Rosemary Topiaries Indoors For Winter

Louise - 5 NYJune 29, 2000

A nursery person told me yesterday that almost no one can keep a rosemary topiary alive indoors after having it outside for the summer. Having already had some die, I am now nervous about the new ones I have just started. Anyone on this forum pro enough to agree or disagree? Many thanks.

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Barbara - 5

I kept a Rosemary topiary alive for several years. I finally gave it to a friend as I tired of it. I would put it outdoors in full sun in summer. I kept it in its pot and sunk that pot into the ground. The roots grew thru the bottom of the pot and into the ground by summer's end. I pulled it up, cut off the roots protruding from the bottom and trimmed the topiary when I brought it in in the fall. I kept it well watered all winter long and put it in a sunny spot. I watered it almost every day as it is a very thirsty plant and the plant was very pot bound. I believe watering is very important to the wellbeing of this plant

    Bookmark   June 30, 2000 at 5:57PM
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Louise - 5 NY

Thanks so much, Barbara. Will follow your instructions this coming winter, and appreciate your help.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2000 at 7:37PM
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Linda - boston-6

Yes, water is important so the needles don't dry out, but equally important is sun and a place that is cool. This plant does not like hot rooms. An unheated (but not freezing) sunporch or such is perfect.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2000 at 6:42AM
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Ruth - 5

Spider mites kill many housebound rosemaries. You can avoid them by giving your topiary a sudsy bath in the sink every few weeks. I like to pot up to the next size pot before they come in, using sand or creek grit in the soil. Water when the soil is dry about an inch down in the pot. As the days start to get longer in Jan., it will begin new growth. Watch water carefully then.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2000 at 10:59PM
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Jodi - 5

I have been trying to grow a rosemary topiary since last spring... I bought a small regular rosemary herb plant at the local garden center, pruned it to a topiary shape. I had a huge spider mite problem, which I took care of, have been fertilizing, watering and all... and the plant just doesn't want to grow. It's in an east window, gets plenty of light.

I want to keep it in a small pot, so I did a root pruning recently. I took it out of the pot, brushed away all the soil, and gave it a root pruning. I repotted it in fresh soil, watered it in, and set it back on the windowsill. I'm hoping for the best.

What don't I know about rosemary? Is it picky about some things? I know I will have to wait for new growth until it settles in to the new soil...

    Bookmark   October 28, 2000 at 12:45PM
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Angela Hohman

I've had one for the past 4 years. The first winter it dropped alot of needles. That's when I figured out the watering. Now, I keep it damp and it keeps me happy here in my office at work. I grew it from a little sprout and pruned it into a lollipop shape. I wouldn't worry--it's not too tough. Good luck!

    Bookmark   December 5, 2000 at 1:31PM
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received a rosemary topiary as a christmas gift. Am watering frequentl. In sunny southwest spot in kitchen. wsa doing fine until last week when it seemed to be losing its green color and dropping its leaves. what can I do?

    Bookmark   February 6, 2001 at 6:43AM
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kvlvr Z4/5

How nice to see the information about Rosemary Topiaries indoors in winter. I have ordered some rosemary seeds and will be attempting to start my own soon. I saw one of you mentioned a lollipop, what other shapes does rosemary take to? Are there any shapes it really doesn't look well in?
As you can tell I am a newbie but a topiary rosemary sounds so nice for our long winter months and I since I going to grow some outside anyway I figured why not give it a try.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2001 at 1:22AM
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I have had my rosemary for about 8 years now and I use it both for culinary purposes and decoration. Mine is more like a bonsai--I have it in a regular 10 inch glazed clay pot and have trained/trimmed it in a loose cascading form. It sits outside on a wall all summer, then comes in to an east-facing window for the winter. It starts to get a little gangly by spring, when I trim all the soft new growth to freeze or use on the Easter lamb. It does drop a lot of leaves and spent flowers during the winter, but they smell good in the vacuum. I wonder if the excessive trimming of a true topiary eventually stresses it out, or if some varieties are more suited to it than others. I fertilize mine with Miracle Grow when I remember to, which is pretty seldom.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2001 at 3:58PM
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I have been successful growing Rosemary. I have (1) bush and several topiaries. They are over-wintered in a unheated room with western exposure. If the weather is very cold and windy, I do try to move them away from any direct draft. I supplement the light with inexpensive plants lights and using a timer I leave them on about (16) hours a day. I feed them with fish emulsion at 1/2 the recommended rate, in the winter every (30) days, the rest of the year every (3) weeks. I do spray them with a weak solution of soapy water as a preventative for spider mites and when I notice any powdery mildew, I spray with a baking soda solution. I depend on a water meter to water all of my plants and have found it to be fool proof.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2001 at 1:04PM
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Sunrays(CA 10a)

I'm happy to see info from others about rosemary. I've been fortunate with my rosemary topiaries and rooting rosemary for a few years now. I keep mine outdoors in full sun and water frequently. I'd like to bring them indoors in the winter but they do so well outside that I'm afraid to move them. If I do, it probably won't be for more than a month (holidays) at a time. I have all of mine in the lolipop form that people have mentioned. When I trim them, I take the longer trims and root them with rooting hormone. Jackiew - I'd love to see your bonsai form if you have any pictures available.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2001 at 1:33PM
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I purchased 2 last Xmas that had been shaped into perfect little Xmas trees. The tag accompanying them from the grower noted that they would not last more than a few months. Through more good luck than knowledge I pulled them through the winter, gave them the summer off out of doors, pruned them back into shape before I brought them in for the winter...they are glorious. Sometimes I think beginners have ALL the luck! I also mist them every day!

    Bookmark   November 18, 2001 at 9:16PM
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I have over wintered rosemary for years, and I always get powdery mildew in the end of the winter. I am a professional grower, so I know to expect this in my climate (zone 6/7). I keep my huge plant in as much sun as possible, then as early in the Spring as I can, I move it outdoors, and the powdery mildew goes away. I cut the rosemary back before bringing it in, but this always happens in late Feb. or early March. I still love using the rosemary in cooking until then. Insecticidal soap will get rid of the powdery mildew, but by then I have moved the Rosemary to the fresh air it needs.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2001 at 7:30PM
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