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droopy rosemary leaves need to change soil?

#1 User is offline   maggie 

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Posted 27 July 2008 - 11:23 PM

hi folks

at the nagging of my husband who thinks i sh emulate jamie oliver and cook him rosemary chicken or lamb stuffed with rosemary, i went ahead on impulse buy of this rosemary at NTUC for $6.90 last week. kind of regret now bcos i know nothing abt rosemary so really being foolishly over-ambitious here...pls advise aft viewing pics:

looks nice right? hanging on window grill having morning sun...
http://i285.photobucket.com/albums/ll76/maggielimwong/P1020153.jpg
http://i285.photobucket.com/albums/ll76/maggielimwong/P1020157.jpg

but why are tips turning black and more leaves curling downwards? actually they were already curling when i bought...i thot normal appearance...seow leow right?
http://i285.photobucket.com/albums/ll76/maggielimwong/P1020158.jpg
http://i285.photobucket.com/albums/ll76/maggielimwong/P1020159.jpg

and is the soil disastrous for the plant at this point? even the pot looks old, like it's been at the nursery forever...aiyo...
http://i285.photobucket.com/albums/ll76/maggielimwong/P1020160.jpg

can you pls tell me abt the growing conditions of this plant?...dun wan it to go to heaven even b4 i cook my first rosemary dish...
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#2 User is offline   Herb Lover 

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Posted 28 July 2008 - 12:27 AM

 maggie, on Jul 27 2008, 11:23 PM, said:

hi folks

at the nagging of my husband who thinks i sh emulate jamie oliver and cook him rosemary chicken or lamb stuffed with rosemary, i went ahead on impulse buy of this rosemary at NTUC for $6.90 last week. kind of regret now bcos i know nothing abt rosemary so really being foolishly over-ambitious here...pls advise aft viewing pics:

looks nice right? hanging on window grill having morning sun...
http://i285.photobucket.com/albums/ll76/maggielimwong/P1020153.jpg
http://i285.photobucket.com/albums/ll76/maggielimwong/P1020157.jpg

but why are tips turning black and more leaves curling downwards? actually they were already curling when i bought...i thot normal appearance...seow leow right?
http://i285.photobucket.com/albums/ll76/maggielimwong/P1020158.jpg
http://i285.photobucket.com/albums/ll76/maggielimwong/P1020159.jpg

and is the soil disastrous for the plant at this point? even the pot looks old, like it's been at the nursery forever...aiyo...
http://i285.photobucket.com/albums/ll76/maggielimwong/P1020160.jpg

can you pls tell me abt the growing conditions of this plant?...dun wan it to go to heaven even b4 i cook my first rosemary dish...


From my experience growing this plant, rosemary loves the morning sun and hates wet soil. Have you been watering it too often? Is it getting enough direct sunlight? The browning of the the leaves is bad news indeed. Hopefully the rest of the forummers have a way to remedy it.

Good luck!

HL
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#3 User is offline   maggie 

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Posted 28 July 2008 - 09:37 PM

hi HL

me just water this am and last time was sat pm. should i let the soil dry out a bit by not watering for the next 3 days or so...black tip means waterlog or rotting roots right? would repotting it help or start of point of no return? if can repot in wat media pls? it is hung on pot holder hooked to window grille getting morning sun. TX...
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#4 User is offline   Shireen 

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Posted 28 July 2008 - 10:03 PM

 maggie, on Jul 28 2008, 09:37 PM, said:

hi HL

me just water this am and last time was sat pm. should i let the soil dry out a bit by not watering for the next 3 days or so...black tip means waterlog or rotting roots right? would repotting it help or start of point of no return? if can repot in wat media pls? it is hung on pot holder hooked to window grille getting morning sun. TX...

It does not sound like you are overwatering it at all. I actually water my plants every other day and if it is hot, I water them everyday, particularly if they are out getting a sunbath. It is better to check the soil for the first few times you water to know if you need to water at all or how often. The soil should be allowed to dry somewhat between waterings but there is no need to let the soil go bone-dry. This can also be harmful to plants, especially younger ones. However, if the plant was overwatered at NTUC, maybe the harm was done before you bought it?

