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Rosmarinus officinalis - "dew of the sea" is represented in almost every herb garden in this country. Rosemary was already used as a spice and medicinal herb in ancient times. Even today it is mainly used in the kitchen. The mint family can be planted out in the garden or cultivated in a bucket and on the windowsill. Normally, the rosemary is quite easy to care for. However, there are a few things to consider, otherwise the plant can quickly be damaged.

Rosemary gets yellow needles

As a rule, isolated yellow needles in rosemary, as in all other plants, are normal. There's nothing to worry about yet. Periodically, old leaves turn yellow and die. However, if several needles then turn yellow and bare spots form on the otherwise evergreen shrub, then quick action is necessary to save the plant. It is now important to find out the causes of the discoloration. There are various options such as

  • care mistakes
  • wrong location
  • wrong fertilization or
  • pest infestation

In most cases, however, the subshrub is simply too wet. In other words, it is a care mistake, the plant was overwatered.
Rosmarinus officinalis is native to the Mediterranean region. There it grows partly on barren soils, on sunny rocky slopes, where not much water can reach it. Mainly he draws the necessary humidity mostly from the air. He "drinks" the morning dew.

In addition, it has a widespread root system that reaches deep into the earth. This allows the plant to draw nutrients and water from great depths. This fact should always be considered when watering, because rosemary does not need a lot of water.

tip: A yellow discoloration of the needles on rosemary is the first sign of too much moisture. The soil must dry and then should be poured less.

The problem of "over-pouring" occurs mainly in pot and tub culture. Here you can easily finger test be made. The soil should just feel damp, not wet. Furthermore, standing water in the saucer is always an indication of waterlogging. This is deadly for almost all plants. A few measures can be taken to remedy this

  • stop watering
  • let the soil dry
  • if necessary repot into new and fresh substrate
  • then water only moderately, if at all

When there is too much moisture, rosemary foliage usually turns yellow and then brown and dry.

Rosemary dried up

Sometimes it can also be observed with Rosmarinus officinalis that the leaves turn brown and finally dry up. The watering can is then quickly used to give the shrub moisture. But beware! Of course, the opinion often prevails here that dried up leaves are a sign of water shortage and the plant is now dying. However, in most cases too much was poured here too. With outdoor rosemary, it can be due to the soil conditions, for example heavy soil stores a lot of water. The result is waterlogging. If the error is not recognized, it will not be long before the rosemary dries up. Overwatering eventually causes the roots to rot. As a result, water and nutrient transport can no longer take place within the plant. The above-ground parts of the plant wither and dry up.

tip: If the rosemary leaves droop, this indicates a lack of water. This can happen especially in hot summer months and warm winters. Caution as soon as yellow needles appear, stop watering.

Don't rule out pest infestation

In addition to the care mistakes that have already been made, pests should also be ruled out as causes of yellow discoloration of the leaves and needles of rosemary. Therefore, the plants should be checked regularly for uninvited "visitors". These are usually on the underside of the leaves, are only a few millimeters in size and are sometimes difficult to see with the naked eye. Damage can from

  • spider mites
  • scale insects
  • thrips and also
  • run out of mushrooms.

These usually occur at the end of winter when plants have been overwintered indoors. Causes can be as follows

  • high temperatures
  • low humidity
  • dry heating air

Control should only be carried out with biological means, since the plant is intended for consumption. Increasing the humidity or a garlic broth usually helps.

tip: Rosemary planted in the garden usually requires hardly any additional watering, only during prolonged and hot dry periods.

Saving a dried up rosemary plant

Sometimes the Rosmarinus officinalis can look dried up, even though it has been watered and the soil has not dried out completely. In order to save it, an examination of the roots is necessary. It must be acted quickly so that a rescue is still possible.

  • Dig up rosemary in the field
  • lift out of the pot when growing in tubs
  • Carefully remove soil from roots
  • Examination of the roots for rot
  • remove diseased, dried roots with a sharp knife
  • Perform root pruning generously
  • Rinse off remaining roots with warm water and dry carefully
  • Dip roots in rooting hormone
  • prevents fungal growth
  • choose a different location outdoors
  • for pot cultivation, use a new pot with fresh substrate and drainage layer
  • Prune the rosemary vigorously, but not into the old wood
  • Otherwise the plant will not sprout again
  • water regularly, but little

With a lot of luck, the dried rosemary plant will sprout again. However, it will take some time

Rosmarinus officinalis, rosemary

preventive measures

Certain measures should already be taken when planting rosemary so that you do not have to look for causes at a later date because the shrub gets yellow and dried out leaves. Among other things, you should consider various factors

  • watering
  • location
  • fertilization

Pour right

Watering is always very important with rosemary. You decide on the thriving of this rather easy-care plant. Normally you can't do much wrong if you keep the following in mind

  • Water is mainly taken up via plant parts above ground
  • always water from above, especially potted plants
  • never leave water in the coaster (waterlogging)
  • Roots should be as dry as possible
  • water only when the substrate is superficially dry
  • The plant can dry out for a short time without being damaged
  • Water more frequently on hot days, especially potted plants
  • Outdoor plants need much less watering
  • fetch water and nutrients from the depths via a branched root system
  • only water additionally during hot dry periods when needles are shed
  • finger test potted plants
  • Water young plants and cuttings regularly but moderately
  • facilitates growth

Alternatively, you can also “dip” potted plants. To do this, remove the plants from the pot and place the root ball in a bucket of water. Then drain well. This method also works well for dried out plants on hot days.

tip: For new plantings, you can expect three to five liters of water per shrub. Depending on the solar radiation and precipitation, this watering takes place once a week in the first three to four weeks. Then reduce the water supply.

Right choice of location

The "dew of the sea" needs a suitable location for healthy growth. He makes some demands on the soil. He loves

  • Sun
  • rather lean, sandy, dry and well-drained soil
  • neutral to alkaline pH

Heavy and loamy soils are rather poison for the evergreen shrub. These store a large proportion of water. Waterlogging quickly occurs and consequences as already described can occur. Best suited would be a location against stone walls or in pebble beds next to thyme, lavender or oregano, plants that have the same care needs.

Be careful when mulching

The herb bed is also often mulched, usually with bark mulch. Caution is advised, because the Mediterranean plant does not like an additional layer of mulch. Bark mulch in particular retains moisture. As a rule, the herb would then be too wet. It would be better to adapt the conditions to those of the Mediterranean homeland. Instead of bark mulch, gravel, coarse gravel or small pebbles can be used here.

Fertilize only when necessary

Sometimes over-fertilization or lack of nutrients can also cause plants to turn yellow. This evergreen shrub does not require additional nutrients. It has a deep and widely branched root system. This means that nutrients and water can still be fetched from very deep layers of the earth. In order to stimulate growth, a sparing dose of organic fertilizer, such as compost or horn meal, can be given annually in spring. Potted plants should be given very little fertilization unless they are repotted.

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