Rosemary plants are perennials that can live for fifteen years or more if you take proper care of them. These plants are extremely easy to care for and do not require a lot of maintenance.
This delightful plant originally comes from Southern Europe, specifically the parts that border the Mediterranean Sea.
Because of this unique location, rosemary plants are specially adapted to living in conditions that are similar to the Mediterranean.
If your rosemary plant is not dying and you need to revive it, one of the more important things you need to do is try and mimic the conditions that these plants will have experienced in their original home.
One really important factor in making sure that your rosemary plant stays alive is to get their soil right, this kind of plant will be used to growing in well-draining soils where they came from originally. On top of that, rosemary plants like full sunlight and water every so often.
There are of course several other reasons that your rosemary plant could be experiencing difficulty; this means that you will need to determine why your rosemary is dying. There are several reasons that this could be happening, but the following are the most common reasons:
- Yellowing Rosemary – If your rosemary is starting to get yellow leaves and has only a few flowers this may be due to overwatering or it might be because there is too much nitrogen in the soil. One of the main culprits of this is a soil that is too nutrient-rich or there has been too much fertilizer added to the soil of your rosemary plant.
- Root Rot – Root rot is a condition that can affect most plants. It occurs when there is too much moisture in the soil around the roots of your plant. Rosemary plants are used to dry, sandy soils, and you can easily overwater them – causing your plant to contract root rot. You will be able to see if your rosemary has root rot when the plant starts to droop and the leaves will start to turn yellow or brown.
- Lack of Growth – There are many reasons that your rosemary might not be growing as it should. There are three main reasons that you might expect a rosemary plant not to grow. The first reason is that they might not be getting enough sunlight. The second reason is that they are root-bound. Finally, they might just need to be pruned. Any one of these three reasons could be a reason why your rosemary plant has stopped growing.
- Frost Damage – First damage can drastically damage your rosemary, on top of that rosemary does not tend to grow in the winter.
- Pot Size – If your rosemary has been stuck in a pot that is too small for it your plant will most likely become root-bound. This condition can cause your plant to turn brown or yellow.
There are of course other reasons why your rosemary plant could be dying. Underwatering, incorrect temperature, the wrong humidity, pests, powdery mildew, lack of pruning, over-pruning, or overcrowding. But in this article, we are going to talk about the five main reasons we mention in the bullet points above.
These are the main reasons that you might need to revive your rosemary plant. Later on, we are going to go into depth for each one of them. But first, we need to take a closer look at what conditions your rosemary plant will prefer. So, without further ado, let us take a look.
The Rosemary Plant’s Natural Environment
Rosemary originally came from Southern Europe near the Mediterranean Sea. Since humans took an interest in these plants they have transported them all over the world.
We have gotten quite good at mimicking their natural environment no matter where we are. But what exactly do rosemary plants need to live? Well, let’s take a look at that:
- Sunlight – Rosemary plants will require full sunlight to properly thrive. They will need about six hours of full sun every day. Rosemary will tolerate only moderate amounts of shade. So, make sure that your plant has a nice sunny spot so that they get enough light.
- Soil – Rosemary originally comes from the Mediterranean which means that they will enjoy soil that is well-draining. This means that they will not like heavy clay soil, this is especially true in the winter when the ground gets wetter.
- Fertilizer – Rosemary likes soil that is peat-free and is well-draining. Once you have the soil sorted out all you will need is a general fertilizer which you should only use in the growing seasons.
- Temperature – If your rosemary plant has the right amount of light and the correct soil you will find that it will be able to cope with temperatures as low as eighteen degrees Fahrenheit. Depending on the variety they can cope with higher or lower temperatures. One thing that you need to be aware of with having your rosemary in low temperatures is that if the soil gets waterlogged you can very easily kill or damage your plant as that water freezes in freezing temperatures.
- Pot Size – Rosemary plants need a plant pot that is a minimum of twelve inches. This sized pot will allow them to have enough room for their roots to expand and grow. The main thing you will need to do is make sure that the pot has holes so that excess water can drain.
- Watering – Rosemary plants originally come from a place that has infrequent rainfall. This means that they do not like a lot of water and you should only be watering your rosemary plant every one to two weeks depending on how quickly the soil dries out completely.
Excessively High Nitrogen in the Soil
It can be quite shocking when your rosemary plant starts to turn yellow and there are fewer flowers than normal. Let us take a closer look at what exactly you can expect to see when your rosemary plant has yellow leaves and a few flowers:
- Your Rosemary Plant May Have Yellow Foliage
- Your Rosemary Plant May Have Fewer Flowers than Normal
- Your Rosemary Plant May have a Weather Scent than Normal
- Your Rosemary Plant May Have a Less Appealing Taste
So, what can cause issues like this? One of the main reasons that your plant may have any of these issues is if there is a very high concentration of nitrogen in your soil or because you may have added too much fertilizer to your rosemary plant.
As we have discussed, rosemary tends to do best when it is in soil that has soil that has quite low nutrients. This soil has a tendency to be either sandy or stony. Issues can occur when gardeners add too much manure or fertilizer to the soil of your rosemary plant.
