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Moving a large rosemary bush

(16 Posts)
orangjuicyfruit Wed 12-Oct-16 16:26:27

Hi all,
I have a large rosemary bush in our garden which is great but it's grown in the wrong place! It was planted by previous house owners in a wall - see the pics. It's very established, do you think this can be moved? And if so, how?

NanTheWiser Wed 12-Oct-16 17:26:13

I think you'll have a problem digging it out of the raised bed with enough root ball, and I don't think they transplant too well. You could try rooting some stems (they should root in water), and growing a new plant, but if you want to try moving it, dig the hole where it's going to go first, then try to dig as much of the root ball as possible. It's probably best to cut the top growth back a bit, to prevent too much transpiration, but not into bare wood.

JT05 Wed 12-Oct-16 18:04:44

Take cuttings. I've sometimes just put broken bits into the soil and they've rooted.

orangjuicyfruit Wed 12-Oct-16 18:18:13

Thanks - what is Transpiration?
I'm not sure how we'd get it up either. I just don't want to chop it all down, but it's doing my head in!

Ferguson Wed 12-Oct-16 20:01:49

Because it is up against the walls and the 'trough', I think if you can cut down vertically really deeply with a sharp spade, and then use a strong fork to get underneath as much of the root as possible, and dig it up that way.

It will be a calculated risk that it survives, but just get a much root as possible.

Transpiration is the plant 'breathing' and losing moisture. So if you cut off some of the unwanted green growth, it won't try to 'breathe' so much, so may lose less moisture.

Give it a good hole in reasonable soil to go into, and maybe mulch it as much as possible, and water it in well in its new 'home'. Also replant it so it is more upright, and shows its best face to the light.

dodobookends Wed 12-Oct-16 20:08:06

They do like a bit of protection - sunny corner or by a house wall etc - where are you moving it to?

Also, once transplanted, try and put a few stakes or strong bamboo canes in around it to hold the branches in position until the roots are established again. If it is rocked by the wind it can't put new roots down properly.

Garthmarenghi Wed 12-Oct-16 20:34:24

It doesn't look like it's been chopped back hard enough each year, so has got leggy. I'd buy a new one and start again. They grow massive very quickly.

carmenta Wed 12-Oct-16 20:37:33

I'd start again. Rosemary hates having its roots disturbed and they grow very quickly.

shovetheholly Thu 13-Oct-16 15:28:26

Yep, agree with PPs - take cuttings of it and get rid of the old one, which looks just a bit long in the tooth. Then you will have a lovely tender new plant that is just delicious with potatoes!

orangjuicyfruit Thu 13-Oct-16 20:48:07

Thanks all, thinking about it, it's pretty wonky so replanting it might not help me in trying to make my garden get a bit more in order.
If I take cuttings, should I wait till spring? I thought that plants didn't grow in autumn / winter?
What about cutting a good branch, putting in water or soil and trying to get that to take?

Our other option is make a load of rosemary oil for xmas pressies?!

Garthmarenghi Thu 13-Oct-16 21:18:16

I would buy a new bush from a garden centre, then you would get the shape you want.

insertimaginativeusername Thu 13-Oct-16 21:26:45

I have moved one from a similar space...took time and lots of digging round it with a hand fork to free the root and lifting with a regular fork. It took perfectly well in its new spot and is still going strong.

SeaRabbit Thu 13-Oct-16 21:34:53

I'd get a tiny cheap one from a garden centre and plant it now where I want it to be, unless you use a lot of rosemary in cooking - in which case buy a bigger, more expensive one. You can freeze/bottle in oil to bulk of the existing one. They grow quickly and it will save a lot of work trying to save the big one.

I battle my big one, and cut it back 3 times a year - I love the smell when I do that though.

TremoloGreen Sun 16-Oct-16 14:21:13

Following with interest as I have the same problem, but mine is not quite as big. I think I'm going to take cuttings (I'm planning a mixed lavender and rosemary hedge). For the cuttings, would you grow them indoors for now in seed trays for now? Then when to move them outside / into the ground? I don't have a greenhouse but planning on getting a mini cold frame.

P1nkP0ppy Mon 17-Oct-16 18:14:38

I root cuttings in very gritty compost using flowerpots to give them root space. Cover with a plastic bag after watering, making sure it doesn't touch the cuttings and put in either a cold frame/greenhouse or a cool light room.
Leave untouched until you see signs of growth (don't water, takes upto a couple of months), then remove the bag.
Both Rosemary and lavender will root this way.

Op I would bin the bush and start again. Use some of it for flavouring oil, is also good chopped and frozen.

orangjuicyfruit Wed 19-Oct-16 22:12:50

I think I'll try and take a little cutting and will bin the bush - I see family getting some home made rosemary oil for xmas hmmwink

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