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How to re-shape large rosemary.

Hi all (sorry for the influx of posts, I can't find the answer to this anywhere!), I would like to reduce the spread of this rosemary plant but don't know how as I'm scared of cutting it back to the woody growth. I couldn't find anything useful on the Internet for such drastic pruning. It's not the end of the world if the best option is to let it be - I kind of like the tentacles sprawling around - but if there is a way of pruning it back without killing it that'd be great! Second photo is the inside of the plant, as you can see its bare woody stems. Thanks :smiley:

Posts

  • amancalledgeorgeamancalledgeorge South LondonPosts: 2,120
    It's a low spreading variety and it is planted in the wrong place. So much more reasonable to move it somewhere where it can grow to its ultimate size undisturbed as it will never look good if pruned constantly. Easy enough to find a more compact variety for the same spot. At least they're not expensive to source. 
    To Plant a Garden is to Believe in Tomorrow
  • amancalledgeorgeamancalledgeorge South LondonPosts: 2,120
    To Plant a Garden is to Believe in Tomorrow
  • It's a low spreading variety and it is planted in the wrong place. So much more reasonable to move it somewhere where it can grow to its ultimate size undisturbed as it will never look good if pruned constantly. Easy enough to find a more compact variety for the same spot. At least they're not expensive to source. 
    Thankyou that's really helpful, we adopted it from the previous Tennant so had no idea it wanted to grow along the ground. Because this plant has grown up the side of a box plant, the main stem rises about 2-3 feet above the ground before spilling over; will this shape persist if replanted or can we prune back to make it sit on the ground more comfortably? 
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 10,920
    It is worth taking cuttings which will produce new plants for you.  Rosemary isn't particularly long-lived so you can have a replacement ready in a couple of years or so.  Rooting cuttings is also a good 'insurance policy' in case it doesn't like being moved, which is often the case for old rosemary and sage bushes.
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • OK thankyou, I will try cuttings next year (unless it's not too late to do it this year?) and May just leave the old plant where it is, it seems happy enough crawling around the box plant and I wouldn't want to stress it out just for my aesthetic pleasure. I will look into root cuttings too, I didn't even know you could do that - your advice is much appreciated! 
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 10,920
    Sorry, I mean taking cuttings and then waiting until they produce roots.  I don't think root cuttings will work for rosemary.  There's an article elsewhere on this site which explains how to take rosemary cuttings and may help:

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • Oops I misread your wording, sorry! Thanks for the article I will check it out 👍
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