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I live in a very wet climate (south Louisiana) and learned the hard way (lost a half dozen or so plants) how to maintain my Rosemary plant. It is growing in a raised area with pea gravel added to the soil to improve drainage. The plant in the picture below is about 12 years old.
I tried all those links and links that e- how sends you down ( what a pain!)
and I think the roots could be cramped-
most of my soil is very clay heavy here in the east coast northern tip of the Mid Atlantic zone. When I planted the rosemary it got a goodly width of sand and compost enhanced soil so it could grow-
maybe the roots outgrew that. So I could dig in some untreated sawdust and compost around it.
Of course it could be time to prune it_I harvested a lot last year but quit harvesting
before September. (I made some nice tinctures.)
It took the winter fine, and we had a killing winter- the kind that
fakes out plants with warm spells and then big storms or cold snaps.
I have never done anything except cover the roots before big snow storms or deep
freezes, and it still carries on. After Huricaine Irene I decided to leave it staked!
sorry for the maze from e-how...soil compaction is a problem for rosemary...the area I planted mine was where we had to have an ancient live oak removed. The stump was ground down so I mixed soil and gravel in with the sawdust over the remaining mound...it has been a happy camper ever since. We got the same warm/cold this winter and I lost a ton of buds on things to a surprise late freeze...strange weather...
Hi Heather, any chance you could lift your Rosemary out the soil and plant it in a nice large container, with the right soil, some nice compost with horticultural sand and Small grit , it will love it, just make sure you remember to water it.
Rosemary and Lavender are originally from the warmer parts of Europe like France, Spain ect, so these areas have very warm barren soil yet they grow all that lovely Lavender and Rosemary in these parts and it gets shipped all over the world. Hope you can save your plant, Rosemary is for Remembrance, hope it serves you well.
Good luck, WeeNel.
Do you grow Rosemary and Lavender in Ayershire? Of course 10 + hours of daytime in
Summer would be a big plus.
Rosemary IS for remembrance, it was my favorite aunt's name.
I have a four and a half foot plant! Not too good a candidate for a container.
The leaf tips are turning brown.
I don't know how to get horticultural sand as such
in a store-I just get sand from the building supply around the corner-
I ask for sand with no fixatives or additives, the man behind the counter says something in Urdu to another man who fetches it and loads it on my hand truck. They assume I want to mix in my own
fixative for brick work or pavers or some such.
I have been adding first rate compost and composting my veggie scraps - just not
enough "browns" till recently. It is silly that I live so close to the Atlantic but I have clay soil,
not sandy soil.
I love your geography plant origin reminder- here is something interesting-draw a straight line
across the Atlantic from Spain and you bump into New York City. My "Munstead" lavender is
bushy and happy. Warm and barren soil hmm, how did they grow those date palms I saw in
that Cornwall harbor town, anyhow? (smile)
yes Heather we do grow Rosemary and Lavenders here in Ayrshire, and you mentioned Cornwall, a much milder place than up here in Scotland classed as North by english people, anyway even though UK is a very small island there is a huge difference in climate, temp, light, and rainfall from one area to the next, a bit like USA really but just on a smaller scale.
As for the Date Palms in Cornwall, they get the warmth from the Gulf Stream flowing into that area and winter temps are never a s low as more Northern areas that suffer from cold North or even Easterly winds that can take the skin off your face in the winter.
Where I live on the West Coast of Scotland, we are a bit milder but wetter here, however as with most places around the world, there has been a complete change in the climate everywhere, I hear my brother in North Ontario tell me there seasons are different the last few years, looking at the world news there are disasters in all continents due to climate change and even more flooding all over the place and drier in other area, so all we can do is try work with what we get /have as we cant change the weather EH !!!!.
Hope your Rosemary can recover soon but as someone already said, maybe it has grown it'self to death, I know here, my Rosemary and Lavenders are pruned AFTER flowering BUT, never cut as low down the stem into the brown dead looking wood or the plant wont send out nice new flowering stems for the next years flowers. when I say Pruned, it's more like a haircut than a hard prune, hope this helps you out a bit.
Best regards, WeeNel. OH yes It's Nel with one L.
ROSEMARY UPDATE- He's thriving!
It seemed to have been soil compaction all along.
I moved some border rocks, poked some cautious holes and let some sawdust infused loamy compost trickle down into them. I also trimmed some of the oldest deadest branches at the bottom and raised the bed using some more loose loam.
The remaining leaf tips greened right up and there are lots of blossoms now!
Heather, I gave you a big sigh of relief at your latest news re your Rosemary, glad things worked out well in the end, remember compacted soil also means that water cant get down to the roots, so that wont help plants and that would include your Rosemary, I try to make a point of hand forking around shrubs when a crust has formed on the dry soil and this allows rain or hosepipe watering to penetrate.
re the horticultural sand, you get it at the DIY stores in the garden section, or in the GARDEN centre where they sell the small bags of gravel, pebbles ect, it is even cheaper than the builders sand and is in small bags easier to carry to car. the builders sand really is not too good for plants as you rightly said, there are impurities in that stuff and can include animal pea or worse, the horticultural sand is washed sand specially for garden / plant use.
Hope you can enjoy your plant for many more years to come and enjoy.
Best Regards, WeeNel.
From what I have read, the flowers are supposed to have a sweet taste of their own. Also, depending on who/what you read, some say it is best to not eat any of this plant, and others say the flowers of Russian sage are the only edible part of the plant.
Thanks for the links, Moon - I do not want to poison anyone! Perhaps I will stick to bouquets. My mother in law liked the one I sent today - the sage has a nice strong scent she likes-she broke her hip in her own garden.
Russian sage does dry fast and scents the room while it does - and makes a lovely smell when burnt in a campfire. I might burn some in back in yet another attempt to repel mosquitoes!
Here in Europe and Scotland, people use Lavender for all different types of cooking,''Stick several stems into a bottle of really good olive oil and use it on Salads, If you make shortbread buscuite add a LITTLE drop of flowers to the dough when making them
Add some to cream deserts along with some grated lemon rind. OH there are many things you can add this plant to, even just boiling water and add a little to teapot when making a brew. there is nothing poisonous about the plant, it has been used in medical form for centuries
Go to the library and find a book on Lavender and it's uses.
Best Wishes, WeeNel.
My mistake themoon, cant answer for the Russian Sage I'm always inclined to think that reminds me more of those long tapered rooted weeds we call dock, I know the leaf of that weed can be used medically as a hot emulsion, on boils ect. crushed and rubbed on insect bites or heat rashes.I will try find more about the Russian Sage.
Thanks for the correction and Best Wishes. WeeNel.