The Q&A Archives: St. John's Wort

Question: I had some beautiful st. john's wort potted in my front yard. I know its a perrenial. I moved it to my covered porch. Should I leave it in the yard and let the winter weather get it and let it cylce naturally or should I leave it on the porch, should I cut it back? As you can see I am at a loss for what to do. It was very healthy up until recently. I think the cold is taking its affects on it. Should I stop watering it? Will it come back next spring?


Answer: Hypericum, or St. John's Wort, is evergreen to semi-evergreen in mild climates, but will lose its leaves in the winter in cold winter areas so what you describe sounds like normal activity for your St. John's Wort at this time of year. If you are able to sink the pot into the ground in your garden, your plant should overwinter without any other protection. If you can't sink the pot into the ground to protect the roots, you should wrap the pot with insulating material to keep the roots and potting soil from freezing solid. I'd water sparingly - enough to keep the soil from becoming bone-dry, but not so much as to keep it soggy wet. With the proper insulation for the roots, your St. John's Wort should winter over and spring to life when the weather warms in the spring. In the spring, cut back any winter damage and your plant will become attractive as the season progresses.

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