This can heighten the nutrients in the soil and this, in turn, can make the nitrogen that is used in fertilizer.
If there is too much nitrogen in the soil of your rosemary plant it can burn the roots which is one of the biggest reasons that the leaves might turn yellow, and the leaves may become less desirable for meals.
This increased nitrogen can also cause your rosemary plant to put more effort into the growth of leaves which will reduce the aroma and taste of the leaves.
The down point of this happening to your rosemary bush is the fact that there will be fewer flowers produced due to more effort being put into the leaves.
So, how can you revive a rosemary plant that has been afflicted by nitrogen and fertilizer-rich soils? Let’s take a look below:
- Step 1 – The first thing you need to do is reduce the amount of fertilizer you are giving your rosemary. You do not need to constantly add fertilizer to your plant. It can actually be quite harmful to the roots and of course the production of good tasty leaves. If you reduce the amount of fertilizer you add you will see a reduction in the yellow leaves and the rosemary will taste and smell much better than before.
- Step 2 – If your rosemary plant does not improve then you may need to try and fix the soil a different way. You can do this by replanting in soil that is made up of sand, grit, or stones which will be better suited for a plant that prefers low nutrient soil that is well-draining.
Over the next few months, you should start to see an improvement in the taste and scent of your rosemary as well as a reduction of yellow leaves. Just bear in mind that filing the soil your rosemary is planted in will be much easier if you have your rosemary in a pot as opposed to planting them in the ground.
My Rosemary has Root Rot
Root rot is a common reason why you may need to revive your rosemary plant. But, what does this condition look like? Below are the main symptoms you might see if your rosemary has root rot:
- Your Rosemary Plant May Start to Wilt or Droop
- Your Rosemary Plant’s Foliage May Start to Turn Black, Brown, or Yellow
- Your Rosemary Plant May Start to Look Dry and Brittle
This is one of the most common reasons that rosemary plants start to die on you. Fungal diseases and root rot can be detrimental to a plant’s health, but luckily there are actually ways that you can save them.
Before we start to look into how to save your rosemary plant from root rot we must take a closer look at what can cause it so that you can avoid it in the future.
Once rosemary plants get bigger and more established they are actually quite drought resistant plants which means that they do not require a lot of water at all.
So, for a plant that does not like a lot of water, it can be so easy for us to overwater them. If you want to avoid root rot or fungal diseases you should only water your rosemary when the soil is dry and one to two weeks have passed.
With that in mind, how can you revive a plant that has root rot? Well, let us take a closer look:
- Step 1 – as we have discussed, root rot is caused by overwatering and the soil becoming waterlogged. So, the first logical thing to do in order to revive your plant is to dial back on the amount of water you are giving it. Water your plant less often and try to shelter it from the rain if you have it planted in the ground outside. You must give the soil time to dry out before you water it again.
- Step 2 – Okay now that you know that you need to water your rosemary less often you will need to try to remove any moisture from around the plant. This means that you will need to try and get rid of organic mulch, compost, or even dead leaves.
- Step 3 – At this point, if you do not see any improvement and the leaves continue turning brown you should remove the plant from the pot or try to take it out of the ground if at all possible. This is so that you can get a closer look at the roost and remove any parts that are dark or slimy. In addition to that, you need to cut off the brown leaves and stems so that the healthy parts are left. While you are pruning you will need to make sure that your clippers are disinfected and after each cut, you must make sure to disinfect your clippers each time so that the rot or fungus does not spread.
- Step 4 – With the rotten roots and dead leaves cut away you will not need to plant your rosemary in a new pot if you can or grow it in conditions that mimic its natural environment. The soil that you choose will need to have excellent drainage and your rosemary plant must be somewhere that gets full sunlight.
If you do all of those things and your rosemary plant is not too far gone you will be able to revive your plant.
My Rosemary is Not Growing
If your rosemary has stopped growing, it does not always mean that your plant is a goner. There are reasons that this could be happening. But first, let us talk about what you can expect to see in a rosemary plant that is not growing:
- Your Rosemary Plant May Have a Bunch of Spindly Branches
- Your Rosemary Plant May Have More Woody Branches
- Your Rosemary Plant May Have Only a Few Flowers
If you are seeing these issues with your rosemary plant, there are a few reasons that it could be happening. The first and most common reason is that your rosemary plant is not getting enough sunlight. Other reasons for these issues with your plant could be that it is rood bound, or you do not prune your rosemary plant enough.
As we know, rosemary does best when it is allowed to grow in full sunlight and it receives at least six hours of sunlight every day.
Did you know that the amount of sun your rosemary receives can directly impact how much essential oils your rosemary produces and this will directly affect the taste and scent of your rosemary leaves? But, how can you fix a rosemary plant that is not growing?
Well, let’s take a closer look below:
- Step 1 – The first thing you need to do is take note of where your rosemary is. Are they in a spot that will get enough sunlight? Six hours of sunlight a day is essential for a healthy plant. So, make sure that your rosemary is in a spot that reflects that need.
