The Q&A Archives: Saving Rosemary plant over the winter

Question: I have a rosemary plant and would like to save it over the winter. I have tried with others before and had no sucess.Do I bring it in or leave it covered outside.Also is there anyway to save some of it for cooking over the winter. Thank you Jacque

Answer: Rosemary likes cool (60F), moist conditions in winter. Unfortunately, most homes are too hot and dry for rosemary to grow, so the plants tend to dry out after a few months. Here's what I do: Dig the plant from the garden in October. Trim off any damaged roots, and prune off one-third of the new growth. Then pot the plant in a soilless mix. Leave the potted rosemary in the garden for two to three weeks to acclimate to the pot. As long as the temperatures don't get below 30F, it will be safe outside. After the potted rosemary is accustomed to the pot, bring it indoors and place it in a cool, south-facing window away from any heat source. Mist the plant every couple of days, and water it just enough to keep the soil moist. Rosemary doesn't really grow much in the winter indoors; you just want to keep the plant alive. In spring, once you see signs of new growth, begin to give the plant more water mixed with a dilute, complete fertilizer. Transplant rosemary into the garden after all danger of frost has passed.

You can dry the stems that you pruned off the plant and use the leaves in cooking during the winter months.

Best wishes with your rosemary!

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