Help: My Toddler Smashed My Rosemary Bush

Savannah, GA


My rosemary bush has been doing great.

But a couple months back my 3-year-old climbed into the center of it and spread apart the branches. The result was it lost its perfect shape.

Ideas on how I can get its shape back? Do I have to just cut away the part that's growing sideways?

Thumbnail by dedukes
Contra Costa County, CA(Zone 9b)

You could try staking it back up.

You could cut off the parts that are spread, but not all the way back. See how there is some vertical growth in the middle of the bush? Keep that.

Here is how I would do it:
Once or twice a week cut off one. Use that one in cooking. Lay it on the charcoal in the BBQ, or stuff it inside a bird that you roast whole.
Repeat each week until it is the shape you want.

This message was edited Jul 12, 2014 2:33 PM

Powder Springs, GA(Zone 7b)

It will take over that patch if you let it with or without help from your 3 year old. It will be quite a job to remove it in a few years... In other words cut it back by a third or half and shape it to your desire and stay on top of it.

This is what mine looked after about six years without hard pruning. It took a few days to cut it out and dispose of it last year. I'm in the Atlanta area so I can imagine what it would do in Savannah. It took over several square feet of the stone terrace - it must love the cracks between the flagstones.

Thumbnail by hcmcdole
Ayrshire Scotland, United Kingdom

If you don't want this plant to take over your garden, (here in Scotland they don't grow that big)
anyway, what I would do is lift the plant before it gets any larger, find a larger container and use a good quality compost, mix in a load of sand / small gravel and replant this shrub, the container will help contain the size and root spread, At this re-potting, would also be a good time to take cuttings, these are easy to take, just snip off nice stems (NON FLOWERING) Never cut down to the grey /Brown Hard wood as like lavenders, they don't regrow from the older wood. take your cuttings into a shaded area, use finger and thumb to rub off the green leaves about 3/4 inches from the bottom of the stem, fill a pot with the same mixture as given for the large plant, water the pot, use a pencil to make a hole around the outer rim of the pot and insert the cuttings, six inch pot should allow for about 5-6 cuttings into the same pot. sit the pot in a light but cooler place to allow for rooting, use rooting Gel / powder IF you want but it's not a must. The cuttings should take a couple of months to make a good set of roots, after that length of time, little tug to one cutting will tell you if roots have forms, try a tug on all, IF happy with the roots, pot up the cuttings into individual pots, same soil mix, pinch out the growing tops once you've potted them up and this will encourage side branches to form, when your satisfied the cuttings are growing nicely, every year re-pot into larger pots, you will ofcource have to keep watering and making sure these tender little plants are NOT scorched by hot sun. Make sure IF you pot up the parent plant you water it also, the potting soil being very well draining, you need to make sure you keep checking the pot soil for watering.
Best Regards.

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