- Step 2 – If you do not see any improvements in your plant you may want to make sure that it has a plant pot that is large enough for it. A pot that is too small can cause your rosemary plant to become root-bound which can cause similar problems with your plant.
This affliction in your rosemary plant should be quite a simple fix and after a few weeks, you should see some improvements in your plant.
My Rosemary has Been Frostbitten
Cold weather can be a big issue for rosemary plants and frost damage can be quite detrimental to their health. If your plant is suffering from winter damage you can expect to see the following issues in your rosemary plant:
- Your Rosemary Plant May Have Brown Foliage
- Your Rosemary Plant May Have Damaged or Tender Leaves
Rosemary is a plant that originally lived in hot climates which means that if they are kept in a palace with winters that are any worse than mild and drop below freezing temperatures they may not do super well.
As we know, younger rosemary plants are more susceptible to damage from cold weather than more mature plants.
So, what can you do to protect a rosemary plant from winter weather? Below are a few ideas you should consider:
- Move Your Plant Indoors – The first thing you can do is to bring your plant indoors so they are not exposed to extreme cold or frost. This is why it is recommended to grow rosemary in a pot. It is easier to transfer it indoors if the weather drops. So, bring your rosemary indoors and place your plant in a warm and sunny spot so that it can recover.
- Cover Your Rosemary – If you want to preemptively protect your rosemary plant from cold weather you might want to consider using fleece or cloche so that they do not get frost damage.
- Do Not Promote Growth – To reduce the risk of winter damage it is recommended that you do not give them fertilizer, or excessive water or prune them before spring as any of these actions can cause them to grow which makes them vulnerable and thus more likely to die.
What happens after winter has passed? There is likely to be at least some winter damage, so how can you revive your rosemary plant? Below is a simple step-by-step guide on how you can do that:
- Step 1 – Firstly, you will need to make sure that any parts of your rosemary plant that have been damaged by frost are cut off in the early spring when the last risk of frost has disappeared.
- Step 2 – The next thing you can do is improve the drainage of your rosemary plant’s soil. You can do this by adding soil or gravel to the pot so that there is less risk of the dam causing root rot.
- Step 3 – Next, you should make sure that your rosemary plant is in a pot that is large enough for them so that they can have enough room for their roots to grow.
My Rosemary is Root Bound
Rosemary tends to grow exceedingly well in pots and containers that are appropriately sized. As long as the soil is right, there is enough sunlight, and the pot is the correct size they should do well. But, if the pot size is too small you will start to notice the following happening to your rosemary plant:
- Your Rosemary Plant’s Leaves May Start to Turn Yellow or Brown
- Your Rosemary Plant May Start to Grow Very Slowly
With all of that in mind, let us take a closer look at how you can revive a rosemary plant that is suffering from being root bound in a pot that is too small:
- Step 1 – Rosemary plants that are root bound will need to be transplanted in a larger pot that is about sixteen inches across. This will allow the roots to grow properly and not become tangled. So, step one is to remove your rosemary plant from the small plant pot. If the roots are tangled, you should try to untangle them. Gently so that none of the healthy roots break.
- Step 2 – You should use soil that is well-draining and a plant pot that has drainage holes in the base. On top of that, it is not recommended that you put your rosemary pot in a drip tray as this may cause water retention in the water, and then you will have trouble with root rot.
This is a simple fix, but if you repot your rosemary plant in a pot that is larger and has the right soil you should see results quite quickly.
Let’s Go Over The Main Points
Root rot is mainly due to issues like the soil nutrients being off, lack of space, winter damage, root rot, or a lack of sunlight. These are not the only reasons for a rosemary plant to get sick but they are the main ones.
The main way you can revive a rosemary plant is by mimicking the natural environment. So make sure that they get plenty of direct sunlight, the temperatures are not below freezing, they do not get too much water, the soil nutrients must be low, and the soil must drain well.
Oftentimes when you are trying to revive a rosemary plant, you should re-pot it so that you can give them the soil and nutrients that they need to thrive.
If your rosemary plant has taken on frost damage you will need to remove the damaged areas when springtime comes around. Additionally, if your rosemary plant has root rot you should make sure to remove the rotten root areas.
As we have discussed, rosemary plants do not like nutrient-rich soil and too much can badly affect the plant to the point that the production of leaves that can be used in food can be diminished.
At the end of the day, there are a ton of reasons that your rosemary could be dying and need to be revived. Bear in mind that there could be other reasons that your rosemary plant is dying.
So, if nothing on this list matches what you are seeing in your rosemary plant then make sure to do additional research.
Most often, there are methods to being able to revive a plant no matter what. The key to the successful revival of plants is to identify the issue. If you can see every symptom you will be able to find out what is making your rosemary sick and then you can revive it with ease.
We hope that you have enjoyed reading this article. There is a lot to learn on this topic, we just hope that we have been able to guide you through the best ways to revive a dying rosemary plant.
With that in mind, have a fantastic day, and make sure to check out our other articles.