This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase using one of these links it means we may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Learn More

Rosemary Leaves Turning Brown: Causes & Fixes

Rosemary is the most simplified version of the plant and the as a member of the mint family, the fragrance should take a step forward. 

The natural habitat of rosemary is rare rainfall with low humidity levels and very hot sunshine. It creates the vibe of clean and fresh air. 

I love how low maintenance the rosemary plant is, but the sad thing is that the breed doesn’t live up more than 15 years, no matter how much care and love you show to the plat.

Fun Fact: During ancient times, it was firmly believed that rosemary strengthens memory. Besides, rosemary symbolizes wisdom, love, and fidelity.

It’s sad to see the beautiful leaves of the plant yellow for absolutely no reason. The brown leaves aren’t particularly good signs, but diagnosis is important, and don’t worry, the yellow leaves won’t kill the entire plant, you can bring them back to life.

Decoding what Causes Rosemary Leaves to Turn Brown

Rosemary plants turn brown due to environmental issues. It’s either the root rotting causes leaves to turn brown or the plant doesn’t get enough sunlight. Root rotting is the result of overwatering because water doesn’t let the root breathe properly.

When rosemary leaves turn brown, in most cases the wilting is in question. As a drought-tolerant plant, it cannot withstand high rainfall places and too much humidity in room settings. Also, poor drainage can result in brown leaves.

Possible Reasons Why Rosemary Leaves Turn Brown

Slow Motion Draining Soil

Yes, slow drainage is one of the reasons behind the brown leaves. The soil needs to be sandy and spiced up with rocks as a reminder of the natural habitat. 

The penetrable and sponge-like sandy soil lets drainage act amazingly. It helps the drainage perform better with the unwanted water.

If the drainage is in the best condition, well it will protect the rosemary plant from root rot and prevent pest gathering.

Weather Conditions & Inadequate Light

Rosemary plant suffers in the rainfall areas because they aren’t used to this environment, the leaves tend to turn brown. As a member of native low-rainfall places, rosemary gathers the excess water inside and sticks in the root.

Also humidity is another issue with rosemary plant. This is mostly for indoor plants, plus if your location has an air conditioner, move the plant because the top reason of brown leaves are the result of either high humidity or heavy rainfall.

The rosemary is pretty resilient plant, it won’t die just because of temperature, besides it’s pretty fixable problem, but sure thing that is hard to find out whether the weather is the problem.

Immoderate Watering

Overwatering the rosemary will result in root rotting and infection. The tolerance to drought is the explanation that rosemary can pretty well handle the dryness, so the ideal watering frequency in these conditions is 1 to 2 weeks. However, don’t wait for the root to die completely.

Preventing the Rosemary Plant Leaves From Turning Brown

Apply Scheduled Watering 

The watering frequency should be determined by just poking the index finger in the soil for an inch. Water only if it’s dry every 1 or 2 weeks 

Underwatering is even more troublemaker. To determine whether you overwatered or underwatered the rosemary plant, touch the brown leaves, if they are soft and smooth, you have overwatered and vice versa, if it feels dry and crispy, underwatering is taking place.

Use Correct Soil & pH Level

Clay soil isn’t very much appreciated with rosemary plants. The water with being stuck in the bottom causing the root rot because the plant refuses to take oxygen.

Adding organic coarse sand will make the drainage better. If it’s already late for that, then it would be ideal to transplant the rosemary indoors with 20% sand/grit and 80% soil or compost.

The rosemary soil would rather have slightly acidic soil with pH levels of 6.0 and 7.0.

The heavily acidic soil causes stress to the leaves and roots because is incapable of sucking nutrients.

Ideal Temperature

Rosemary would rather live in warm temperatures that are between 55F and 80F. Below the temperature of 30F, move the outdoor plant indoors or transplant the plant.

Rosemary is a drought-tolerant plant, it has no problem whatsoever growing in wild, rocky, or sandy places. If the rainfall happens regularly then the solution is basic. 

High Rainfall 

Since rosemary isn’t used to high rainfall locations, it would be hard to remain healthy. The only approach to growing happy and healthy rosemary in heavy rainfall is to add more sand or grit. 

Place near the window (you can even expose the plant to direct sunlight) and check every day until you feel dryness in the soil. Water the soil when it’s dry.

Moving the pot under cover for a few days until there is more sunny weather is advised if the rosemary is going brown after prolonged periods of rain. This will help the soil to dry out and the rosemary recover.

If the rosemary was originally planted in garden soil, it might be required to move to a pot with potting soil that has been supplemented with sand/grit since quick drainage will help to lessen the effects of heavy rain.

Humidity Level

In the wild, rosemary grows on windy hillsides near the shore. These places have a medium level of humidity. The evaporation rate of rosemary is slowed by excessive humidity, which increases the risk of fungal infections and root rot.

Confirm that the plants have proper airflow, and prune them if required. For the greatest growth, humidity levels should range from 45 to 55 percent.

A Brief Recap

I have nothing special to add, but planting rosemary is definitely worth it, not only because of the eye-pleasing beauty but also for the fragrance and other benefits that provides in it.

Bear in mind precaution is better than cure. Play safe, stay safe. If I were you, I would plant the rosemary indoors, but you do you.

Further Reading

For additional information related to this topic. It would be highly appreciated to check out the soft leaves of kalanchoe and find out why the delicious kumquat leaves are turning yellow as well.

The elegant and sophisticated type of lavender, do you want to know more about what causes the yellow leaves in lavender and how to fix it

Ella Holmes

About Us

FlowerPictures is a website dedicated to the most beautiful things in life - PLANTS!

Its run by enthusiast gardeners that have years of experience.