Pitiful rosemary transplant

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When I moved from NC to MO, I brought my rosemary, mainly because it was so huge that I couldn't bear to leave it. However, I think I may have done it grievous bodily harm. I did have to chop the odd root when shoveling it up, but it had been previously "root pruned" a few months back to encourage feeders with no ill effects. The needles are dying off from the center out, and the tips are curled and look like hell. Should I prune the top? Will that shock it back too much? Will it just die? I do have to say that it went through some rather hard times as a "pup" (it looked nearer to death than it does now, but just barely) before I planted it outside intitally, and it grew monstrously from that, so maybe it's just pouting.

-- Soni (thomkilroy@hotmail.com), April 08, 2002


I am not real sure, but I thought that when you root pruned, you needed to prune the top also. My rosemary dies from the inside out as the new growth comes on and leaves the center part just stems. I am in zone 8. sounds like it isn't getting enough water to the ends. The new growth on mine looks droopy after cold nights, but straighten when the sun warms them up. I don't think it would hurt to prune back some. good luck. Robin

-- Robin Downing (Southpawrobin1@aol.com), April 08, 2002.

From what I know it seems to me that Rosemary has a tap type root. I transplanted one every year for 5-6 years. I had to bring it in every winter. When I did it it lived and thrived. The one year my ex did it it died, I think he cut the tap root.

Phil over on Homestyle Living Would know. He comes to CS too. You could ask him!


-- Susan in MN (nanaboo@paulbunyan.net), April 08, 2002.

Soni, is it in a pot now? If so, is it potted up with good quality soil? Is it in the house? If so, it needs to be in a COOL location and it needs to stay on the slightly moist side. Do NOT let it dry out!! If it were mine I'd probably give it a good haircut and then see what happens. New growth will probably take off once warmer weather stays for good. Also keep in mind that if you changed zones it may not make it through the winter where you are now. I just recently read an article on how to successfully keep a rosemary in the house. I'll try to find it if that is your situation.

-- Bren (wayoutfarm@skybest.com), April 08, 2002.

You should have given it to me Soni!! It longs to be in Carolina where everything is finer in the morning. By the way, ALL the plants you gave me are doing terrific. All three of the willows have new leaves!. Want me to send you a CARE package of Carolina dirt?

-- Sheila in NC (nannie@intrstar.net), April 08, 2002.

That's what I get for getting greedy! Probably cut the taproot. I think I'm just going to strip off the dying needles for what little harvest I can get of the herb, then prune back some of the limbs. The inner wood of the branches is still alive, so maybe it just needs a season or so of shock hibernation to regrow a new root. The zone change is maybe enough to make it too cold, but we picked a sheltered location next to the dryer vent, so it should make up the difference, especially after I put out a stone mulch to conserve heat in the winter. Does anyone know how to get a decent cutting off of a rosemary? They are so woody, I'm not quite sure how to go about it.

-- Soni (thomkilroy@hotmail.com), April 11, 2002.

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