Rosemary Left to Die
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Inness Asher
Posted on: October 15, 1998

I’ll be brief. Neighbors moved. Left rosemary plant to die. Salvaged. No flowers or seeds. Plucked herb for cooking. Removed secondary shoots, trimmed main stems down to @ 1" above soil. Repotted and watered. New growth possible, or moldy, rotting rosemary? Enjoyed plant, and want another. If no hope, will purchase seed. (How’s that for brief? I was also wondering if it is an herbaceous plant, and does herbaceous mean woody?)

If there are no leaves or leaf buds on the remaining stems then it seems unlikely that it will come back. I would not give up – I would keep the pot watering enough to keep the soil from drying out – but it is more than likely that the plant is dead already. If it is alive, you should see new growth occurring within the next 2-4 weeks.

If the stem becomes brittle and dry, then you know for sure the plant is dead.

Rosemary is slow to grow from seeds. Most herb gardeners prefer to buy started plants big enough so that they can produce leaves for cutting the first year.

Rosemary is a woody plant, the opposite of herbaceous. ‘Herbaceous’ means that no woody stems develop during the life of the plant. Often herbaceous plants die back to the ground as winter sets in while woody plants have persisting stems and branches that get "reused" the next year.

Thanks for sharing with us the poem about October time.

The October wind shimmers with peals of unseen bells. Rust drifts in sliding arcs, orange rose petals strewn on the path for Souls’ return. The belltower shuttered, the night sealed in a jar. The narrow shaft from peak to transept, dark top to bottom, the drop of shadows, is filled with fireflies and dark dancing. --Halloween

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