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Herby problems

bapw163bapw163 Posts: 40
Hello, when my garden centre planted stuff on the patio, they planted this arrangement and it's starting to bother me. (attached)
I keep the pot well watered because of the tree (forgive me I can't remember the name) but I'm led to believe plants like Rosemary, Oreano and Sage don't want too much water, and they share the pot.
I must say the sage and oregano grew abundantly last summer. They look very sorry for themselves right now but that's because I had to hack it all down because it had grown so wild, so now it all looks a bit threadbare. (is there a way I could've performed that task without leaving things looking so rubbish I wonder. Did I do it too late? 
The rosemary however has never to my mind looked very particularly healthy. It has grown a bit in size over the year but the leaves never look plump and green. I wonder if that's because I water too much and rosemary doesn't need much water. I also wonder whether it's because the pot lies mainly in the shade of a sunny patio.
I'm thinking of transplanting the Rosemary out and onto the sunny roof terrace. Does that make sense? And should I leave the oregano and sage because they were so abundant last year.
Any general help on this is gratefully received.
ps does anyone know how to get my pics portrait?


  • GardenerSuzeGardenerSuze Posts: 5,641
    @bapw163 Yes I would replant the Rosemary in another pot with a very generous amount of grit.
    It will need watering until it settles then move it into full sun and only water when dry.

    I just wondered if you have been picking your herbs that is the best way to control them naturally. I do think this pot was never planted with long term in mind, the Bay will need more water because it is in a pot, best to grow this on it's own. It would also enjoy some top dressing.
    Sage and oregano respond well to a good prune. Rosemary when you cut into old wood it may not grow back
    I have worked as a Gardener for 24 years. My latest garden is a new build garden on heavy clay.
  • JellyfireJellyfire Posts: 1,139
    edited April 2022
    Rosmary will grow in shade but will not really flourish. And would agree on all @GardenerSuze says above. Your bay looks a bit droopy, does that pot is in have a a decent drainage hole in the bottom?

    With your watering, are you doing little and often or a really good drenching until the water runs out of the bottom of the pot once or twice a week (in spring/summer at least)? All those plants would much prefer the latter
  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,700
    Agree with what others have said, but I think your shrubby tree plant is a Photinia. The pot may be sufficient for this year, but beyond that it will need re-potting or planted into the ground. They will be very sensitive to watering in a container.

    The fact that it is drooping could be under watering or roots have outgrown its space. That's why the herbs and their watering regime clashes with that of a shrub like Photinia, which will need generous watering until the water saturates the whole pot and water running out from the base.
  • JellyfireJellyfire Posts: 1,139
    edited April 2022
    Oh yes I stand corrected it isn’t a bay, tricky to see wrong way round (in answer to that question, you need to rotate and resave the photos on your phone, can’t do it on the website unfortunately). It doesn’t look very happy though 
  • GardenerSuzeGardenerSuze Posts: 5,641
    Yes @Borderline I did wonder if it was something other than Bay. Guess I thought it was Bay because of the herbs. I agree what ever it is it needs a good water until it runs out the bottom of the pot. @bapw163 If you scrape away compost at the edges of the pot are you finding roots if so it may be in need of potting on. 
    I have worked as a Gardener for 24 years. My latest garden is a new build garden on heavy clay.
  • GardenerSuzeGardenerSuze Posts: 5,641
    @bapw163 One other thought if it does not improve 24 hours after watering take it out of it's pot and check the roots if they are dry plunge it in a big plastic trug with the water over the top of the compost until all the air bubbles have gone. Do you know what this plant is please?
    I have worked as a Gardener for 24 years. My latest garden is a new build garden on heavy clay.
  • bapw163bapw163 Posts: 40
    Thank you very much for your replies.
    I'm going to take the herbs out and give the tree a good water and see if that stops the droopiness. To be fair the tree has done well, it has grown in a year very well and to my eyes looked fairly healthy but given you've all noticed a droop I'll give it a good old water once the herbs are out. I wonder why the garden centre planted it like this in the first place?
  • raisingirlraisingirl Posts: 7,084
    bapw163 said:
    I wonder why the garden centre planted it like this in the first place?
    Instant effect - when they are all small plants it looks 'fuller' to have more. Which makes you more likely to buy it. 
    Gardening on the edge of Exmoor, in Devon

    “It's still magic even if you know how it's done.” 
  • bapw163bapw163 Posts: 40
    I just wanted to update given all the wonderful advice everyone gave.
    Having transplanted all the herbs and given the tree a thorough soaking, look at the difference in a day in before and after pics attached. Its so much more perky it's unbelievable.  The herbs are now in pots in gritty earth in direct sunlight and hopefully they will really come on.
    Thank you so much.
    Now my next question is, what pretty plants would you recommend putting at the base of a tree that sits in the shade and wants lots of water and won't be detrimental to the tree itself?
  • JellyfireJellyfire Posts: 1,139
    edited May 2022
    It looks much happier now! Personally I wouldn’t underplant the tree, anything I’m there will be competing for water and nutrients. If you want to fill the bottom I would add another pot or two in front of it. Hostas or ferns would look nice I think 
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