When my maid overwatered my rosemary because she was new (she was watering it in the early morning - then I went around and happily watered all my plants again in the late morning :blink:/> ) it started to look really bad and I immediately investigated and found the soil soaking wet. I unpotted the plant, sat it on kitchen towels to soak up the damp and put it in a bigger pot with more potting mix and did not water for two days. The plant recovered and is now quite big. I normally use a mix which includes a fair bit of draining material like perlite or burnt soil.
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#5 User is offline   skyfiery 

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Posted 28 July 2008 - 11:04 PM

Soil from nurseries or NTUC or supermarts can be quite bad for herbs. I used to leave my rosemary in its original soil but was afraid of overwatering, so I repotted them with a mix of potting mix + perlite.

I suspect it *might* be overwatering, because I did an experiment in propagating my rosemary cuttings, and even with slightly too much water, the leaves turned brown...and eventually the stem.

You can also follow lavendergarden's example (I emulated her using bubble tea straws) of sticking a syringe into the soil to provide direct water access without wetting the top soil and thus encouraging diseases to grow.

Sky
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#6 User is offline   maggie 

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Posted 29 July 2008 - 12:12 AM

hmmm...should i risk repotting at the plant's expense?

if i use soil media of tref compost and perlite 3:1 do you think it's ok? as long as i dun use normal garden soil or top soil stc, but use packet potting soil sh be fine right?

at this point, should i cut off 10cm of each branch to insert into a separate pot of potting mix? or it makes no diff now.

the tips are turning black at quite a fast rate. ytd 2 branches affected, now 2-3 more branches turning black too...really not good sign at all...do you think there is hope in repotting still?
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#7 User is offline   skyfiery 

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Posted 29 July 2008 - 12:18 AM

 maggie, on Jul 29 2008, 12:12 AM, said:

hmmm...should i risk repotting at the plant's expense?

if i use soil media of tref compost and perlite 3:1 do you think it's ok? as long as i dun use normal garden soil or top soil stc, but use packet potting soil sh be fine right?

at this point, should i cut off 10cm of each branch to insert into a separate pot of potting mix? or it makes no diff now.

the tips are turning black at quite a fast rate. ytd 2 branches affected, now 2-3 more branches turning black too...really not good sign at all...do you think there is hope in repotting still?


I think that if your current situation is worsening, there's no harm trying. I'm not sure what percentage I use for my medium, but I suspect it's roughly a 50/50 mix of potting mix and perlite. Just remember not to wet the leaves when watering. And also I water once every two to three days only because rosemary is draught tolerant.

If anything else, I have a spare pot of rosemary I bought from Oh Chin Huat nursery at $3 two days ago for someone. That someone bought already, so I kept it/ Was going to repot mine into my parent pot, but if you want it, I can let it go...

Sky
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#8 User is offline   maggie 

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Posted 29 July 2008 - 12:28 AM

hwah you very fast in replying...tx for offer but have to decline for now...if not kill 2 pots instead of 1. ok, will decide to repot and see how it goes...

tx for all encouragement and will keep you posted on effort in a few days time.
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#9 User is offline   skyfiery 

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Posted 29 July 2008 - 11:28 AM

 maggie, on Jul 29 2008, 12:28 AM, said:

hwah you very fast in replying...tx for offer but have to decline for now...if not kill 2 pots instead of 1. ok, will decide to repot and see how it goes...

tx for all encouragement and will keep you posted on effort in a few days time.


Was online at the right time mah.

And it's okay. I'll just repot it into my main pot (which has three rosemary plants growing well). LOL.

Good luck!

Sky
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#10 User is offline   Shireen 

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Posted 29 July 2008 - 03:14 PM

 maggie, on Jul 29 2008, 12:28 AM, said:

if not kill 2 pots instead of 1. ok, will decide to repot and see how it goes...

Don't be too quick to blame yourself. Honestly, I feel suspicious that the plant can do so badly so quickly . . . If it was already curling when bought, it might already have been in decline. Personally, I would prefer to buy from a plant nursery. There is one in Bedok - the name escapes me - which has rosemary plants out in the sun and rain and they are doing rather well! It is on the same row as the Bedok FEF but at the other end, the first one. Or I suppose you could try Oh Chin Huat, which I hear does herbs well.
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#11 User is offline   skyfiery 

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Posted 29 July 2008 - 03:56 PM

You can try Oh's, but do remember to repot the herbs bought from there, because the soil they use tend to retain water way too well.

