1
point
Wilted rosemary plant

Rosemary    Pennsylvania, USA

I transplanted an established rosemary bush to a new location in the garden several days ago and despite taking care to keep it well watered each day it is wilting badly. The position I moved it from was situated too closely to another plant and both were struggling. When I dug down into the soil around the roots I discovered that the ground was very rocky and the root that came out with the plant was surprisingly small. I loosened the soil with a fork and it took only a gentle pull for the bush to slide out of the soil, looking quite top heavy. I inspected the roots and it did not look like many had snapped or been damaged, but I was still quite surprised by how small the root system was.

I moved the plant to its new spot and worked some compost into the existing soil. I applied mulch under the plant to help it retain moisture. The next day the plant was noticeably wilted so I gave it water and let it be. I have given it water every day and it still looks pitiful. Please help me save her! I think I should prune some branches to lessen the stress on the plant. Will this help? How much should I prune? Any other suggestions to help the plant very much appreciated!


Posted by: Lindsay McMenemy (167 points) Lindsay McMenemy
Posted: August 16, 2013




Answers

2
points
I like to build a little shade structure for newly planted and transplanted vegetation. I've used floating row cover, window screening material, and tulle from the fabric store. I've even used an upturned laundry basket and a small garden table -- anything to provide shelter from, especially, midday and afternoon sun. The leaves are losing moisture from the sun and wind, but they have not yet developed enough feeder roots to replenish the moisture. The woodier parts of the stem and the leaves themselves can survive without water for a few days, but the herbaceous stems at the tips can't.

It may also be worthwhile to take some cuttings from the woody or semiwoody stems, just in case. Cuttings definitely need to be in the shade.


Posted by: Tanya in the Garden (128 points) Tanya in the Garden
Posted: August 17, 2013


Lindsay McMenemy commented,
Thanks Tanya, Good suggestions. I think it might be useful for lots of people to start a new topic explaining how to take cuttings from rosemary - I've certainly never done it, bet there's loads of people who would like instructions. Stand by for another rosemary question!! :-)
over 5 years ago.



1
point
Possibly you are over-watering it. Rosemary is accustomed to drier conditions and doesn't like to be soaked.


Posted by: do (2 points) do
Posted: August 16, 2013


Lindsay McMenemy commented,
Interesting, you may be on to something... Got nothing to lose at this point, I will report back in a few days :-)
over 5 years ago.

deactivated commented,
Irregular soaking doesn't matter all that much - as long as you have good drainage.
over 5 years ago.

Lindsay McMenemy commented,
I think drainage was a big issue, I think I laid the mulch too deep and too close to the stems, also I laid a weed barrier and I don't think I made the hole though it big enough when I planted. It wasn't allowing the soil to dry out and was kind of suffocating it. I will provide a more detailed update if I get the plant to to recover... it's looking a little perkier this AM!
over 5 years ago.



1
point
It might just be the stress from being transplanted, and in the middle of summer, at that. Even though it didn't seem to have lost many large pieces of root, I'm sure it lost a lot of the little feeder roots.

Keep it dampish, but don't overwater it, just wait and see if it will recover on its own.


Posted by: FussyOldHen (16 points) FussyOldHen
Posted: August 17, 2013


acuna_matata commented,
I agree with FossyOldHen. Its called "transplant shock", you can find many helpful tips to prevent it by a Google search. Hope it came back the way it was!
over 5 years ago.



1
point
Tent a sheet of newspaper to shade it, then ignore it. Overwatering will kill it. Mulch it too. I successfully transplanted a rosemary earlier this summer.


Posted by: Joan Ribbons (4 points) Joan Ribbons
Posted: August 19, 2013


Lindsay McMenemy commented,
This is exactly what I used to do when I would grow raspberry seedlings in the glasshouse. I should have remembered. When I potted them on I would cover them with moistened newspaper overnight to shield them from the overhead lighting. Great suggestion, thanks Joan
over 5 years ago.



0
points
Based on of the helpful advice received I have taken several steps to try and rescue the rosemary. First I took a closer look at the base of the plant and found, as was suggested, that drainage may well be an issue. I had applied the mulch too thickly and too close to the stem and very little moisture was escaping. I had watered well when transplanting! The second problem is the weed barrier I laid wasn't cut well enough and was providing a second layer of insulation to the soil and not letting it dry out. I have thinned the mulch and exposed the soil at the base of the stem, cut the weed barrier back further and also placed some sheets of soaked paper over the plant to shield it from the hot afternoon sun. Here's hoping all this makes a difference. If all else fails I have a little pot of rosemary I bought from the store as a back up!


Posted by: Lindsay McMenemy (167 points) Lindsay McMenemy
Posted: August 20, 2013




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