You will be welcomed by snow and below zero temperatures during winter! Such temperature might kill most plants in your herb garden if you didn’t do anything with it.
Luckily, I had taken care to winterize my herbs before I left. Here’s what to do with some of the more common herbs to prepare them for winter.
I have a lot of herbs and containers, and they all require different care during the course of the winter.
I’m not going to bring those insides for the winter. But I want to keep them going as long as possible.
If you want to keep your plants outside as long as possible, you need to cover them. You can do it by using a small greenhouse, or you can use a row cover that is a white spun fabric that does protect them from frost. This will enable you to keep your potted plants that are reasonably hardy outside a little bit longer. Eventually, the plants will die, and we’ll start them again next spring.
Some of the herbs I will want to grow inside during the course of winter. In other words, I want to keep them growing, and I want them to continue to flower.
Once that plant moves inside, it will grow during the winter and actually will start putting on some new growth in February. So if you want to keep your plants growing inside longer, bring them inside before it gets too cold. The plants will still be in growth mode.
Some of the herbs will go dormant. Those plants handle a harder freeze, but they can’t live outside all winter long because the deep cold temperatures will kill them.
So these are plants which I’m gonna winter over in a colder room in the house like my sunroom, which generally stays in the 50s and upper 40s most of the winter.
You can let semi-hardy plants be exposed to several touches of frost before moving inside.
Leaving those plants outside through late October to mid-November will slow down the plants, and they’ll go into a dormant mode. This way, I can leave them in the colder area like my sunroom or even the garage, and they’ll live through the winter. But they really won’t start growing until next spring.
When you’re bringing plants inside, you need to treat all of them with horticultural oil and use a systemic insecticide. This will help keep insects outside from getting inside your house.
Read also: How To Grow Indoor Herb Garden Year-Round
Ways Of Winterize For Various Herbs
Cut back to about 2 inches tall. If you are in a cold climate, cover with straw or mulch to protect the plant’s crown.
When winter hits, I cut a few of these oregano branches off, and I place him in a cup full of water. Then I just changed the water every once in a while. You can use tap water, and everything going to be fine.
I cut off with a plant before it froze over in the winter. It would help if you kept oregano branches alive by a bright window as it requires some light.
This one is quite hardy, but a good trim will also help. Sage will rejuvenate well from being trimmed right back every second year or so.
Sage is one of my favorite plants to plant in the garden. It has a wonderful smell, and it’s beautiful. It has a long bloom time from spring all the way up until the hard frost.
But it has a big impact on how long that blooming season is and what we need to do during the late fall to prepare for winter.
Sage does bloom forever, and this foliage is nice and silver. So even when the blooms go, it still has a good look.
You can cut this back in about half in the summertime or springtime. You can cut it back a little more depending on how big you want your plant to be. If you want to make it smaller and more compact, then you cut it to really close to the ground, like 3 to 4 inches from the ground.
It does delay the bloom time slightly, but not all that much, and the bumblebees love it very much. So we’re really helping nature with those bees buzzing around there.
Hardy enough not to need any special treatment.
This one is not hardy in many areas, and if yours is planted in your garden, then make sure you protect it with straw and wrap it with burlap. In colder areas, plant rosemary in a container and bring it into a cool area like a greenhouse or garage for the winter months.
Let’s talk about wintering over rosemary. In northern climates, people grow rosemary by putting it outside in the summer. They are putting outside up to Thanksgiving, and then we try to bring it inside and keep it growing.
My trick to wintering over rosemary may not work for you, but it is working well for me. What I did is I will let the herb stay outside a little bit longer than it normally would. We have been keeping this rosemary in the cold frame over the past several weeks. Once temperatures go down to the lower or middle 20s, I’ll bring these into the garage or a freezing room in the house.
I found that wintering over rosemary seems to work best when the rosemary is kept very cool. So these plants have been going for three years now. Every late November, just after Thanksgiving, I will move it to the garage. I leave the row cover on it, and I really don’t water it for the entire winter.
I’ll check the soil, and if it’s bone-dry, I’ll give it a tiny bit of water. This particular plant gets moved into a very chilly room with a little bit of sunshine for the winter and very low amounts of water again.
You can try out this method, and hopefully, your rosemary will make it till next spring.
Allow to die back and clear away the dead stalks. This is a very hardy plant. Divide the clump in early spring.
Allow it to self-seed. Parsley can survive some freezing weather. It is one of the most productive herbs that you can grow during the wintertime. It is an indispensable herb for many cuisines.
They are quite hardy, and they will take temperatures down into the teen. So you don’t have to worry about the parsley being damaged over the winter season.
Cilantro and Dill
Allow them to self-seed. These are tender annuals but readily self-seed.
The cilantro can survive below zero temperatures and ice storms. It has a great chance to survive if there is snow protecting it. This shows how cold hardy this herb is.
If I build a cold frame, I will definitely include cilantro and the items I put in it for a winter garden.
Most tender annual – best to clip and fresh-freeze all the foliage and buy a new plant or two to have indoors on your windowsill for fresh basil during the winter.
You can also cut off some basil branches and put them in the water pot to propagate them.