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wintering herbs indoors for survival

Posted by bjames 6 (My Page) on
Sun, Aug 5, 12 at 6:23

I want to bring some herbs in for the winter, not to use in cooking so much, but so that they can survive the winter. Some of them are borderline hardy in my zone (5-6 ) and do not always survive the winter, such as sage and rosemary. I have a southern exposure, unheated sunporch that gets full unobstructed sun all day. It does get very cold in this room. but not below freezing. Will not keeping these herbs in this room be the same as keeping them outside, simulating winter in a slightly higher zone and thereby providing conditions for survival?

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RE: wintering herbs indoors for survival

I've never had winter kill off my sage (S. officinalis). Ice, snow, and freezing temperatures - does just fine. Drainage is key to survival. Rosemary, that's another story. I've never had rosemary survive a winter outdoors.

I overwintered an Italian fig (hardy to zone 7) in an unheated sun room/porch for a number of years. Worked well. Probably work for your needs too.


RE: wintering herbs indoors for survival

I have Rosemary in ground, in well drained but wind protected location. I'm in GA, but have to accomodate for colder North winds! The bushes have had snow and ice weighing them down, but survived. Our winters are short spurts of sometimes very cold and sometimes wet weather, but last usually no more than a few days before moderating for another few days. I have brought baby Rosemary plants inside for winter, and they did OK, but did not like the dry air produced by the heating system. Even in winter here, if the plants are in direct sun via glass, they can cook! The Rosemary did survive though. I think both Rosemary and Sage should do OK in a sun room, provided it is protected from winter winds which can be fatal to Rosemary in our area. I found the ones I had indoors needed to be watered regularly with good drainage. Sage goes somewhat dormant in winter but you can cut it back in spring and it grows nicely, for sure in our zone. Looks awful, and sometimes beyond recovery, but comes back nicely. Mint and Oregano will live for us no matter the winter weather. Tarragon is kept in a container on the patio near the patio door to protect from extreme wind/freezing and it has made it through just fine for a couple of winters. I just have to be sure the soil at root level does not reach freezing levels. Tarragon should be OK in your sun room also.

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