Rosemary die-off

Discussion in 'Outdoor Gardening in the Pacific Northwest' started by sunshade, Apr 10, 2022.

  1. sunshade

    sunshade Active Member 10 Years

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    Our beautiful huge rosemary bush suffered severe die-off this year, no doubt because of that wicked cold spell. How much can I cut it back without killing it?
     
  2. vitog

    vitog Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    If it's anything like my Rosemary bush, it's probably already dead. No green leaves survived on it, but I had tip-layered it last year. That layer rooted and seems to have survived the cold, because its leaves are green. If your Rosemary has any green leaves, I would cut it back to those areas. Or else, you can just wait to see if any new growth sprouts; that will show what's still alive.
     
  3. sunshade

    sunshade Active Member 10 Years

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    Yes, there are some green branches - I will try cutting it back to those. It's going to make it a very lop-sided plant! Thanks for your response.
     
  4. DavidB52

    DavidB52 Active Member

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    I had the same concerns about my Rosemary bush, and the Lavender. Both appear to be dead.

    But I am sure we've had worse Winters than the one just past.

    A few years ago, I think temperatures dipped down to -15 degrees C to -20 degrees C, for a couple weeks straight, and the plants got through it fine.

    This past Winter didn't seem particularly harsh.
    So why die now?
     

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  5. vitog

    vitog Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    Not particularly harsh, David? The temperature at YVR dipped to a low of -15.3 this winter; the last time there was anything comparable was in winter 2008/2009, when the lowest temperature was -15.2. Before that winter, you have to go back to 1968/1969, when the low was -17.8, the coldest it's been at YVR since records began in 1937 (tied in winter 1949/1950).
     
  6. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    How about the duration of the cold, @vitog ? Was it longer than normal?

    It may have been coincidence, but my citrus trees produced heavy blooms this spring, perhaps due to a longer period of cold.
     
  7. DavidB52

    DavidB52 Active Member

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    I didn't look up numbers to confirm, but the winter of 2017 stands out in my mind as miserable.

    We went to Mexico in January. It had snowed, partially thawed, re-froze, and temperatures went way down.
    We came back and Vancouver was still in a big freeze. Temperatures hadn't warmed up enough to thaw the snow; it was all still frozen hard like when we left. Our car, which we had parked at airport parking (Park 'N' Fly, I think) had a dead battery because of the cold. They had to recharge it to get the car started.

    That was the winter that I will remember as being hardest.
    Yet all our plants made it through.

    In terms of numbers, perhaps this past winter was colder. (I am surprised what a difference a couple degrees can make.)
     
  8. Pieter

    Pieter Active Member 10 Years

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    Don't forget that we had a VERY wet November and Rosemary does not like wet feet..We keep our Rosemary bushes in a raised planter... Image6.jpg Where'd that darned dog go....
     
  9. vitog

    vitog Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    The cold spell last December/January had 8 consecutive days with temperatures below -5 degrees C, including the -15.3 minimum. In January, 2017, there were two separate periods of 4 consecutive days below -5; but the minimum was only -8.4. That was pretty normal for YVR; I don't remember any problems with tender plants in that winter. By January, plants have had plenty of time to harden off. I've noticed the most problems with winter damage when we have cold arctic air in November.
     
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  10. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Generous Contributor

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    My Rosemary - labelled as “Arp” - planted in container against the house (so a bit sheltered) … expired dead brown — I chose Arp because it is supposed to be cold temp tolerant

    then again - the sudden drop on temp — or a certain wind exposure etc makes a difference too (micro-climates at their micro-est)

    Back to Arp - it looked great last autumn 2021.

    we used to get a routine cold around USA thanksgiving it seems

    This yr winter 2021/22 it was cold and snow and ice that would not go away

    looking at the Britannia Range right now, low snow today - again

    Well we can all check back here in a few weeks about smoke and drought and heat perhaps :)
     
  11. DavidGInNewWest

    DavidGInNewWest Member

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    We get 100km+ winds in the winter (Howe Sound outflows), so -10 is much colder with wind chill. Lost 5 lavenders and two rosemary bushes and maybe a new Desert King fig that I started from a cutting a few years back. Was at GardenWorks, and a small rosemary was $25! Bought two base-ball sized ones, put them in terracotta, and will bring them into the greenhouse in the winter from now on.
     
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