Rosemary bucket brought indoors

Asked November 21, 2015, 7:18 AM EST

I had a healthy rosemary plant growing in a pot outside all summer to have fresh rosemary throughout the window. I brought it inside about a month and a half ago and it did fine for a while. Now it is turning brown from the base up - rather quickly. I have kept the water modest - I know they are not big drinkers. I have been exposing it to fluorescent plant lights for about 10 hours a day. Is that bad for it? (I don't have enough natural light to compensate in the cold months, or it's where you wouldn't want a plant.) Aside from the light - should I perhaps try some fertilizer? Thanks.

Baltimore County Maryland

2 Responses

Growing rosemary indoors can be tricky as it likes plenty of light, humidity, and a cool area away from warm drafts. Over-watering is a common reason for foliar browning and leaf drop. You should lift the plants and get a feel for their wet and dry weight or feel the soil periodically to make sure the soil is neither too wet or too dry. Make sure the soil is draining well since root rot is another common problem. You could also place the potted plants on a tray filled with a layer of pebbles and a small amount of water maintained below the level of the pebbles. Or you could simply mist the plants periodically to provide some humidity. It is okay to provide the additional lighting. No fertilizer is recommended. Prune out all the dead plant material. You will have to see if the plant recovers.
See our website as well as U of Illinois for more information http://extension.umd.edu/learn/rosemary-care-indoors and U of Illinois for more information http://web.extension.illinois.edu/dmp/palette/101107.html mh

Thanks - that's very helpful!