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Rosemary

November/December 2015

QuestionLast Christmas I  purchased a Rosemary bush in the shape of a Christmas tree for the holidays. I planted it in a planter and put it by my front door (outside) for a sunny location. The tag said it can stay outdoors to 10 degrees. After one hard frost it began to look dead and it did not recover.  I did not leave it out in temperatures below 20 degrees so I am disappointed that I killed it. I would like to try again this year if there is hope.  Any pointers?

 

AnswerRosemary is a hardy plant, and you did the right thing by upgrading the container. Most of the pots they come in are fairly small and elevated plants are more sensitive to cold than those planted in the ground or in larger containers.  Make sure the soil does not get too wet, since that can be a death knell as well.  I have used them in the past for decoration, but moved them behind other shrubs or into the garage when the temperature is much below freezing. Established plants are much tougher than new ones.  


 

March 2014

Question My rosemary plant that I have had for three years looks awful.  It is more brown than green. Should I replace it or just prune it back and when.  Why do you think this happened? It has overwintered before.

AnswerRosemary does great outdoors in Arkansas. It actually is fairly drought tolerant once established. If you want a large plant, opt for a fairly large container. Maximum size will be limited by root constriction, so the larger the container, the larger the eventual mature plant. Choose a container that will work with the size of your front porch.

 

(April 2012)

QuestionI purchased a rosemary topiary on sale after Christmas. It's in a 4" pot and I want to re-pot it and move it to my front yard. I get 6+ hours of sun light out there. My question is, what size pot do I choose? I'm unconcerned about keeping the shape because I will be using it for cooking. I'd like for it to get as big as possible but it has to be planted in a pot and placed near my front porch to keep the neighborhood dogs from urinating on it.

 

AnswerRosemary does great outdoors in Arkansas. It actually is fairly drought tolerant once established. If you want a large plant, opt for a fairly large container. Maximum size will be limited by root constriction, so the larger the container, the larger the eventual mature plant. Choose a container that will work with the size of your front porch.


(Oct. 2010)

QuestionLast year, I purchased a rosemary bush in the shape of a Christmas tree over the holidays. After the holidays, I planted it in a planter and put it by my front door (outside) in a sunny location. The tag said it could stay outdoors to 10 degrees. It died soon after I moved it outdoors. I did not leave it out in temperatures below 20 degrees so I am disappointed that I may have killed it. I have seen them in stores now, and would love to try again. Any advice would be appreciated.

 

AnswerRosemary is quite winter hardy in most parts of Arkansas. There is a bit of difference in varietal hardiness, but if the tag said hardy to 10 degrees F, I think you had a hardy variety. If you do choose to buy one this year, don’t leave it indoors at all. That is probably what killed it. They do not take indoor conditions well. I would suggest planting the rosemary in the ground or in a large container. If the plant is in a quart sized pot, the root system is going to get much colder than it would like. Giving the plant more soil volume can also help protect the root system, and make it easier to keep watered.


(March 2005)

QuestionI received a pot of rosemary for Christmas, and have babied it as best I could this winter indoors. It is barely living! Is there any hope for this plant? What care should I give it to make it survive?

 

Answer Rosemary is not a happy camper indoors. Low light and lack of humidity do not bode well for it. If there is life left, cut it back, and keep it a little on the dry side. Put it in your garage if you have one, or keep it as cool as possible. As soon as all chance of frost has passed, move it outdoors. Plant it outside in a well-drained, sunny location. Most varieties of rosemary thrive outdoors year-round. Some of the prostrate types may have been nipped by winter weather this year, but hopefully will bounce back.


(Dec. 2009)

QuestionI just purchased a Rosemary plant that is being sold for Christmas in topiary form. Is this plant good to cook with? This is the reason I purchased it. You said it is best to leave it outdoors. I put it in my store room, as it is cool in there. Also, can it be repotted as it grows?

 

AnswerIt is an excellent plant to cook with. Prune judiciously to keep the shape, but by all means use it. Repot it as needed. It can also be planted in the ground outdoors this spring. Rosemary plants usually thrive in our gardens, but in that small container you are wise to protect it during these cold days. Inside a heated house the lack of humidity, constant heat and low light often prove fatal for rosemary plants within a few weeksIt is an excellent plant to cook with. Prune judiciously to keep the shape, but by all means use it. Repot it as needed. It can also be planted in the ground outdoors this spring. Rosemary plants usually thrive in our gardens, but in that small container you are wise to protect it during these cold days. Inside a heated house the lack of humidity, constant heat and low light often prove fatal for rosemary plants within a few weeks


(Dec. 2009)

QuestionWe have quite a few herbs still growing in our garden now. What you can do with chives at this time of year? What about sage, rosemary and thyme? I even have some basil that is still producing. Can you dry them or is it better to freeze them?

 

AnswerChives, sage, rosemary, and thyme are perennial herbs, while basil is an annual. Harvest all of the basil prior to a killing frost and use it fresh, dried or you can put it into an ice cube tray, cover with water and freeze the leaves inside to add to soups, stews and sauces. Depending on where you live in the state, chives can stay green in the winter or die back. If yours die back, then cutting them prior to a freeze is advisable. Again, fresh, dried or frozen will work. For thyme, sage and rosemary, harvest as needed throughout the winter, just don’t get carried away and cut too much, as they won’t be putting on much new growth during the winter months. Tip: Rosemary is being sold now for the holidays in topiary tree and wreath forms. Leave these plants outdoors, as they die quickly inside. If the temperatures are predicted to get extremely low—below 25 degrees, you may want to move these potted rosemary plants into a garage or storage building temporarily. While rosemary is quite hardy through most of the state, container plants are less so, because of limited roots, plus the soil in the containers gets colder than soil in the ground.


 

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