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Rosemary Trees

(October 2010)

QuestionLast year, I purchased a rosemary bush in the shape of a Christmas tree over the holidays. After the holidays, I planted it in a planter and put it by my front door (outside) in a sunny location. The tag said it could stay outdoors to 10 degrees. It died soon after I moved it outdoors. I did not leave it out in temperatures below 20 degrees so I am disappointed that I may have killed it. I have seen them in stores now, and would love to try again. Any advice would be appreciated.


AnswerRosemary is quite winter hardy in most parts of Arkansas. There is a bit of difference in varietal hardiness, but if the tag said hardy to 10 degrees F, I think you had a hardy variety. If you do choose to buy one this year, don’t leave it indoors at all. That is probably what killed it. They do not take indoor conditions well. I would suggest planting the rosemary in the ground or in a large container. If the plant is in a quart sized pot, the root system is going to get much colder than it would like. Giving the plant more soil volume can also help protect the root system, and make it easier to keep watered.


(March 2005)

QuestionI received a pot of rosemary for Christmas, and have babied it as best I could this winter indoors. It is barely living! Is there any hope for this plant? What care should I give it to make it survive?


AnswerRosemary is not a happy camper indoors. Low light and lack of humidity do not bode well for it. If there is life left, cut it back, and keep it a little on the dry side. Put it in your garage if you have one, or keep it as cool as possible. As soon as all chance of frost has passed, move it outdoors. Plant it outside in a well-drained, sunny location. Most varieties of rosemary thrive outdoors year-round. Some of the prostrate types may have been nipped by winter weather this year, but hopefully will bounce back.


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