that before and not sure where they came from. The color varies slightly from the picture, mine's a bit more dark orange, but the antennas and the legs are black and white stripes like the link you showed me. Hm...do I need to do anything the next time i see it, or just leave it be and hope it (or if they haven't become a 'they') won't do damage to my rosemary or any other plants, for that matter...?

    Bookmark   March 30, 2012 at 3:35PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

To be perfectly honest, katydids aren't on my radar at all. Yes, they do some chewing, but I don't think that I've ever heard anyone complain about them, and I've been doing consulting for my entire professional career!

Adult katydids can be quite pretty. Keep an eye out. If you have any self-respecting praying mantids or other predatory insects (or animals) around, katydids don't have much of a chance, especially when they're young like this and can't fly.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2012 at 3:53PM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

No reason to be concerned if you have only one.

Beyond that, rosemary won't gear up in growth rate until the weather warms considerably.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2012 at 8:55PM
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