I read your article every week and enjoy your comments on so many subjects. We have a rosemary plant that was outside for the summer growing in a pot. We have now brought the plant inside in the same pot hoping to keep it alive to go outside again next spring. What should we do to have it survive over the winter inside the house? Thanks, Joe
You can certainly over-winter rosemary inside if it has been in a pot during the summer. The most important thing is to make sure that the rosemary is in a large enough pot and is not root-bound. Root-bound rosemary will die! It's best to use a terra cotta pot and fil it with a good quality, light potting mix that drains well. You'll want to keep rosemary in a bright, cool room with temperature around 50 degrees. Even though rosemary may look like a cactus because of its needle-like leaves, it is not and needs to be watered when the soil surface in the pot dries out. If the humidity is low, as it can be indoors in the winter, it's good to mist the leaves every so often as well.
You don't need to fertilize rosemary in the winter because the plants won't grow much, but if you would feel better, it won't hurt if you fertilize it at 1/2 strength twice a month until February, when you can begin feeding it once a week with full strength fertilizer. As the days get longer and the plant resumes growing, check those roots again to make sure they are not too crowded. If in doubt, switch it to a larger pot. Good luck and thank you for your question.
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About Linda Lillie
Linda K. Lillie is the President of Sprigs & Twigs, Inc, the premier
landscape design and maintenance, tree care, lawn care, stonework, and carpentry
service provider in southeastern Connecticut since 1997. She is a graduate of
Connecticut College in Botany, a Connecticut Master Gardener and a national
award winning landscape designer for her landscape design and landscape installation work.