Sky
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Posted 29 July 2008 - 04:25 PM

 skyfiery, on Jul 28 2008, 11:04 PM, said:

Soil from nurseries or NTUC or supermarts can be quite bad for herbs. I used to leave my rosemary in its original soil but was afraid of overwatering, so I repotted them with a mix of potting mix + perlite.

I suspect it *might* be overwatering, because I did an experiment in propagating my rosemary cuttings, and even with slightly too much water, the leaves turned brown...and eventually the stem.

You can also follow lavendergarden's example (I emulated her using bubble tea straws) of sticking a syringe into the soil to provide direct water access without wetting the top soil and thus encouraging diseases to grow.

Sky



i agree with this.
its likely overwatering.
the thing abt watering and/ or overwatering also has to do with the substrate and how much sun the plant gets (ie how fast water drains and how much water gets evaporated by the sun.
if the plant doesn't get very much direct sun or is in a place where there isn't much wind, then it might be a good idea to change the substrate to something more well draining.

in a situation where the plant gets enough direct sun and wind and the substrate dries out well during the day, then its ok to water daily.
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#13 User is offline   skyfiery 

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Posted 29 July 2008 - 04:33 PM

 TALOS, on Jul 29 2008, 04:25 PM, said:

i agree with this.
its likely overwatering.
the thing abt watering and/ or overwatering also has to do with the substrate and how much sun the plant gets (ie how fast water drains and how much water gets evaporated by the sun.
if the plant doesn't get very much direct sun or is in a place where there isn't much wind, then it might be a good idea to change the substrate to something more well draining.

in a situation where the plant gets enough direct sun and wind and the substrate dries out well during the day, then its ok to water daily.


Rosemary is also relatively draught-resistent. So I guess it's better to under-water than over-water.

Sky
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#14 User is offline   Shireen 

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Posted 29 July 2008 - 09:00 PM

 skyfiery, on Jul 29 2008, 04:33 PM, said:

Rosemary is also relatively draught-resistent. So I guess it's better to under-water than over-water.

Sky


Very true. However, I also find that when I water sufficiently, it grows faster. It will tolerate dry conditions but with optimal watering, it sends out new leaves.
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#15 User is offline   skyfiery 

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Posted 29 July 2008 - 11:51 PM

 Shireen, on Jul 29 2008, 09:00 PM, said:

Very true. However, I also find that when I water sufficiently, it grows faster. It will tolerate dry conditions but with optimal watering, it sends out new leaves.


How would you define "optimal watering," Shireen? I'm usually scared of watering too much, even though I'm watering only on alternate days.

Sky
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#16 User is offline   Shireen 

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Posted 30 July 2008 - 10:30 PM

Here's my long story. As you well know, Sky, it is always risky to overwater this plant. So, when I first got this plant, I was doing as you are doing, which is to water rather infrequently and, as I was in an apartment then and had less sun, I only watered every three days and the plant survived but did not put out new shoots much. After I moved to my current place, I increased watering to every other day as there is more sun here (four hours of direct sun or more). But I found that when the plant looked like it was actively growing, and the soil was draining well, I could water daily in the hot period and it would not suffer from root rot. Instead it responded with even more shoots. So while it tolerates underwatering well enough, it does better if it gets what it needs, especially when it is sunny.

Nowadays, I have plants of different sizes because of cuttings done at different times and they are located in different spots. And they have different soil compositions because when I pot them up, I tend to 'make it up' as I go along and use whatever soil etc. I have at hand. :lol:/> :blush:/> In the morning, I go around with a watering can and depending on the weather I anticipate and how moist the soil is, I will water the plant as needed. For the younger plants in smaller clay pots, this is everyday. For my big one in a plastic pot, it was every other day or even every three days, except that since it has grown bigger, I have now started to water everyday in the hot spells. If I were to put it in an even bigger pot (not yet), I'd be able to reduce the number of waterings again as there would be a 'moisture buffer' in the extra soil. On one particularly hot day recently, I gave a second watering in the evening. The plants were fine and did not rot.

When I water, I make sure it is thoroughly watered but that it is not sitting in the water that runs out of the pot into the tray.

Don't water as long as the soil feels quite moist. But it does not have to be bone dry. If unsure, I poke my finger into the soil. However, after caring for these plants for some time, I think you can get to know what they require without doing this.

