Herbs forum: help! why do my herbs die?

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Name: Sylvia Butler
TX (Zone 8a)
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citysylvia
Nov 11, 2013 1:06 PM CST
I have bought 10 or 12 different types herbs this year and they all just dry up and wither away. After two or three days of transplanting they are gone. What am I doing wrong? Too much water? Too much soil additives? Is it too cold? Is it Texas? Cant be , they are selling everywhere?
I will appreciate any advice. Sad Confused
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Name: Debra
Garland, TX (NE Dallas suburb) (Zone 8a)
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lovemyhouse
Nov 11, 2013 1:51 PM CST
I am far from expert, so forgive me if I am asking naive questions. What herbs did you try? What is the soil composition? How much water? How much and what kind of additives? I am in the Dallas area. Have clay soil and never add supplements. Do add supplemental water when trying to establish a new plant, but not much. Grow basils, thymes, rosemary, and oreganos. Also grow society garlic, and chives when I remember to plant them. Sticking tongue out
If you don't ask, the answer is always 'no.'
[Last edited by lovemyhouse - Nov 11, 2013 8:12 PM (+)]
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Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
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Bonehead
Nov 11, 2013 2:08 PM CST
I agree it would be helpful to know what is failing for you. Most herbs are pretty hardy and easy to grow, although perhaps you are trying ones that are not suited to your climate or soil. Give us some more details and we can try to sort it out for you.
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Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Nov 11, 2013 6:55 PM CST
Are you growing these herbs indoors or outside. What type and amount of light do they receive.
After transplanting do you keep them away from the hot Texas sun for a few days so they can recover?
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
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Frillylily
Nov 11, 2013 7:36 PM CST
My guess is that the ones you are buying are little more than "cuttings", they look nice in the pot but don't have a beefy enough root system yet to withstand going straight out to the elements. I would try leaving them in the pots they come in, and putting them in the shade during the really hot afternoon. After a few weeks maybe they can tolerate more brutal conditions.
Name: Sylvia Butler
TX (Zone 8a)
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citysylvia
Nov 12, 2013 4:52 PM CST
3 pots pf Basil
Thai Basil
Oregano
orange mint
pineapple mint
Rosemary
Orange Thyme
peppermint
All I can remember right now its too cold out there. The weather is perfect for planting right now, Succulents I planted are doing really well. I bought that new Trailing Lorepetalum and something else I cant remember.
Frilly I had thought about what you are saying, my neighbor said it was too cold, and to bring them inside but they frazzled up inside too. I probably used too much "good" stuff on them. MG, RS etc. Debra I wish I had that clay soil. It holds more moisture. I will continue to buy them, but no supplements! My Habenero pepper bush is doing wonderful. Smiling
Hey guys its cold as all out in TX now no sun!
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Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Nov 12, 2013 5:54 PM CST
It could be that you gave them too much fertilizer, I am guessing.
Whenever I buy an herb plant, the first thing I do is cut off the top and stick it into a Forsythe Pot to make another plant - and that's nothing but damp vermiculite - and they grow just fine. The original plant I put either in the raised garden bed with 'garden soil' or in a pot with 'potting soil'. I don't add any type of fertilizer. There is some of my compost and worm castings mixed in with my soils, but that's it.
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
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RickCorey
Nov 12, 2013 6:24 PM CST
>> I have bought 10 or 12 different types herbs this year and they all just dry up and wither away. After two or three days of transplanting they are gone. What am I doing wrong?

Pure speculation: maybe you should buy from a different nursery?

But I don't know - you said in Treemail that there ARE roots in the pot after the tops die.



Name: Debra
Garland, TX (NE Dallas suburb) (Zone 8a)
Service dogs: Angels with paws.
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lovemyhouse
Nov 12, 2013 7:02 PM CST
Hadn't thought of that one, Rick. Might be you are right... Big Grin
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Name: Julia
Washington State (Zone 7a)
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springcolor
Nov 12, 2013 11:11 PM CST
I do know that basil likes it warm and temps much below 60 will turn the plants black and they die. The others should grow like weeds. Confused Deb will have an answer for sure, she grows so many different herbs at her place.
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Name: Tara
NE, Florida (Zone 9a)
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terrafirma
Nov 13, 2013 7:40 AM CST
I grow some herbs here in sandy conditions, very little fertility, and they do fairly well. Although I've not had much success with the mints. I agree that your annual basil does prefer warmer weather. But in my opinion, most herbs really prefer poor soil conditions, so the fertilizing might be too much for them. Strange as that may sound.
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
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Bonehead
Nov 13, 2013 10:16 AM CST
Everything on your list other than the basils should all be easy-care plants, and should take off once they get established. The mints and oregano will need monitoring to not spread too aggressively. I don't do any sort of barrier for mine, I just use my spade in the early spring to limit their natural exuberance. I've had some problems with winter-kill on rosemary, I think it may like winter protection until it is firmly established. I agree with previous posts, baby your new plants at the beginning, water them in well when you plant them out (and keep up with the watering that first year), and hold off on fertilizers. Sounds like you may need to protect them from too much hot sun in your area, something I have no experience with as I live in a temperate region. Perhaps @Trish will chime in - she has a nice spiral herb garden in Texas and may have some southern advice to offer, particularly to get them established. Best of luck.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Debra
Garland, TX (NE Dallas suburb) (Zone 8a)
Service dogs: Angels with paws.
Dragonflies Dog Lover I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Photography Bee Lover Plays in the sandbox
Butterflies Region: Texas I sent a postcard to Randy! Charter ATP Member Annuals Garden Sages
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lovemyhouse
Nov 13, 2013 2:28 PM CST
Yeah, I should have said mine get afternoon shade.
If you don't ask, the answer is always 'no.'
Name: Trish
Jacksonville, TX (Zone 8a)
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Trish
Nov 13, 2013 6:09 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

I would agree that you shouldn't fertilize when you plant. I grow all of the things that you mentioned, plus much more, and they all do great. Rosemary and Bay Laurel need winter protection the first year. I recommend planting those and lavender in the spring as well. Of course you know that basil is going to die off as soon as a frost hits.
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Name: Sylvia Butler
TX (Zone 8a)
Charter ATP Member
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citysylvia
Dec 1, 2013 7:24 PM CST
I followed Greene's instructions, washed the roots and re-potted. and three of them are surviving. I think I will follow his lead as he is in Ga. I forget I am not planting hostas. Smiling I dont know if you guys are familiar with Sprouts! but they have the pretties herbs. very expensive. I saved a pot of Basil after snipping off the leaves for about a year.. I hope the freezes dont kill the others.
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