Rosemary and other aromatic diseases

Question: Rosemary and other herbs

For about a week I have planted rosemary, sage, parsley and tomato seedlings in the ground. Rosemary and sage are in an area of ​​full sun for several hours, rather dry soil; x the others the soil is more humid and direct sun for a few hours. Since I have been on the ground I have noticed that all the plants have lost "color" or are a paler green than when I bought them. I am especially concerned about rosemary and sage: sage seems limp and rosemary from bright green is a darker but "dull" green and the needles are losing consistency and thinning more and more (they are less fleshy) they are drying up but without turning brown. I specify that I watered everything every day, giving little water to sage and even less to rosemary, knowing that it loves dry soils. What should I do?

Rosemary and other aromatics diseases: Answer: Rosemary and other aromatics

Hello Sara, thank you for writing us on the "Questions and Answers" board of our website. Most likely your plants are undergoing a slight transplant stress, a phenomenon that affects more or less all the plants that are transplanted. It may happen that even species such as rosemary and sage, notoriously hardy and resistant, undergo the change of environment and consequently take a few weeks before adapting to the new place of life. Excluding the hypothesis that they have not been left in some dark area for several days before the transplant, the only advice we can give you is to slightly decrease the watering.

A rumor that has been handed down for several generations, comparable to popular traditions that have now become customary regarding the cutting of wood and the phases of the moon, argues that sage and rosemary should not be placed close together in the same flower bed or in the same vase as the two plants would produce secretions to hinder the growth of other plants in the circumstances. From our point of view these are only popular beliefs but many people in doubt still prefer to keep the two plants away from each other and we do not feel like advising or discouraging this practice. Ultimately, we only advise you to wait a few weeks and you will see that the plants will recover from the transplant and return to being in great shape.

7 herbs to grow to help other vegetables grow better

Vegetable garden, vegetable garden, balcony and garden: for those who are blessed with luck (in terms of space and time), the green thumb can have no limits. Down with soil and seeds to be planted, plants of all kinds, aromatic herbs, fruit and vegetables. Those who have the passion for it will find great satisfaction in "self-cultivation". If only the things cultivated by oneself are certainly the most genuine. But how to deal with the unwanted guests?

Yes, because among aphids and small bedbugs, caterpillars and snails, mosquitoes, whiteflies and mealybugs, many little animals are ready to brush off our work and ruin our tasty fruits.

If many times plant diseases are caused by poor care or climatic conditions, many others are due to insects and parasites. To intervene in our vegetable garden, in the garden and to protect potted plants, we can use non-toxic remedies and natural pesticides.

On the other hand, there is another natural tool to get rid of many parasites: the herbs, which prove to be of great help in removing annoying insects from our plants.

What herbs combine well with each vegetable? Here are the perfect combinations:


Aphids, also known as 'plant lice', can become a problem for the vegetable garden and the garden.

Symptoms: presence of small insects on plants, in particular on roses, alterations of the leaves of plants, of which the aphids suck the sap.

Remedies: among the remedies for aphids we find horsetail infusion, tomato macerate, Marseille soap spray, garlic decoction and neem oil, introduction of ladybirds into the garden as natural predators.

If you notice that the leaves of your salad are pitted and nibbled, it is probably the fault of the caterpillars.

Symptoms: pitted and nibbled leaves, presence of caterpillars near the plants and under the leaves.

Remedies: broken egg shells to create a barrier around the vegetable garden and plants with the aim of embarrassing both caterpillars and snails, removing caterpillars, washing the plants with water and pepper as shown in the following video.

Habitat: soil and ideal climate

Typical of the regions Mediterranean, rosemary grows spontaneously in the clearings and woods of the coastal areas. It is a plant often grown in gardens, but also in pots, for culinary purposes where it is used for the aroma of its leaves.

Rosemary fears severe frosts, fog and too humid soils. The temperature should never drop below -5 ° C.

Rosemary prefers arid and stony soils, where the water drains quickly, typical of the southern regions. However, this shrub is also able to adapt very well to soils with very different characteristics, also finding space in vegetable gardens and green areas in northern Italy.

Special attention should be paid if you want to cultivate in the presence of particularly compact and clayey soils. In this type of soil, unfavorable to the root system of rosemary, it will be essential to mix sand or stony soil with the soil.

A good sun exposure it is well appreciated by rosemary, even if it adapts very well to partially shaded exposures. It prefers a warm temperate climate, characteristic of the Mediterranean basin, but also tolerates cold winters and rigid temperatures, typical of northern Italy. Thanks to this marked adaptability, it can also be grown in the hills and in the mountains up to an altitude of about 1000 meters, just protect it from frosts with straw wrapped in a special cloth (which you can find here). In the case of a potted plant, it will be good to place it in a greenhouse or in a sheltered structure.


Evergreen shrubby plant that reaches heights of 50-300 cm, with deep, fibrous and resistant roots, anchoring has woody stems of light brown color, ascending or erect prostrates, very branched, the young hairy gray-green branches are quadrangular in section .

