My Herb Secret

Posted by Dani on May 19, 2013

rosemary in a pot after winter

These herbs don’t look like much now, but just wait a few weeks. There will be overflowing pots of mint and rosemary happening on my back deck.

Here’s my secret: I treat them badly all winter. I stuff them into a dark cold storage space and ignore them for months. No water, no plant food, no happy plant talk telling them how much I appreciate them. Just total neglect. Now I try to make it up to them during the summer by giving them a prime spot on my sunny deck with a nice view of the pool. They seem to think this is a fair bargain.

Does that even qualify as a secret? Probably not, but I just wanted to let you know that these guys will let you get away with it. I like to overwinter some of my herbs because I get to start the next season with huge prolific plants, rather than tiny little things from the garden center. Mint is a perennial and does well in the ground, but some varieties (like the oregano thyme mint I have here) are not hardy enough to survive in a container. And rosemary is a tender perennial that won’t last a Canadian winter. Plus my ceramic pots need winter protection. So they all go into a dark storage cellar and patiently wait until sometime in May when I remember I have them and send the hubby down to haul them out.

If you google overwintering instructions for herbs, the garden experts will tell you that you need to take all kinds of steps in order to keep them alive. I’m sure they’re right of course, but I’m here to tell you some plants are pretty forgiving, and you can sometimes get away with breaking the rules and keeping your life simple. It’s a bit of a tough love approach. As long as you make it up to them during the summer, maybe with a little plant karaoke.

oregano thyme mint in a pot

4 Responses to “My Herb Secret”

  1. I use the same method, and it does work rather well! 😉

  2. hehe. if only all plants responded so well to neglect!

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