Poorly Rosemary

SwedboySwedboy Posts: 297

I have a Rosemary and a thyme in quite a big pot that has not come out of winter that well. The Rosemary's roots are brown and the leaves are spotty and yellowing. There are some flowers on it. I have checked it for grubs and there isn't any of the little blighters in the pot. I assume I need to trim the roots back to there they are healthy but my worry is that if I trim back the roots it will kill the plant because the remaining roots will not be able to support the plant.

I am surprised it didn't come through winter better. It has been in a sheltered position with several other pots that survived better. There is gravel in the pot for drainage.

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Posts

  • WintersongWintersong Posts: 2,436

    I'm not sure if Rosemary is one of those plants that doesn't live a very long time? I had a Rosemary competing with a bully of a Ceanothus two years back, so in the summer I tossed a load of compost on top of its root-ball and waited until spring last year to cut off arm-length sections showing signs of roots. Afterwards, I transplanted the original bush but it promptly died although four of the new sections took well in pots, I grew them on until late last summer when I  planted three of them in my middle garden.  They established nicely through autumn/winter and should get well away this year. Perhaps take some cuttings to ensure the plant lives on?

  • SwedboySwedboy Posts: 297

    The platn is less than a year old. Not sure if I can take cuttings from it as it is quite poorly. Doubt they would take now, but I'll try.

    Any idea what to do with the rootball? Is it possible to trim it back without killing the plant.

  • WintersongWintersong Posts: 2,436

    If its a young plant I wouldn't think it needs root trimming. Perhaps the pot is too big for the size plant? That can cause plants to sit in a sump and Rosemary don't like wet feet. Also, consider the ph of your soil, it likes full sun and limey soil. image

  • SwedboySwedboy Posts: 297

    It spend the summer in the sun and the winter in a sheltered corner. The reason I thought it might be a good idea to trim the rootball is because most of it looks like it has died duirng winter. I assuming it cant regenerate the roots from the dead ends. Don't think the pot is too big, it is about third bigger than the whole plant I would guess. The pot is well drained and have had no saucer since the autumn to prohibit it getting too wet during winter and then getting frost damamge (Boy did I fail on that account).

  • WintersongWintersong Posts: 2,436

    Well, in your situation, I guess I would trim what looks dead and maybe change the soil mixture in the pot to give it the best chance of survival. Good luck with it!

  • SwedboySwedboy Posts: 297

    Looked at the rootball this weekend and there are the odd healfy root but most of them seemed brown. Didn't dare to rim it as it would have left it without any roots but I opened up the rootball and also put in more grit and sand in the pot plus a bit of crockery in the bottom to make it drain better. Sadly the torrential rain today hasn't done me any favours. We were talking ark building weather in Bristol

  • figratfigrat Posts: 1,619
    Any chance it got hit by frost? I lost a Rosemary last year, which was planted out. I think it was Alina who diagnosed the problem, on the old Beeb site. She reckoned the roots had got frosted, so the poor thing couldn't take up nutrients and moisture. I'd try and get some cutting material from it, sorry to say I don't think it's going to pick up. But happy to be proved wrong!
  • Alina WAlina W Posts: 1,445

    I'd agree with figrat - try and get some cuttings going, they do root easily. It doesn't sound like your plant is very healthy at all.

  • FloBearFloBear Posts: 2,281

    You don't say how many leaves - spotty or not - it has, but it may be worth trimming some off so the little bit of living root can cope with what's on top. Probably remove flowers too so it can concentrate on getting well.

  • SwedboySwedboy Posts: 297
    It looked better the other day but I think it is in terminal decline. Quite a lot of leaves have spot on them. I think you're right about frost but still find it odd that the rosemary got hit but not the herbs in an identical pot.
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