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Perennials/Rosemary bush outdoors


I have a 5-yr old Rosemary bush which has performed wonderfully. Approx a year ago, last March I pruned it but to my surprise the new growth never appeared  I have pruned it before to get it bushier with no problems. I think I may have pruned too early. There is about half of the plant which is doing well; I didn't prune this portion because it didn't need it at the time. The part I pruned is not putting out ANY signs of new growth- it has me concerned. I was so proud of it; it was small but full & rounded. Rosemary is my fav herb. This one is between 5-6 yrs old. HELP! I love it & see no sign of growth. Did I kill him? Anything I can do? He sits in a small fully sunny corner of my yard w lavender & two tiny roses. It looks so lopsided! Because Rosemary takes time to get established I can buy another to put beside the healthy side, but what do you think I did wrong ? I have read many articles which are not helpful. It was my pride; I cant resist touching it each time I passed by just to get that heavenly scent on my fingers. I would be ever so grateful for ANY HELP at all. By the way I live in zone 7b, NC. Thanks in advance.

Hi Patricia,
Thanx for your question.  Generally, Rosemary is fairly hardy in North Carolina.  There may have been some frost damage this year, which happens from time-to-time.  The section that does not appear to be recovering may have been damaged by disease of which you may not have been aware.  It is not uncommon for parts of these shrubs to die off.  Wait a little while longer just to make sure.  If you can snap pieces of the shrub and it is "dry-dead", I would go ahead and trim this off and dispose of it, in case it is diseased.  The shrub will eventually recover and new growth will fill in although it may take a while.  Five years is a good age.  I don't think your pruning had anything to do with the part of the plant not sending out new growth.  I hope this helps.


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Tom Alonzo


I have been a gardener for 20 years with perennials both growing from seed and from nurseries. I went through the Master Gardener Program from Kansas State University Cooperative Extension Service and I answered questions on the Hotline a few years ago for the Wyandotte County Kansas Extension Service. I have also lived in the Florida, California, Hawaii, Arizona, Texas, Kansas and Missouri and am experienced with a variety of climates, soils and weather conditions.


I have been growing perennials for over 20 years now. I am self-taught mostly except for a master gardener class. I have experimented with all kinds of perennials including many that are not common to my area. I have read hundreds of books and grown hundreds of varieties of plants and hope to make it a business some day. I have become versed in botanical names and growing conditions and what I don't know off of the top of my head I can usually easily find in my vast array of research material and botanical and horticultural contacts. I especially enjoy experimenting with growing plants out of zone.

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