I would not dare say what is the best watering for your plant as I don't know how much sun you are getting etcetera. However, if you are getting plenty of sun and the soil drains well, I would suggest trying out daily watering (in the morning). But if your plant is growing on what you give it, why worry?
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#17 User is offline   maggie 

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Posted 31 July 2008 - 10:38 PM

hi folks

ytd pm repotted into a bigger one...roots curling around bottom of old pot...old soil was compost with perlite and not soggy...just damp. aft repot, i watered along the rim of the soil until water drip from bottom and set aside. this am got am sun like this:

http://i285.photobucket.com/albums/ll76/maggielimwong/P1020166.jpg
this taken 2 days ago for am sun demo...

http://i285.photobucket.com/albums/ll76/maggielimwong/P1020172.jpg
repotted and put in corridor where got 2-3 hrs pm sun (can be quite hot)

so far, keep touching soil and still feel damp so left it alone...curling and blackening conditions still present. let's wait and see la.

when do i water again? should i snip off a few cm of all the tips?
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#18 User is offline   skyfiery 

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Posted 31 July 2008 - 11:11 PM

 Shireen, on Jul 30 2008, 10:30 PM, said:

Here's my long story. As you well know, Sky, it is always risky to overwater this plant. So, when I first got this plant, I was doing as you are doing, which is to water rather infrequently and, as I was in an apartment then and had less sun, I only watered every three days and the plant survived but did not put out new shoots much. After I moved to my current place, I increased watering to every other day as there is more sun here (four hours of direct sun or more). But I found that when the plant looked like it was actively growing, and the soil was draining well, I could water daily in the hot period and it would not suffer from root rot. Instead it responded with even more shoots. So while it tolerates underwatering well enough, it does better if it gets what it needs, especially when it is sunny.

Nowadays, I have plants of different sizes because of cuttings done at different times and they are located in different spots. And they have different soil compositions because when I pot them up, I tend to 'make it up' as I go along and use whatever soil etc. I have at hand. :lol:/> :blush:/> In the morning, I go around with a watering can and depending on the weather I anticipate and how moist the soil is, I will water the plant as needed. For the younger plants in smaller clay pots, this is everyday. For my big one in a plastic pot, it was every other day or even every three days, except that since it has grown bigger, I have now started to water everyday in the hot spells. If I were to put it in an even bigger pot (not yet), I'd be able to reduce the number of waterings again as there would be a 'moisture buffer' in the extra soil. On one particularly hot day recently, I gave a second watering in the evening. The plants were fine and did not rot.

When I water, I make sure it is thoroughly watered but that it is not sitting in the water that runs out of the pot into the tray.

Don't water as long as the soil feels quite moist. But it does not have to be bone dry. If unsure, I poke my finger into the soil. However, after caring for these plants for some time, I think you can get to know what they require without doing this.

I would not dare say what is the best watering for your plant as I don't know how much sun you are getting etcetera. However, if you are getting plenty of sun and the soil drains well, I would suggest trying out daily watering (in the morning). But if your plant is growing on what you give it, why worry?


I shall certainly try to water slightly more then. No harm trying, but I've kinda planted two plants together instead of just having one. So will have to be careful not watering too much.

Though both my straws are on different ends of the pot. So even if I kill one plant, don't think I'll kill the other...hopefully...


Maggie: I think give it a few more days. Maybe until end of this week even...

Sky
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#19 User is offline   maggie 

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Posted 31 July 2008 - 11:26 PM

 skyfiery, on Jul 31 2008, 11:11 PM, said:

Maggie: I think give it a few more days. Maybe until end of this week even...


ok...so i guess even tho top soil feels dry it could still be damp within right? btw, saw many rosemarys suddenly in all the nurseries very similar to me...they say from taiwan - lower stem woody top half is soft...and when i told them abt my curly and blackening tips, only one word from them: see liow!!! :huh:/>
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#20 User is offline   skyfiery 

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Posted 31 July 2008 - 11:28 PM

 maggie, on Jul 31 2008, 11:26 PM, said:

ok...so i guess even tho top soil feels dry it could still be damp within right? btw, saw many rosemarys suddenly in all the nurseries very similar to me...they say from taiwan - lower stem woody top half is soft...and when i told them abt my curly and blackening tips, only one word from them: see liow!!! :huh:/>


Are you using tray watering? Think for these few days better refrain from watering for a bit first until you're more or less sure the moisture in the soil is used up first. Then can start slowly watering liao.

Sky
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