Posted: 05/06/2014 at 12:34
Last year I planted a row of Rosemary and Lavenders (14 of each alternating - Rosemary Miss Jessop and Lavender Ashdown Forest). They were chosen by the nursery as a pair that would grow well together. Out of 14 lavender, around four looked like they had not done too well over winter (despite being v mild) but thankfully, over the past few weeks they've sprung to life from seemingly dead wood, though not quite as full as the rest which are really growing now....but that's another story!
The Rosemary has also thrived very well. I wanted a low rosemary hedge after seeing one in Cornwall last year and also to use in cooking.
However, over the past week I've noticed it looking a little unwell (some plants more than others) and over the past couple of days they're very obvious signs that all is not well. After a good trawl over the internet the other evening then following advice given through various articles, I pinpointed the issue to be bugs. Although the sun hasn't been out much of late, the plants have been watered naturally by the rain, and the soil (I'm pretty certain) has good drainage.
Initially thinking it might be spider mites, I shook a branch of the rosemary over a piece of paper. From just one branch as many as 20 'leaf hoppers' fell onto the paper. Lo and behold, shaking all the other bushes let fly hundreds of them.
Yesterday I 'jet washed' the whole lot (to try and shake off as many as possible); cut the rosemary back a fair bit and have also sprayed a homemade concoction of garlic (soaked for 24 hours) mixed with natural soap and water. I noticed this morning that a healthy Oregano plant nearby has also started to turn yellow (though does this every year but grows back in abundance the following year). Related? I also have a pot of mint which again, seems afflicted by the same issues (has leafhoppers in it also). This thrives in the spring, but then becomes very sparse and has dry, yellowish leaves. Again, this happens every year and I never really follow up a cure, but given the state of the rosemary it would be good if I can prevent any of them ending up like this.
I've attached pics of the rosemary and oregano.