The persistent and leathery leaves are 2–3 cm long and 1–3 mm wide, sessile, opposite, linear-lanceolate, densely packed on the twigs of a dark green shiny color on the upper page and whitish on the lower one due to the presence of white down they have slightly revolute margins rich in oil glands.

The hermaphrodite flowers are sessile and small, gathered in short clusters at the armpit of overlapping floriferous leaves, forming long elongated, bracteal and leafy spikes, with flowering from March to October, in the most sheltered positions intermittently all year round.
Each flower has a campanulate, tomentose calyx with a tridentate upper lip and the lower bifid, a lilac-indigo, blue-violet or, more rarely, white or pale blue corolla, is bilabiate with a slight swelling in correspondence with the fauce the upper lip it is bilobed, the lower one trilobe, with the median lobe larger than the lateral ones and in the shape of a spoon with the wavy margin the stamens are only two with filaments equipped with a small tooth at the base and inserted in correspondence with the jaw of the corolla the ovary it is unique, superior and quadripartite.

Pollination is entomophilous, that is, it is mediated by pollinating insects, including the domestic bee, which collects pollen and abundant nectar, from which excellent honey is obtained. [2] [3] [4]

The fruits are tetrachene, with free, oblong and smooth achenes, brownish in color.

It requires a sunny position sheltered from the icy winds, light sandy-peaty soil, well drained, not very resistant to rigid and prolonged climates.

It can be grown in pot on the terraces, taking care to place some shards on the bottom for optimal drainage, repotting every 2-3 years, using universal soil mixed with sand, monthly fertilizations with liquid fertilizer mixed with the irrigation water, which will be controlled. and thinned out in winter.

In spring the plant is renewed by trimming the main shoots, to obtain a bushy appearance, without having to resort to pruning.

It easily multiplies by apical cuttings of the new shoots in spring taken from the basal shoots and from the most vigorous plants planted for at least 2/3 of their length in a mixture of peat and sand or is sown in April-May, transplanted in September or in the following spring or multiplies by division of the plant in spring.

As a result of the defense mechanisms from heat and arid (typical of the Mediterranean scrub), the plant presents, if the climate is sufficiently hot and arid in summer and warm in winter, the phenomenon of aestivation, i.e. the plant almost completely stops the vegetation. in summer, while it has the luxuriance of vegetation and the vital phases (flowering and fruiting) respectively in late autumn or winter, and in spring. In cooler and more humid climates, the vegetation phases can be shifted towards the summer. However, in summer, especially if it is hot, the plant always tends to be in a resting phase.

In addition to the medicinal uses illustrated below, rosemary is used:

  • As an ornamental plant in gardens, for borders, flower beds and shrubs, or for growing in pots on terraces
  • In the cosmetic industry as a shampoo to revive hair color or as an astringent in lotions, ointments and liniments for tonic properties. In perfumery, the essential oil obtained from the leaves is used for the preparation of colonies, such as the water of Hungary
  • As an insect repellent or deodorant in homes (dry twigs burn)
  • For the production of a monofloral honey as the flowers are particularly foraged by bees, because honey plants
  • In the food sector, in the form of an extract, it is used as an additive with antioxidant properties and labeled with the initials E392. There are 5 known types designated with acronyms:
  1. AR: extract obtained from a partially flavored alcoholic extract of rosemary
  2. ARD: extract obtained from an alcoholic flavored rosemary extract
  3. D74: extract obtained from dried rosemary leaves by extraction with supercritical carbon dioxide
  4. F62: extract obtained from dried rosemary leaves by extraction with acetone
  5. RES: extract obtained by extraction with hexane and acetone and then decoloured and de-aromatized [5].



With deep and resistant roots, a light brown woody stem, rosemary is characterized by sessile, linear-lanceolate, dark green leaves that thicken on the branches. The flowers are small, grouped in small clusters.

Cultivation techniques

Rosemary prefers the sun and does not like icy winds, so it is always good to plant rosemary in shelter, perhaps next to a wall. The favored soil is sandy-peaty and must be well drained. It can also be grown in pots.
The multiplication can take place by seed, by cutting or by division, all operations that must be done in spring.

Collection and conservation

The leaves are harvested all year round, while the flowers can be harvested from May to August for the preparation of infusions and mother tincture.
It is advisable to use fresh leaves and flowers, as rosemary loses most of its active ingredients with drying.


The white sickness caused by the Sphaerotheca - if the plant is not very affected by it, it is enough to remove only the infested branches.
Root rot, caused by the Rhizoctonia fungus.
Small black spots, with undefined edges, caused by the Alternaria fungus.
It can be attacked by aphids.

The flowers of rosemary were considered by the Greeks an excellence.
Among the Romans, rosemary - before the discovery of incense - was burned in temples on the occasion of major religious functions.

It has digestive, aperitif and balsamic properties. It stimulates sweating and diuresis and its leaves in the hot bath help the skin to purify and tone up.

