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Old 07-12-2009, 02:19 PM   #1
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Northern VA
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Growing Fresh Rosemary

I've been trying to grow a rosemary plant indoors. I bought the small plant and replanted at home. Since it's grown, the lower leaves on the stems are whitish and looked curved and withered rather than straight and green.
What an doing wrong?


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Old 07-12-2009, 02:24 PM   #2
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Do you have Master Gardeners in your area? Call the county extension agent, they might be able to hook you up. They can visit, get a look at the growing conditions, etc.


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Old 07-12-2009, 02:50 PM   #3
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Well, first off, Rosemary isn't meant to be an indoor plant. So that's your first hurdle/problem. Second, it's difficult to tell you what you're doing wrong without first knowing what you're doing - lol.

If you still want to try, your best bet is to read up on the plant & find out how you are &/or are not meeting its basic needs. For instance, Rosemary, being of Mediterranean origin, enjoys the same conditions as those regions - excellent drainage, full sunlight (6-8 hours/day, preferably unfiltered by glass), warm dry temperatures. Too much humidity, not enough light or drainage, overwatering can result in any number of fungal problems & root rot. Err on the other side, & your plant will simply dry up.

I've been growing herbs for over 30 years, & Rosemary has never been one to do well for me indoors - even in a dry greenhouse-like environment. The best I've been able to accomplish has been to overwinter a few less hardy varieties so that I could put them back outside in the spring.

Also, keep in mind that even if you get Rosemary to survive indoors, it will grow unbelievably slowly & it's doubtful you'll get to harvest much, if any, without killing the plant. Most varieties of Rosemary are hardy in Northern Virginia - is there a good protected southern-facing spot outdoors where you could plant it?
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Old 07-12-2009, 05:49 PM   #4
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Thanks for the advice - but I live in an apartment so an outside garden is not an option. My apartment does not face south.
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Old 07-12-2009, 06:07 PM   #5
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I have to say then that I don't think you have conditions that will enable this plant to survive. Even under artificial lights this plant wouldn't be happy.

Best to buy fresh rosemary at the store when you need it for recipes.
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Old 07-27-2009, 05:41 AM   #6
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I live someplace where rosemary cannot possibly be a year-round outside plant. But, thanks to some architect in 1854 (I actually have his name here somewhere), my windows face in a direction and we get very, very sunny days in the winter. I replaced my 6 or 7 year old rosemary last summer. I keep it in a huge pot outside (right now it is living in the same pot as a curry leaf plant and they look so pretty together) and drag it in every winter in a very, very sunny, very warm (right over a heater vent) window. I've gotten a few years out of every plant doing this. The hardest part is keeping it wet enough during the winter.
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Old 08-02-2009, 04:18 AM   #7
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I successfully started rosemary in flats this spring and then killed them, then I planted rosemary in the garden and successfully killed them again, so far I've been very successful at killing it. OUCH!
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Old 04-13-2012, 10:40 AM   #8
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I have tried and tried to keep Rosemary plants alive.....never had any luck----this year I am growing them in containers........so I can move them around
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Old 04-13-2012, 11:51 AM   #9
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I've had the same rosemary plant for several years and treat it like a decorative deck plant. It's in a big container and I move it to the warmer part of the outside of the house during the cold months.

If I think there might be any danger of freezing, I've fashioned a big "collar" ouT of large-bubble bubble wrap that completely goes around it (pot and all). What it amounts to is a big bubble wrap cylinder that I simply slip over it, leaving the top open. It's worked like a charm and, during the wintertime, the bubbles acted like prisms and kept the plant warm.

"As a girl I had zero interest in the stove." - Julia Child
This is real inspiration. Look what Julia became!
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