Why Are My Rosemary Leaves Curling?

If you’ve noticed that your rosemary leaves are curling, you might have realized that it’s not a good sign and may cause your plant to wither away if you do not take remedial action.

You may be invested in having an indoor garden where you grow all kinds of herbs and plants, allowing you to utilize them in your cooking and just grow them as a hobby, which is why you’re probably researching everything you need to know about growing different plant species in the ideal environment.

Since indoor gardening is somewhat more complicated than growing plants outdoors, you need to keep a lookout for symptoms that might cause your plants to wither away since many beginners often make the mistake of not taking their plants’ symptoms seriously, resulting in them dying.

Rosemary is a popular herb that is used in cooking and is typically found growing naturally in rocky areas that are downwind to the sea, and these conditions are what you should try and provide indoors.

What’s the difference?

Being next to the sea, rosemary grows optimally in humid weather, and a lack of humidity in the environment is what’s causing your rosemary leaves to start curling, which are indicators of dryness.

Generally speaking, indoor humidity levels lie between 40-60%, but rosemary herbs grow ideally in higher levels of up to 80% and more.

Now that you see the conundrum, what can you do to rectify the situation?

You need to increase the humidity in your indoor garden, which can simply be achieved by more watering.

Let’s explore more details about rosemary leaves curling and what you can do about it as a beginner gardener seeking to become an expert.

Ways For Rosemary Leaves to Grow Optimally Without Curling

Once you’ve identified what the issue is, you can easily start applying various solutions to see which one works or try them all if you’re looking for quick results.

However, it’s best to try one thing at a time so you can pinpoint what the exact issue is since gardeners become more adept at their hobby when they learn from these insights instead of doing everything at once and not really knowing which solution had what effect.

You should learn to use your judgment and learn from your actions since it might make sense to try all the solutions at once if your rosemary leaves have turned brown and are curling too much, which means you will have to try everything to revive them to their ideal state.

Let’s explore the three main ways you can improve the symptoms of curling and browning in your rosemary plant.

Vary The Location

Your rosemary plant is probably in its early growth stages, and you might have placed it on the balcony, which is not the best place to grow it since humidity levels can vary in the external environment due to changing weather conditions and even wind speed, which affects humidity levels.

Humidity is essentially moisture content in the air, which means that if you have an indoor gardening environment with various plants in the same location, you will naturally have higher humidity in your living space due to frequent watering of these plants.

Warm air is generally more humid than cold air, which is why you might want to place your rosemary plant in warmer areas in your home, such as the kitchen or bathroom.

However, although bathrooms are the most humid rooms in the house, there is a lack of adequate airflow, which can contribute to other conditions in your rosemary plant, causing it to wither away.

This might take a bit of a trial and error approach since it’s hard to judge which areas are the warmest, such as closer to windows and some corners of the house, making it important for you to pick and choose 1-2 areas and leave your rosemary plant there for optimal results.

If you’ve got a window that enables circulation in the bathroom, you may want to place your rosemary plant there since that could prevent and reverse the effects of the leaves curling and turning brown.

Invest in a Humidifier

Many people choose to buy portable humidifiers for their homes, especially for their indoor gardens, since humidity is an important growth factor for many plant species, allowing you to achieve optimal growth results by buying a humidifier and setting it up in a particular living space.

You might also create a natural humidifier by using a plate and small rocks, but make sure that you clean the pebbles thoroughly so there is no risk of contamination from the outside since many small insects can infect your rosemary plant and cause it to wither away.

Your rosemary planter should be placed on top of the saucer or plate, which should be soaked with water, so there is no extra room between the pebbles, allowing the moisture to evaporate slowly and increase the moisture content in the air around your rosemary plant.

You should try this approach sparingly and let the plate dry every so often, which is a good deterrent for insects that love water since they can cause problems if there is too much moisture around your plant at all times.

Use a Water Sprayer

You might want to use a water sprayer to ensure that humidity levels around your plant stay optimally high, allowing it to utilize the moisture for its growth processes and prevent or reverse the effects of curling or browning.

Your best bet would be to set the nozzle to create a mist and apply it close to the plant several times per day, which can work well to increase the humidity level in your room.

You might also want to ensure that there is some cross ventilation occurring in your indoor garden since too much water on the leaves can attract and grow fungi, which may kill your rosemary plant.

It may sound a little complicated, but all you need to do is make these slight adjustments and just wait and see how your rosemary plant responds to the changes, allowing you to take the most optimal steps that revive your rosemary plant to its original state.


