En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
1 rating

Wednesday - May 09, 2007

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Thinning of non-native rosemary
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I live in NW Austin and have a very large rosemary bush that is having problems this season. We trimmed the bush in early March because the plant was getting too large for the space. It is roughly 3 feet deep by 7 feet wide. It has small purple flowers that bloom on it in the early spring, so I'm not sure which variety we have. The bottom of the plant is basically 10-12 inches of sticks. The new growth is coming in at the top of the plant, but underneath looks really terrible. I assume, eventually, the top growth will cover the ugly parts below, but I'd like to have a healthy plant again. Any suggestions? (I did notice a spider web in the base of the plant yesterday, what pesticide would be best to use?)

ANSWER:

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) is an introduced species from the Mediterranean region that has been used extensively over the South for landscaping. Since the Wildflower Center's focus and expertise is in plants native to North America, rosemary isn't really in our purview. We can tell you, however, that it sounds as if your plant needs to be thinned considerably to regain its health. Many plants will not produce new growth from old, hard wood at all, some only form the end of pruned wood. It sounds like that is what is happening with your plant. You can read more about its care from The Backyard Gardener.

Concerning the spider web in your plant, spiders in general are good news for gardeners since they trap and eat insects that may be injurious to your plants. Mr. Smarty Plants doesn't see a need for a pesticide to kill spiders.


 

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Identification of tree with red feathery leaves
March 08, 2012 - What is the name of a tree with dark red leaves, feathery, slim trunk; maybe in the pepper family? Jedi?
view the full question and answer

Freeze damage to non-native Sago Palms in Red Rock TX
April 19, 2010 - I have 4 beautiful large sago palms in my rural Texas yard. All 4 have been damaged by several hard freezes this winter. All fronds are brown, with a little green at base of inner fronds. Are they ...
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native Canary Date Palms from Miami FL
December 06, 2011 - Hi: The fronts of my canary date palm, which I planted about 6 years ago, has been getting brown from the bottom of the tree and working itself towards the top for the past several months now. The b...
view the full question and answer

Difference between invasive Chinese and Japanese wisterias and native wisteria
September 12, 2014 - Dear Mr or Ms Smarty Plants, Is there any way I can tell for sure if my wisteria is native? I bought it at a place when it was in bloom that sold a lot of native plants. I Would like to know for sure...
view the full question and answer

Non-native hybrid willows dropping leaves in Downey CA
July 22, 2010 - I have 1 year old Hybrid Willows that are strong and 12 feet tall, with many branches. All of a sudden they are dropping their leaves in July. I got them for fast growing shade, now the branches are ...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center