Help! No indoor space. I want to winterize my potted herbs.

lisaemc2(4)September 17, 2009

I live in a 3rd floor apt w/ lots of windows but no real sun. My herbs did well in the garden so I had to repot several times up to very difficult to carry up 3 flights of stairs sizes. I have a fire escape facing SW that gets sun from sun up to down but that's tricky because the winter wind here in Boston is just plain rude.

I need help! We only have a warm day a week till October.

Any suggestions would do me a world of good.

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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

Many herbs will not survive outdoors in winter. An exception is Thyme, which will survive. The word 'herbs', includes many hundreds of thousands of leaf, seed, and bark, as well as roots and even many things called 'weeds'. You need to be a bit more specific in your herb descriptions, as no one can help you to just want to keep herbs indoors to winter over. Even for that, some are trees, and most need outdoors and direct bright sun to grow well to produce flavor.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2009 at 5:38PM
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fatamorgana2121(Zone 5/6)

Which herbs are you talking about specifically? It is easier to give information for specific plants.


    Bookmark   September 17, 2009 at 7:02PM
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I too live in a 3rd flr apt. and have a SW facing sunroom that my mint, lemon balm, basil, parsley, and thyme have grown to love. Are there any windows on the same wall as the fire escape?.. and if so how many? However, be sure not to bunch the plants too close together because that's not good for diseases and air flow.. I know this from previous ill-lit, tiny apartments :p oh, and are your windows new or drafty with that Boston wind?

    Bookmark   September 17, 2009 at 7:11PM
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My herbs include; Rosemary, Thyme, Oregano, African Sage, Basil & Marjoram. All @ 1 ft tall. All are of common type.

Drafty windows aren't my problem. There is literally no space or place in my flat for sun needing plants. If I could hang 100lb pots from the ceiling I would. Out in the garden or on the "balcony" are my only options short of pulling all my furniture away from the walls & using several hanging full spectrum lights.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2009 at 10:34PM
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I'm also in an apartment and have little space to overwinter plants. All of our lamps have compact fluorescent bulbs, so where ever there is a lamp, there are a few plants. I usually root cuttings of the plants I want to keep so I can use smaller pots over the winter. The plants survive, but don't necessarily thrive until planted out again the following spring. Maybe you could root cuttings and set up an inexpensive shop light over a shelf for the winter. Some herbs will survive the winters in-ground here even with minus zero temps...chives, sage, oregano(Greek), mint and thyme. Rosemary, basil, marjoram won't. My problem here is that I don't have a garden bed...only space for containers, so I understand your frustration.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2009 at 11:26PM
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I feel it will be better if you leave your plants out door because they will survive nicely. if you plan to keep indoor i think that space will not be enough to grow them freely.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2009 at 1:24AM
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Thanks everyone for your in put. All good advice.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2009 at 1:26AM
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fatamorgana2121(Zone 5/6)

Rosemary - border line on being able to survive winters in zone 6 and then only if they are of the more hardy varieties like "arp." I have personally never gotten rosemary to survive the winter indoors or out.

Thyme - survives the winter well for me. I have them in the ground and in a well-drained (key!) location

Oregano - an old warhorse that comes back from each winter bushier and stronger than ever. All my herbs are in the ground so I can't say how well oregano or any of the others will fare in pots.

African Sage - there seemed to be a couple of plants with this name. Not sure which you have but they all were too tender for an outdoors winter in zone 6.

Basil - annual. 1 growing season life-cycle. It will not last the winter no matter what you do. Enjoy it now.

Marjoram - this is a tender plant as well and won't over winter outside in your zone.


    Bookmark   September 18, 2009 at 8:26AM
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