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Rosemary Plants Growing Indoors: Good Girl or Bad Girl?

Readers want to know: “My Rosemary has turned brown/gray and died in my house. What did I do wrong?”

Ah, this happens to me also. Rosemary can sure be a “bad girl.” Especially when you’re wintering the plant in the house.

One Rosemary is doing great; the other is brown and dry. Check these photos out:

Healthy Rosemary

Healthy Rosemary

"Sick" Rosemary

“Sick” Rosemary

Here’s the deal: The most common reason Rosemary dies indoors is root rot – too much water.

This plant’s native environment is the Mediterranean where Rosemary grows happily on steep, sunny, rocky hillsides with little water. Wait to water indoor Rosemary until the top 2” of soil is dry to the touch. But here’s the deal. Don’t let the plant dry out completely. That’s just as bad. So good air circulation, nice light and proper watering is the key.

Rosemary topiary trees

If you have one of those topiary Rosemary trees that were at the grocery during the holidays, check to see if it needs repotting. Take it out of the planter and you’ll probably see it is root bound. That will cause the plant to die, too.


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