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Rosemary turning brown and dropping leaves

Posted by georgia_teacher 8B (My Page) on
Sun, Sep 20, 09 at 13:31

My rosemary plant is turning brown and dropping its leaves. I read that it prefers judicious watering, so I have tried not to overwater. Everything else in the bed with it looks green and lush, so I don't THINK it's too dry. I love the taste of rosemary and how beautiful the shrubs are once they get big; I don't want to lose mine. Any ideas?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Rosemary turning brown and dropping leaves

It may just be older stems and leaves that are dying. Cut them off. Look for spider mites as they may be infesting it. Rosemary can grow just fine if watered like most other herbs. Usually too much water would show up as yellowing leaves. If this is the firs year for yours, it may just be headed for a dorment period. Here, most rosemary types will not survive winters.

RE: Rosemary turning brown and dropping leaves

This is the first year for mine. Our winters are insanely mild. If it drops below freezing at all, it only happens two or three times. A "hard" freeze for us is about 20 degrees, and again, that almost never happens. I have not noticed any critters, but I will look for that too. It is still in the upper 80's and lower 90's here; would it be time for it to go dormant?

RE: Rosemary turning brown and dropping leaves

Rosemary is evergreen in 7B, and will be in zone 8B also. I have several rosemary bushes, some several years old. We have had (until starting last week) very little rainfall during the summer months. I watered the rosemary bushes regularly to keep them healthy. If the rosemary bush is turning brown and dropping it leaves, I will guess it is not getting enough water. (Assuming no pest attack in progress.) Kinda like what the pine trees do in summer when water is scarce. Also, rosemary does best in a soil that is quick draining. The fact the soil drains quickly seems to be another challenge to provide adequate moisture during extended dry spells, and I find watering regularly necessary.

RE: Rosemary turning brown and dropping leaves

My rosemary is in a pot. I started it inside last year from a small plant, and toward the end of winter/spring it started looking a little sparse. It spent a summer outside and flourished. Now its colder so I brought the pot in and have it in the kitchen by the window again and its turning brown in the center of the plant and dropping leaves and stems. I've tried to make sure to water it about every other day...but not sure what's going on. It was chilly near the window but not freezing by any means. Could it maybe need a larger pot? Someone said overwatering would cause yellow leaves, I do not have that problem. Any tips would be appreciated. This is my first rosemary and I love having it here. (also, what is the best way or right way to harvest from it? I'm not sure where to pully my stems from when using them for cooking)

RE: Rosemary turning brown and dropping leaves

Personally, I have never had success with Rosemary in the house. I started putting them in the ground years ago and now there are hedges of them--a few are even in bloom now believe it or not--along with one of the lavenders! Inside, keep it as cool as possible. Watering every other day sounds excessive to me. You might want to experiment with one next year in an outdoor bed if you have a nice warm site (near the house, on the south side, etc.). The variety Arps is particularly hardy. I know they say hardy to Zone 7 but areas around your house may be much milder than your Zone 6. Good luck!

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