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Rosemary Not Doing So Well

Posted by paper_crane2 MI 5a (My Page) on
Mon, Dec 30, 13 at 15:57

It has dry brown dead leaves. I've been reading a lot of contradicting information about how to care for rosemary in the winter. Some say never to let the soil dry out and others say let the soil dry out completely before watering (this is what I have been doing).

I have it in the most sunny spot (and the only sunny spot) in my house, but maybe it is still not getting enough light? Also, there aren't any bugs or fungus on it so I don't think that is it.

Also, I read somewhere that it need a lot of humidity. Is this true? If it is true then that could possibly be the problem because my house is very dry in the winter due to the heating.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Rosemary Not Doing So Well

Will it survive outside? That's where mine is. In both a pot and in the ground. It is a perennial here. Not sure how far north it would be a perennial. It needs full sun outside. I can't imagine growing it well inside.


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RE: Rosemary Not Doing So Well

No it won't survive the winters here. My only hope of have a rosemary plant is to overwinter it indoors. I have two rosemary plants and one of them is doing okay, so maybe only one will survive this time.


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RE: Rosemary Not Doing So Well

If you put the words 'rosemary' and 'winter' or 'indoors' into the search box at the top of this page you will find a lot of previous threads discussing this subject. Reading through them might give you some ideas of how to keep your plant going until it is safe to put it outside again.

Here is a link that might be useful: Here's one rosemary thread.


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RE: Rosemary Not Doing So Well

Duplicate post deleted.

Here is a link that might be useful: Here's one rosemary thread.

This post was edited by floral_uk on Sat, Jan 4, 14 at 11:04


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RE: Rosemary Not Doing So Well

With the arid mediterranean herbs indoors in pots, you have to walk a very fine line between well drained soil and not completely dried out. Rosemary will die quickly if the soil and plant completely dry out. By the time you notice it's having problems, it's generally too late to stop it. But, it does need it's soil to be well draining to avoid root rot. The advice to let the soil dry out refers to the top inch or so of the soil before watering, not the complete soil to the bottom. Personally, I find my pots do best with small amounts of water more often. It does like some humidity, but I manage mine during dry Colorado winters by misting with a spray bottle when I think of it and they manage.

How your rosemary died may tell you what it's problem is/was. Just all browned leaves probably means just dried out. But, if the browing started at the tips, it's a sign of root rot. Sometimes, if you catch this right away you can limit the damage, and sometimes it's just too late.


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RE: Rosemary Not Doing So Well

Thank you, these responses are very helpful.

Some of the browning started at the tips. What should I add to the soil to make it drain better?


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RE: Rosemary Not Doing So Well

Personally, I've started adding some bonsai soil to reg potting soil for my arid herbs, and it is working well for me. I also use a moisture meter to help keep track of the moisture level toward the bottom of the pots, since it's so dry here the top layer can dry out very fast and I was overwatering.

Also, what type of plant was it--I spent two years trying to learn how to keep the pretty rosemary trees you can get at holiday time alive, but they're not super healthy to start with due to forced growing conditions, trimming, and rootbound due to pot size, so I finally gave up that idea. I have quite good luck now with healthy seedlings purchased from a quality local greenhouse.


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RE: Rosemary Not Doing So Well

It is a plant that I started from seed last year.


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RE: Rosemary Not Doing So Well

Please see my post where I've got mine to January, so far unscathed.


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RE: Rosemary Not Doing So Well

Rosemary hates dry heat and dim light. I have my plants in a cool room with a large south facing window and they are doing fine. I do not let the soil dry out. On days above freezing it is very beneficial to place the plants outside and spray them with a hose to hydrate the leaves and remove dust. They love the outdoor sunshine and will show their gratitude by greening up at the end of even one day outside during the winter.


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