You’re probably thinking to yourself – hey that’s no rosemary plant, that’s a bearded iris. And it’s not even fully open. I supposed you’d be correct and can pat yourself on the back for having such keen observation skills. I didn’t really want to show the dead remains of what was once my beautiful rosemary plant. And to be honest I was trying to figure out how I could work this imperfect picture of my not fully open bearded iris in. So ta-da! Well let me explain and take a temporary tangential (writing note – always be careful not to spell or say tangenital when saying that word – I had a coworker confuse them once and I still laugh about it when I think about it) path down iris lane, I have a gazillion of these plants that keep reproducing each year and they never die. I don’t think I’ve ever lost a single one. There was this one time that I finally saw one die (or so I thought) because I had the tuber (root part) of the plant that I had sat in a bowl exposed to direct sunlight for weeks and weeks and it had almost turned to paper. Astonished I stared at it for a moment and thought wow they really aren’t immortal. I turned to walk away and took a step and stopped. I looked back at the sad remains and then I was like – ok the scientific side of my brain has got to know the truth so I planted the very light pappery remains of the tuber into moist miracle grow potting soil. I knew the whole effort was futile but I didn’t feel right not giving the plant a chance to prove me wrong. Luckily no one was around to bet me on the outcome because I would have surely bet against the plant. Some weeks later before I started my summer garden I was outside looking through my rag-tag collection of container plants to try and decide what I wanted to do for a summer garden when I saw it. The pot that had the decomposed remains of the bearded iris tuber. It was alive and well as all of it’s non-zombie stage cousins. It had pulled through weeks of direct sunshine on it’s root with no soil or water. It was alive and happy. So I added it back to the mental list of total count of bearded iris plants I have and realized these things really are immortal.
So with that story in mind let’s fast forward to yesterday which is weeks into my summer garden. I’ve had failure after failure with rosemary plants in the past but I like the plants so much I just can’t seem to bring myself to give up on trying to grow them. Yesterday I had a very healthy young rosemary plant on my plant shelf in the shade and decided I need to put it back in full sun because I know they don’t like spending such a long time in the shade. I had moved this small plant back from full sun to shade many times and it obviously loved the sun better because it thrived in full sun. I watered it and sat it on my table that’s in full sun. This was about 6 AM in early morning. Then about 3 PM I walked through the garden and was stopped immediately by a horrific site. The rosemary plant was 100% dead. I couldn’t believe it. When I picked it up all the tiny pointy leafy things fell off from it. I pressed the soil inside the pot gently and it sprung back up and then I realized the roots had overgrown the tiny pot it was in so it had almost no ability to retain water; it was practically rootbound. So with yesterday being a very hot and windy day it had dried out and died within a few hour period. I watered it and put it back in the shade but I know there is no use. Rosemary plants are nothing like the unstoppable, totally forgiving, immortal bearded iris.