Things to Avoid When Trying to Reverse The Effects of Curling Leaves

Watering your rosemary plant is a no-brainer; however, you might be tempted to overwater your plant to create more moisture, but this can be a big problem and cause your rosemary to die, which is because the leaves also absorb moisture through the air.

In its natural environment, rosemary grows optimally in dry soil where water doesn’t stand and flows freely, and you might find these herbs growing in cracks between rocks, which is why spraying mists of water around the plant is better than watering the roots directly.

When creating a natural humidifier from a water-filled saucer and small rocks, you should remember not to fill it up entirely, which can work against optimal plant growth.

This is because when you place the rosemary planter on the saucer, some of the water might seep through into the soil, which can sponge it up and reach the roots, causing an overwatering effect that will cause your rosemary to die.

The best thing you can do to prevent this from happening is to empty out the saucer after leaving it out for a while and not fill it to the brim, which should be avoided at all costs.

Since rosemary plants have evolved to survive in somewhat dry conditions, it does not need a lot of water to survive, which is why you must keep an eye out for the saucer having a wetting effect on the bottom of the planter’s soil, which can be counterproductive and cause a disease called root rot, effectively killing your plant.

You might be wondering if fertilization is a factor that could revive your rosemary plant and prevent its leaves from curling in the first place; you would be wrong to think so.

Curly leaves in rosemary plants are more likely to be an issue in the drier winter seasons, and you might notice some growth issues in the cold, which is normal since the plant becomes woodier instead of actively growing.

All you need to account for in the winter for your rosemary to survive and thrive is to create higher humidity levels since fertilization is not the answer.

If your rosemary plant has begun not only to curl but actually turning brown at the tips of each leaf, you can either cut them off using a scissor or just remove them manually, which can encourage new growth processes.

However, don’t get your hopes up if it’s the middle of the winter, which is when your rosemary will slow down in growth significantly.

Important Points to Remember And Additional Questions You Might Have

The main reason why your rosemary leaves are curling is due to an inadequate level of humidity in the environment, which means that your best bet to prevent and reverse these effects is to create more moisture in the air, potentially using a water sprayer that is set to create a mist instead of jet.

Natural humidifier solutions using a saucer and small rocks are the best way to ensure that water slowly evaporates around the plant and creates greater humidity in close proximity to the leaves.

However, you should avoid overfilling the saucer for the reasons described above since every solution has the potential of causing further problems unless you follow the instructions properly and to the dot.

Filling the sauce between 1/3 – 2/3 may yield the most optimal results, so experiment away and notice the results.

Overwatering is the most common reason why rosemary plants die since beginner gardeners seem to think that humidity problems can be overcome simply by watering the plant more often, which is far from the truth.

Since the rosemary plant grows optimally in humid areas next to the sea and in dry soil with good drainage options, you must mimic similar or identical conditions for it to yield the most optimal results.

Rosemary plants thrive in warm conditions and are generally exposed to a moderate amount of sunlight, which means any corner in your home with a window may be important for it to grow optimally and prevent its leaves from curling or browning.

You must ensure that these plants receive about 6 hours of sunlight every day, which may not be possible in the bathroom.

A lack of sufficient sunlight can also cause the leaves to curl, which is something to remember.

When choosing the right soil for your rosemary plant, you may want to opt for a fast-draining alkaline solution, which is superior to clay soils.

Maintaining pH levels between 6 and 7 is ideal, and you must ensure that the soil already contains a healthy dose of micronutrients for the growing plant.

If you’re worried about pests attacking your rosemary plant, you may want to take adequate measures to remove them from the plant as soon as you notice them sprawling around on the leaves.

Organic pesticides may also be used to eliminate the presence of all types of insects, which is something to consider.

Another common reason why your rosemary plant may start to curl its leaves is due to transplant shock, which can occur when you take a small plant out of its pot and transfer it to a new planter, affecting many factors, such as sunlight, humidity, and more.

Final Verdict

Rosemary plants require some patience and involve taking action steps to ensure that they thrive optimally in indoor environments, especially when humidity is the main factor contributing to the issue of curling leaves.

You should research the exact conditions required for your rosemary to grow optimally, which are typical in the Mediterranean regions, affecting your choice to grow the plant in the most ideal conditions.

You may want to choose a slightly larger pot container for your rosemary to grow in because you don’t want the roots to become congested, and the soil generates heat, which is crucial to maintaining warmth inside the pot. Keep all of these measures in mind to ensure that your rosemary plant grows optimally and once you’ve noticed that the leaves are beginning to curl, take steps to restore the humidity levels in the room where you’ve placed your plant.