5 Reasons For Rosemary Leaves Turning Brown[How To Revive]

Rosemary is a very popular cooking herb. But can we use the leaves for cooking if the leaves start turning brown? Probably we won’t because it will ruin the dish.

But we can’t just sit waiting for the rosemary to revive itself. We have to take some measures. Before that, we have to know what causes the rosemary leaves to turn brown

Root rot, Overwatering, Frost damage, Dry air, and Insect attack cause the leaves to turn brown.

In this article, I have tried to explain all the reasons and workable solutions for brown leaves of rosemary.

So, without further ado let’s get started-

Why Are The Rosemary Leaves Turning Brown

1. Root Rot Of Rosemary

Root rot causes rosemary leaves to turn brown.  It’s a fungal disease that can even kill the rosemary plant.

In root rot, the tips of the rosemary leaves turn yellow and brown. The browning usually starts with the lower leaves of the rosemary plants first. And the stem and roots near the soil become soft.

If they are severely infested you will see the stems are also turning brown and rotting. The roots also spread a foul odor. The plant becomes stunted. Heavy clay soil can encourage root rot.

Control Measure

When you see your rosemary leaf tips are browning and the stem near the soil looks soft and mushy then you need to apply a good fungicide. Since rosemary leaves are used for cooking, pick the best fungicide that won’t toxify the leaves (Our Pick: Bonide Copper Fungicide)

Apply according to the label instruction of the fungicide package carefully and see when the leaves are safe to pick. You can prune off the infected part of the roots carefully and replant the rosemary in good and fresh soil.

Here are some awesome and easy homemade fungicide recipes for you to try:

# Recipe 1:- Baking Soda Fungicide Spray


  • Baking Soda 1 teaspoon
  • Few drops of liquid dish soap
  • 1 liter of water


Mix the ingredients well and spray thoroughly on your rosemary plant and roots twice a week.

#Recipe 2:- Apple Cider Vinegar Spray


  • 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar 
  • 1 liter of water
  • Few drops of liquid dish soap


  • Mix the ingredients very well and pour the mixture on the soil near your rosemary plant twice a week.

# Recipe 3:- Epsom Salt Spray Recipe


  • 2 tablespoons of Epsom salt 
  • 2 liter of water


  • Mix and spray. But do not store this for future use.
  • You can spray this solution every week on your rosemary plants until the problem is solved.

Note: Always try a small amount of spray solution in a small leaf area. Because sometimes it might not suit the plant and it can burn the leaf. If this happens make it a milder solution by adding water. Then try in a small leaf area again.

Preventive Measure

Prevention is always a better option than control. Do not overwater them and always keep a better drainage system. Because the root rot fungus attacks when the rosemary plant is in water-soaked condition.

2. Insects Attack On Rosemary

Aphids and whiteflies are very common on rosemary. These insects suck the sap from leaves and cause curling and browning of leaves. These pests are very harmful to plants because they are very tiny and most of the time goes undetected. This is why their damage goes unnoticed until they have severely infested the rosemary plant.

Control Measure

Insects and bugs damage the plant and also bring many other kinds of viruses. So, it’s very important to get rid of them. 

Rosemary is a cooking herb so get the best non-toxic insecticide for them (our pick: Monterey organic Garden Insect Spray). Spray by following the label instructions. Always check when it’s safe for consumption after spraying any insecticide. 

You can also wash your plant with a spray to get rid of the insects but it won’t kill them. The insects will fly away and come back again. Washing with water only works when there’s a small infestation.

Let’s check out some amazing and effective homemade recipes of insecticides-

#Recipe1:-Insecticidal Soap Recipe

Cooking oil mixed with mild liquid soap can be very effective against pests.


  • 250 ml of any cooking oil
  • 1 tablespoon of liquid dish soap


  • Add the two ingredients together and mix thoroughly
  • Store this in a bottle.
  • Add 2 teaspoons of this mixture to one liter of water
  • spray directly into both sides of the leaves
  • This mixture will kill the insects by suffocating them.

#Recipe 2:- All-In-One Insect Spray Recipe


  •  1 small bulb of garlic
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 teaspoon dry pepper powder
  • 3 teaspoon liquid dish soap


  • Make a paste of the garlic and onion in an electric blender.
  • Add a spoonful of dry pepper powder to the paste. Mix it. Then let it sit for a few hours.
  • Strain the mixture and add 3 teaspoons of liquid soap and mix very well
  • Now make it a 2-liter solution by adding water.
  • Spray it on both sides of the rosemary leaves for better results.
  • Be careful while handling the mixture as it contains hot pepper. 

#Recipe 3:- Neem Oil Recipe

You can get Neem oil because it comes in very handy against insect attacks 

  • Mix 2 tablespoons of neem oil in 2 liters of water
  • Then pour it into the sprayer and spray it twice a week on your rosemary plants regularly.

3. Overwatering

Rosemary plants can survive on little water because they are native to dry summer areas. They don’t need so much water. So, whenever they are overwatered the rosemary leaves start to turn brown.

Control Measure

Water the soil lightly. To avoid overwatering use a moisture meter to check the soil water(Our pick: Atree Soil Soil Tester Kits with Moisture, Light, and PH Test for Garden). Allow the soil to dry completely before watering again. Plant rosemary in loamy sand soil. It is the best soil for rosemary because it allows good drainage.

4. Frost Damage

Rosemary plants cannot tolerate frost. During the frost, all the leaves of your rosemary plant can turn brown. So the plant will look as if it’s dead. But if you scrape the bark a little you will see living tissues underneath.

Control Measure

Spring will bring new green leaves. To bring your rosemary plant back to life, prune off the old dead stems and pick out the brown leaves in spring.

If you have potted rosemary then bring them indoors during winter and place them near the window to get some sun if possible. 

Move the rosemary plant indoors during winter. While moving them indoors, they start earlier in the season when the indoor and outdoor temperature is similar. Make sure the growing pot has enough drainage holes.

5. Dry Air

Rosemary plants grow best in a slightly humid environment. Humidity can be a reason why your rosemary leaves are turning brown. This occurs mostly in the case of house plants. Because sometimes the air in many homes is too dry for plants. The rosemary leaves turn brown and crispy due to the dry air around them.

Control Measure

If you have a habit of keeping houseplants then it is best to get a humidifier for them (our pick: GENIANI Portable Small Cool Mist Humidifiers).

Place trays filled with water and pebbles under the rosemary pot. It will prevent the plants from being too dry. You can also mist the leaves every morning with a hand mister.


Can you use rosemary after it turns brown?

It is best to use fresh rosemary. But you can use brown leaves of rosemary if the leaves have no mold or any other fungal signs.

Does rosemary turn brown in winter?

Yes, rosemary is vulnerable to winter weather. But you can keep them alive if you place them where they get the temperature above freezing.


Rosemary is very easy to grow because they require very little care. Still, when the leaves are turning brown it’s a sign of stress on the plant. If you don’t want your rosemary to die, you need to take some care. 

I have tried to provide all the tips and solutions necessary to revive them. I hope you have found out what is the exact reason behind your rosemaries turning brown through this article. If you have any further questions ask in the comments and I will get back to you soon.

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