How To Save Old Rosemary Bush Damaged By Salt Water

Question From: m. miller - MARYLAND
Q: I have had a rosemary bush for many years...25 at least...and in the last hurricane it was under water from the bay...I thoroughly rinsed it off after the storm but it is now turning brown with some green foliage left on ends of spikes...with tips being brown there any way to save the plant...should I cut it back to just the roots or just let it go till spring?? and hope it recovers...I went out and took off green spikes today to try and root them.


I know this sounds radical, but it may be your only chance to save your plant. I'd dig it out and gently knock off all the soil from the roots. Then rinse off the rest with water. This will get rid of all the salt that is in the soil and burning your plant. I'd plant it in a large container using half potting soil and half good quality compost mixed together. I am a big believer in products called Super Thrive and liquid kelp  I put a couple of drops of each in my watering can when I water. Do not fertilize it till you see green growth in March. Here's my resurrection remedy. I used it to bring back my rosemary that was on the brink of death. This easy to make potion is made by mixing a gallon of warm water, with a quarter teaspoon of the plant vitamin and hormone, Super Thrive, along with a teaspoon of liquid kelp. If your water is chlorinated let it sit for several hours first. I use a Britta filter. Water the plant well and also mist it using a sprayer. I continue to water with Super Thrive and liquid kelp, following the package directions until healthy growth appears. Then I fertilize at half strength with liquid organic fertilizer such as fish emulsion (Neptune's Harvest). You can get these products at a hydroponic store. If you have a cool sunny spot indoor bring it in. If not put it in a location where it will be protected. Do keep it watered so the soil says moist. Also flush the soil in your garden with fresh water to wash out the salt. Good luck Maggie, let me know how it goes. Best Nancy