Percentage breakdown table of elements

Source: INRAN - National Research Institute for Food and Nutrition

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Types of aromatic herbs

In addition to their beneficial properties, aromatic herbs can be divided according to type. There are annual, biennial and perennial species:

Annual aromatic herbs:

  • Basil
  • Rocket salad
  • Coriander
  • Green anise
  • Borage
  • Savory
  • Cumin

Biennial aromatic herbs:

Perennial aromatic herbs:

  • Origan
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • thyme
  • Mauve
  • Chives
  • Marjoram
  • Wild fennel
  • Tarragon
  • Mint
  • Rue
  • Sorrel
  • Melissa

It is important that the annual and biennial types are replaced with other species cyclically, in order to guarantee good growth and avoid diseases.

How to create a flower bed of aromatic plants for a balcony, terrace or garden

  1. Choose a sunny space and sheltered from drafts, then remove any stones and weeds from the ground, work it to make it very soft and draining. Try to create boundaries between species, as we said at the beginning of the article, so that no one prevails over the others, slowing down their growth.
  2. Try to create flower beds with different species but which need the same type of care. For example, aromatic plants that require constant watering, should all be placed in the same flower bed, those that require little sun exposure instead, in another flower bed and so on.

Here's how you can organize your flower beds:

  • Dry soils: sage, rosemary, oregano and marjoram
  • Half shade: mint, lemon balm and chervil
  • Frequent watering: coriander, basil, chives and parsley

3. The best time to proceed to cultivation of aromatic plants it's spring.

4. Aromatic care is very simple, follow the directions to give the right amount of water depending on the type of flower bed you have created. Take care of the plants keeping the soil clean from weeds, alternatively you can resort to mulching with bark or straw.

You will thus have aromatic plants in perfect shape.

How to dry aromatic plants

Yes, after having cultivated and cared for our aromatic plants, it would be a waste not to think about how to preserve all the benefits of these plants, so that they can also be used during the winter.

There are two fundamental points for proper drying:

  1. The moment of the ideal harvest: you must pluck your plants when their concentration of essential oils in the leaves is at their peak. It is also said balsamic period. Furthermore, it would be advisable to harvest it during the first hours of the day, when the plant is already dry.
  2. Now we come to the actual drying, once harvested, make sure to wash and dry it carefully, then place it in a dark room or in any case away from direct sunlight, but well ventilated, for at least ten days. Make sure you turn them from time to time if you have placed them on a shelf, otherwise you can divide the crop into bunches and hang them.

How to dry and store rosemary

As we anticipated in the course of the article, one of the simpler methods for drying aromatic herbs (excluding dryers and alternative techniques, such as the use of the oven), is to store them in a room away from light. Here's how to dry rosemary:

  • In the morning, after letting the dew dry, proceed to cut the twigs of rosemary try to cut sprigs of equal size, it will be easier to make the bunches.
  • Subsequently, create bunches to be tied consisting of 5 or 6 twigs, wrapping them with string.
  • Now you can hang the bunches make sure they stay for at least 15 days in one dry, well ventilated place and possibly away from direct sunlight.
    You can also cover the bunches with food paper bags during drying to protect them from dust.
  • Every 2 days, turn the bunches, so that the drying of the rosemary takes place evenly.
  • Once dry, you can separate the needles from the twigs and place them in a kitchen container. It will be perfect for flavoring your recipes!

How to dry and store basil

Again, we propose the simpler method for drying basil. You can do it with the same procedure as for rosemary or alternatively, use the following method:

  • To dry the basil on a frame, we must start with the construction of the latter if you do not have one.
  • It is actually very simple, you will need four wooden slats to create the structure, after which you will only have to install the food wire mesh.
  • Cut the sprigs of basil following the same indications already proposed for rosemary.
  • Remove the basil leaves and arrange them on the wire mesh, then cover them with a light cloth. Fabrics used to cover fruit plants work very well.
  • Now put the basil to dry in the air, keeping it away from the sun's rays, or at home, in a dark, cool and dry place.
    Your dried basil will be ready in about 7 days.
  • Once your basil is ready, crumble the leaves and also in this case put them in airtight containers. Ready for use!

How to dry and store oregano

As we have seen with the other aromatic herbs, even with oregano, we can proceed with drying and storage, in order to have it available even during the cold months:

  • Let's start with the collection of the sprigs of oregano from our flowerbed, try to cut them of equal size.
  • Arrange the sprigs of oregano in many small bundles of 5 or 6 units. Tie them with string and wet them in a basin full of water.
  • Remove the bands from the water and hang them upside down for about 20 minutes.
  • As already seen for rosemary, you can decide to let the oregano dry in a dry and well-ventilated place, covered with a paper bag or free for about 15 days, remembering to turn the bunches about every 48 hours.
  • Finally, once the oregano has dried, you must shake the twigs so that the leaves and flowers fall, then collect them and pass them through a sieve. Now you can store the dried oregano in an airtight container!

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