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Herbs Yellowing

Hello all,

I've had a pretty good run with my basil and sweet marjoram, but they're both starting to yellow and the basil is going woody, despite my cutting it back quite hard and quite regularly. They're in pots on my balcony.

Is this just end-of-season blues, or is there anything I can do to keep them cheerful, and - in the case of the basil - compact, for the next month or so. I suspect that I overfed the basil earlier in the season. I'll bring the marjoram in for the winter I think, and will replace the basil with a new batch in spring.

Thanks a lot,



  • pr1mr0sepr1mr0se Posts: 1,192

    I have the same problem with sage.  I know it can get woody and aged - but despite cutting out the worst areas and trying to nurture the rest of the plant, it is still going yellow! (and this is the second sage in the herb bed to be affected!).   I think I'll have to give up and put in a new plant - after all, plants do have their own "shelf life"

    The marjoram is doing fine, and as advised, is hardy, so it doesn't need to be cossetted.  Basil, though, is pretty tender!

  • ommthreeommthree Posts: 314

    Thanks, Philippa Smith.

    I've cut the basil back quite hard, but I can do so again. 

  • pr1mr0sepr1mr0se Posts: 1,192

    Thanks philippa - I intend to take some cuttings.  The thing is the herb bed is designed to be (1) near the back door for ease of harvesting and (2) well drained in full sun to make best use of the herbs. For example:  Parsley doing well.  Lemon Verbena overwinters without a problem.  Thyme is perky and regularly harvested.  Basil is kept indoors where I've found it to be more reliable.  It's just the sage that is so temperamental!


  • pr1mr0sepr1mr0se Posts: 1,192

    Thanks Philippa.  I'll look into it.  The last time I tried variegated sage it was less hardy, surprisingly, and so I reverted back to the common-or-garden green variety.

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