Thyme, Sage, Mint: Why Don't They Come Back In The Spring?

FlyingPenguinMay 4, 2011


Has anyone had any success with getting either thyme, sage, or mint to survive a MN winter and come back in the spring? According to what I've read, these herbs are supposed to be winter-hardy (in fact, everyone says that once you plant mint, you'll never be rid of it...!). But I've tried twice now and each time nothing comes back in the spring. Is there a trick to getting them to come back? Could I be doing something wrong? (I have all three in a self-contained permanent planter in my back yard.)

My oregano and chives come back just fine each spring, but these others don't seem to want to. Anyone have any advice?


Dave J

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thyme and mint come back just fine for me. Sage....not so much.

Maybe it's the variety. Maybe it's the location in your garden. Maybe it's how much you mulch. Heck....I dunno.


    Bookmark   May 4, 2011 at 8:06PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
hostaholic2 z 4, MN

Can you describe what you mean by a self-contained permanent planter? Is it a raised planter or bed. If the plants are near the edge of a raised bed they may not be getting enough winter protection.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2011 at 10:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

It's a raised barrel planter. Thanks for responding. Can you recommend anything in particular that might help?

    Bookmark   May 10, 2011 at 9:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
hostaholic2 z 4, MN

Is it possible to move the barrel into a garage over winter? That might help you gain some extra hardiness. Plants in containers don't have the protection that plants in the ground do.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2011 at 12:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
mnwsgal 4 MN(4)

If you can't move your barrel you could try placing bags of leaves around and over it for extra winter protection. Another option would be potting up small pots of your herbs and keeping them in the garage over the winter. I have not had much success trying to overwinter herbs indoors. Rosemary survives but the others die.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2011 at 1:18PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks for the suggestions. I guess I hadn't considered that they might be less protected in the planter than they'd be in the ground. I might have to re-think what gets planted where this year. :)

(For what it's worth, I had great success with overwintering some of my herbs indoors this year in my hydroponic Aerogarden. I'm really pleased with how this worked out, as I too have had trouble keeping herbs alive indoors in the winter in past years. However, I didn't do this with the thyme, sage, or mint, as I had hopes of them surviving the winter outside...)

    Bookmark   May 11, 2011 at 5:05PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
nick_b79(4/5 Southeast MN)

The rule of thumb over on the bonsai forum is that you plant something two zones hardier that you otherwise would when overwintering outdoors in pots. Therefore, in a zone 4 area, you'd need plants rated down to zone 2 to survive in your set-up.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2011 at 12:47PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Wildflower seeds for Mn gardeners
I'm offering free seeds for Mn folks(and other upper...
Low Hedge as a Snow Fence?
We have a long sidewalk from the house to the garage....
Hot Pepper Spray questions: making, affect on taste, effectivenes
Hi, I'm considering making some hot pepper spray to...
apple trees
What should you do to keep apples from insects when...
Late Summer Garden Swap???
Anyone interested in a late summer/early autumn garden...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™