Recently 3 of my rosemary bushes seems to have some (multiple) illness and/or pest.

I am an absolute amateur, so I just hopelessly see their day by day worsening condition. I know it is hard to diagnose by photo, I did my best when I was taking the pictures.

Could anyone identify what the problem(s) is/are, and most importantly what to do to cure?

Detailed plant and environment info:

Location is Budapest, Hungary, it's springtime now. All plants are in pots. There are two different plants on the photos, they are approx 4-5 years old, from the very same source. There is a 3rd plant from that source which has exactly the same symptoms. The plant in the second photo 1.5 years ago was cut back to approx 10 cm (no leaves at all), then grew a beautiful healthy 30 cm greenery until it now produces the symptoms. I have two other rosemaries 2 years old from an other source which seem to be completely healthy, despite of the fact they are literally between the sick plants.

Please note...

I can use only absolutely harmeless chemicals and methods, as I have no appropriate protective gear, besides of this sometimes we use these plants in our recipes... and I am afraid of toxic and "toxic but safe to use if..." chemicals.

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  • 1
    More info please - what part of the world are you in? How long have you had this plant, and is it growing in a pot or in the ground?
    – Bamboo
    Commented May 29, 2016 at 12:16
  • Thanks for the edit. It's really helpful to see all the details in one place. Also, comments aren't as easy to see, and disappear over time. Now that you've done that, you can delete the comments if you want, and I'll erase mine, and ask Bamboo if she might be okay with doing the same. I'll leave that up to you! Commented May 29, 2016 at 17:30

1 Answer 1


Check the plants carefully, examining them closely to make sure there is no evidence of spider mite (webbing, tiny red or brownish insects). Assuming there isn't anything to find, you've said the plants in the photographs are 4-5 years old, and you have two other plants which are only 2 years old which are fine. If the 4-5 years old plants which are showing signs of ill health are still in the same size pots, and have been in those pots for 4-5 years, turn them out of their pots and check to see if they are rootbound, which they likely will be if you've never potted them on. If they are, pot up into something larger, with fresh potting medium, first scraping the rootball a bit to unravel the roots a little.

These yellow markings on the leaves are either down to insect infestation, or it could be cultural, that is, in this case, possibly because they've run out of root room.

  • Any chance that the very little brownish dots in the back of the leave are mites? (see photo 1). Last year in my oleanders had mites, but the leaves were practically very light green, greyish. Not similar to the current rosemary leaves. Now oleanders seems to be healthy. Commented May 29, 2016 at 21:35
  • Nope, don't think so but you could inspect with a magnifying glass.
    – Bamboo
    Commented May 29, 2016 at 21:41

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