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Herb trimming

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I have some rosemary from last year, and it looks a bit worse for wear.
Basically, I was waiting for it to get a bit bigger before I started cultivating it, but it didn't.

Now, it's getting quite woody, and it's still the same small size. I lopped the top off, hoping that does something, but it occurs to me that I should have been cutting off big main branches? I thought it would just grow.

And is it the same with basil? I've been picking the big leaves off, but do I need to snip stems etc to make it grow bigger?

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  1. Rosemary is a woody herb, only the new growth is flexible. You should be able to encourage new growth by trimming off the top, as you've cut the growing tips and that encourages branching and new growth. To keep the bush in shape, trim it immediately after flowering, and snip off straggly younger ste s at a natural break in the stem. When I need rosemary for cooking, I rarely cut off the entire branch to the ground, I just lop off about half of the branch, or take a couple branches depending on how the rest of the plant looks.

    For basil, you should pinch off the growing tips/top growth of each branch and side shoot to encourage bushy, lush growth. Just pinch it off with your fingertips, to the second pair of leaves (second pair from top, not bottom!)

    1 Reply
    1. re: janniecooks

      Ah, that's great. That's what I do with the basil right now.

      Thanks for your help, I think it's going to be alright now :)