Pruning mature Rosemary

Discussion in 'General Gardening Discussion' started by Selleri, Mar 26, 2021.

  1. Selleri

    Selleri Koala

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    I have very mature Rosemary that is now getting out of hands and needs gentle rejuvenating. After some research I now know that Rosemary must be pruned

    • When dormant,
    • in early spring,
    • after flowering
    • in autumn.

    It should be pruned
    • hard back to allow fresh new growth,
    • only trimmed lightly,
    • absolutely not cut down to old wood.
    :gaah::gaah::gaah::gaah::gaah:

    Can anyone please give some advise? Or maybe I'll set up a poll and just go by the most popular option.

    The shrub is mature, has very old woody stems near the ground that will go regardless of correctness, and lush growth of approximately 3m x 1.5m x 1.5m. It's growing in a hole of a lifted paving slab and is my favourite plant. :) I don't want to take big risks so all advise is greatly appreciated- thanks!

    The photo is from last summer to give an idea of the size of the plant.

    tattiesleeks.JPG
     
  2. pete

    pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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    As far as I know, dont prune into woody growth, make sure its still green, a bit like conifers.
    I'd do it now if you are not bothered about flowers, if you are, after most flowering has finished.
     
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    • Sian in Belgium

      Sian in Belgium Total Gardener

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      I have cut into woody growth, making sure that there is a shoot below the cut, at about this time of year. Maybe a little later, after flowering...?

      I tend to think along giant lavender, if that helps?

      ...the bush is much better after the cut...
       
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      • sandymac

        sandymac Gardener

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        About now is the time to prune, Looking at your plant i would prune about half the stems, cutting just above a bud.
        I made the mistake some time ago letting rosemary get too big and pruning the whole plant hard and it never really recovered. you can select shoots from your prunings to propagate
        regards sandy
         
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        • Selleri

          Selleri Koala

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          Thank you!

          I have made a start, cautiously removing the lowest branches that were mostly dead wood. It took me two hours ungracious pruning first on my knees, and then abandoning all dignity, flat on my bum. :biggrin: A full bin and such overpowering scent that it will prevent us from having roasties for a while.

          Interestingly, I found many fresh shoots growing from very old, thick wood so perhaps Rosemary is a bit more forgiving than Lavender. We'll see what happens- anyways the shrub looks much better and I have a huge ginglassful of cuttings.

          As a bonus, digging into the depths of the plant I found this:

          keiju1.jpgkeiju2.jpg

          It's very faded and probably made of bakelite or something like that. Whoever put it next to their young Rosemary can rest assured that she will be loved by us. :)
           
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          • Nikolaos

            Nikolaos Super Gardener

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            What a pleasant surprise! I think the weathering makes her look more characterful. :)

            Nick
             
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