Droopy Rosemary II
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Mike
Posted on: November 16, 2000

Photo of Rosemary Plant As you can see this plant is in distress. Any other thoughts? It’s been two good days of watering under decent full spectrum fluorescents

It’s crying to you for help - Oh God of Green things :)

The photo is not very clear but I would guess that the plant is severely pot bound. When it was moved indoors it either dried out or the light intensity dropped significantly. I realize that you have provided supplementary light, but that light is probably still two to five times less intense than it was in the greenhouse.

If the plant suffered from the shock of drying out depending on how severe and lengthy the dry spell was, the plant may take quite a while to recover, if at all.

I would transplant it to a pot about 5 cm (2") larger in diameter. Use fresh potting soil that drains well. Make sure that the watering is even and only done when the soil feels dry. When watering, water enough so water comes out of the bottom of the pot; that means watering less frequently but more thoroughly each time.

Try to position the lights to be as close as possible to the plants -- within 10-15 cm (4-6") at least. If you can arrange for the plant and the lights to be positioned in a bright window that will help.

Without seeing the plant up close it is hard to recommend anything else. There are other potential, but less likely causes for the problem, but these require a closer inspection. For example, I would want to check for scale insects and mealybugs, especially for ones that attack the roots. Also, there is a greyish cast in the photo: I would want to check if there is a powdery mildew infection. Would insects or mildew cause the sudden droop of the leaves that you reported previously? I suppose it is possible, but unlikely. Still, I would want to make sure to eliminate these possibilities.

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