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Rosemary plants yellowing/wilting - leafhoppers?

Hi all.

Last year I planted a row of Rosemary and Lavenders (14 of each alternating - Rosemary Miss Jessop and Lavender Ashdown Forest).  They were chosen by the nursery as a pair that would grow well together.  Out of 14 lavender, around four looked like they had not done too well over winter (despite being v mild) but thankfully, over the past few weeks they've sprung to life from seemingly dead wood, though not quite as full as the rest which are really growing now....but that's another story!

The Rosemary has also thrived very well.  I wanted a low rosemary hedge after seeing one in Cornwall last year and also to use in cooking.

However, over the past week I've noticed it looking a little unwell (some plants more than others) and over the past couple of days they're very obvious signs that all is not well.  After a good trawl over the internet the other evening then following advice given through various articles, I pinpointed the issue to be bugs.  Although the sun hasn't been out much of late, the plants have been watered naturally by the rain, and the soil (I'm pretty certain) has good drainage.  

Initially thinking it might be spider mites, I shook a branch of the rosemary over a piece of paper.  From just one branch as many as 20 'leaf hoppers' fell onto the paper.  Lo and behold, shaking all the other bushes let fly hundreds of them.

Yesterday I 'jet washed' the whole lot (to try and shake off as many as possible); cut the rosemary back a fair bit and  have also sprayed a homemade concoction of garlic (soaked for 24 hours) mixed with natural soap and water.  I noticed this morning that a healthy Oregano plant nearby has also started to turn yellow (though does this every year but grows back in abundance the following year).  Related?  I also have a pot of mint which again, seems afflicted by the same issues (has leafhoppers in it also).  This thrives in the spring, but then becomes very sparse and  has dry, yellowish leaves.  Again, this happens every year and I never really follow up a cure, but given the state of the rosemary it would be good if I can prevent any of them ending up like this.

I've attached pics of the rosemary and oregano.

Many thanks.






  • somapopsomapop Posts: 71

    Hi folks.

    I was about to start a new thread on this subject, but realised I'd created one a while back.  Bit of an update:

    I contacted the nursery I purchased the Rosemary (Miss Jessop) from and asked her advice (I wasn't for a moment suggesting the problem stemmed from the plants themselves).  She didn't believe it to be leaf hopper, but advised (via a colleague) to use SB Plant Invigorator.  So, I picked up a 500ml bottle and used this over last summer.  The Rosemary (almost on their last legs) sprung to life and were fine ever since.  The same is occurring again this year (if I shake the plants, then dozens of small white flys appear - not flying rather than hopping).  They also have a fair bit of cuckoo spit (frog hopper) over them all (but apparently this isn't really an issue).

    The lavenders didn't look too well in the spring, but in the last few weeks they too have sprung to life (they don't suffer the same issues as the Rosemary however).

    Question is, should I continue to spray the plants with SB (one bottle usually last the summer)?  I feel as if I'm cheating a little and would prefer the garden to self manage - I guess this is heading towards 'organic'!?

    The other option is to take them all out and start again with a different variety.  I do give them a good watering and they get a fair bit of sun up to midday then late afternoon to evening.  On one side of them are laurels (for form a green wall/fence) and the other buxus (growing well - already squared off).  

    Many thanks.

  • somapopsomapop Posts: 71

    Thanks Edd.  Almost certainly bugs then. However, I think they're probably leaf hoppers rather than those thrips you've posted above. I've shook the branches onto a piece of paper (like I did last year) and they're more like leaf hoppers (which are a fascinating species - ultra diverse!):

     A lot of the information doesn't seem entirely pratical though - if your garden is full of green (which ours is starting to become) then it's hard to not have an area these creatures can't hide in.  I have a lot of ground covering plants and 'garden walling' (hebe's/laurels etc). I guess I'll have to go down the spray route (that SB invigorator worked very well last year).

    Just a shame I'm having to resort to that - but I guessing this is one of those things you have to live with?  Considered buying in some predators, but not too sure about those (knock on effects)?  This is the third year of our garden (was previously ALL slabbed!) and really starting to take off.  We now have insects, bees, wasps (none this year yet) and now a family of sparrows.  Downside is the birds have ruined my pumpkin and sunflowers this year (only a fraction of some Notte De Bella plants remain - these are all plants I've started from seed).  I think I need to look into netting!

    Ok - many thanks again!

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