StyleElements
Newly Registered
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Jul 24, 2008 11:20 pm

Look at my sorry, pathetic little herbs.

I'm 24, a guy, and have never grown anything before this failed attempt. I got heavy into cooking, and found a love for herbs. I was buying lots in those plastic containers. At the store one day, I saw a little potted oregano plant for two bucks, and had to have it. I kept it indoors for about two weeks, and she was doing wonderful. I learned how people could get so attached to a plant.

I was so happy with my plant I was inspired. I stopped by the local flower shop and picked up a sweet basil, sage and thyme plant. I moved my oregano outside with all my new plants (i kept them all in the little this plastic pots they come in) well.... it all went downhill from there. My once fresh healthy basil, was now weeping, and the leaves feel like pure rubber. my oreganos leaves are curling and getting smaller

[img]https://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b15/StyleElements/basil01.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b15/StyleElements/oregano01.jpg[/img]

The only thing I can think of that's going on is it rained for about 3 days after I bought them.

- Could this be a result of too much water?

- Will the leaves that exist now always look that way, or the they heal and turn back to how they were when I bought it?


I bought a long pot thing and a bag of soil a few days ago. It hasn't seem to make a difference yet. If all my plants die I'll feel like a [img]https://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b15/StyleElements/smilies/tard.gif[/img]

Thanks for your help

mbaker410
Senior Member
Posts: 150
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 7:10 pm
Location: Baltimore, MD

I am not exactly sure what the issue is with your plants but I can suggest a few things about basil in general

-The need little in terms of care.
-They do not need much water and prefer when the soil almost dries out. -They do not need much in terms of fertilizer but they do grow well in compost mix.
-They enjoy full sun all day.

Also from my personal experience I have had better success in smaller shallow pots than I have with larger pots.

Not sure what oregano likes but if you are over caring for the herbs that may be an issue? If it got a ton of rain then let the soil dry out.

Mike

StyleElements
Newly Registered
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Jul 24, 2008 11:20 pm

Thanks for the info Mike, I'm going to put the basil in a seperate pot, or just get a new one in a srperate pot. The issue is the basil was nice and proud, healthy as can be, and in a matter of days I turned it to a weeping rubbery pathetic looking thing. We had 3 days of rain here right when I bought it, so I was wondering if this is what plants do when they get too much water. I also want to know if these leaves will heal back to firm and healthy, or if only new growing leaves will be healthy.

Also my oregano shrunk and the leaves curled in a day once it went outside. Is this commonly from too much water as well

User avatar
Kisal
Mod Emeritus
Posts: 7648
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2008 5:04 am
Location: Oregon

Make sure the new pot -- and any container you ever put a plant into -- has several drainage holes in the bottom. Also, use a good potting medium to ensure fast drainage. As has been posted, most plants do not like overly wet soil.

When a plant is in the ground, excess water will drain away fairly quickly into the surrounding soil, unless the soil us unamended heavy clay. When a plant is in a pot, however, there is little surrounding soil to absorb excess water. That's why it must have fast draining soil and holes in the bottom of the container. :)

ETA: you don't say whether you have any yard space or not. If you do, your oregano would appreciate being in the ground in a sunny, well-drained area. Oregano actually will grow into a small shrub as it matures. :)

NewjerseyTea
Senior Member
Posts: 143
Joined: Sat Feb 23, 2008 3:14 pm
Location: Piedmont Area, Northern NJ

You have received a lot of excellent advice, I'd just like to add a few additional thoughts. I think you said the oregano was kept indoors. When you move a plant from indoors to outside you must slowly move it into the sunnier spots.It will wilt and get sun burned. Your plants look wilted and seem to have brown spots indicating sun damage. It can't immediately go from inside light to a bright sunny outdoor site. I start in a sheltered shady spot and gradually move it to the sun.

Also the July sun is harsher and stronger and the weather warmer then if you started placing them out in the spring. Again a protected site is important. I prefer a terracotta pot for my herbs and I like the very large pots with a few herbs in them because the terracotta drains well (good for herbs no chance of over watering even if there is a lot of rain). But if you use smaller pots you must water very frequently. Also grouping them together shades the soil as they grow in and keeps it moist. Make sure the soil you plant them in is potting soil blended for container plants. I use a organic blend with compost added that is light and drains freely. The last thing you want is one of those commercial blends with chemicals added. I usually find the preferred blend at my local Whole Foods market.

edited to add: Whenever a plant is moved it can take some time to recover, anywhere from a day or two to a few weeks. After you replant them in the larger container monitor them for a few days and you might want to cut them back a bit to encourage new growth.
Don't be discouraged yet it is very easy to make a few mistakes in the beginning but herbs are very forgiving.

StyleElements
Newly Registered
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Jul 24, 2008 11:20 pm

Thanks everyone for the awesome info. I really appreciate it

All is not lost!

I really haven't done much to the plants because I've been real busy. I have however cut about half the branches off the basil. I wake up one day and it's showing signs of life! The leaves have changed, they are healthy, firm and green. The sage has straightened up and looks like it did when I bought it

[img]https://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b15/StyleElements/basil.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b15/StyleElements/sage.jpg[/img]

The oregano is a different story. It has all but died and needs to come out. poor little guy, he's the one I started with and grew attached too. R.I.P. buddy [img]https://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b15/StyleElements/engel016.gif[/img]

[img]https://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b15/StyleElements/deadoregano.jpg[/img]

damethod
Senior Member
Posts: 183
Joined: Mon May 05, 2008 4:15 pm
Location: Miami, FL

Basil and Sage grow pretty tall. I would put each plant in it's own pot.

User avatar
hendi_alex
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 3567
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2008 11:58 am
Location: Central Sand Hills South Carolina

This doesn't relate to your situation but will mention it as it relates to the topic. When shopping for outdoor plants, always pay attention to their placement in the garden shop. Are the plant under shade cloth? Are they in a sunny location or a shady location? Are they inside an enclosure and out of the direct sunshine and weather. As discussed by the previous poster plants have to slowly transition from one location to another. A plant that has one orientation, say morning sun and afternoon shade, can get sun scald if shade side of the plant now faces sun. Also, plants have to be "hardened" to the wind. If a plant is inside a full enclosure, it may need to be shielded from direct wind or breeze for a few days.

I live in the sunny, hot south. After May, I will almost never buy a plant that is growing under shade cloth or other barrier (obviously am not referring to shade loving plants). During that time of the year, IMO, only plants in full sun are ready to be placed in their growing locations. Who has time to wait a week or longer to set the plant out in June or July!

Return to “Herb Gardening Forum”