Q. How do I overwinter my rosemary plant?
Overwintering rosemary (Rosmarinus) in NYC is not easy. Here at NYBG we have rosemary plants in the ground, but they usually have to be replaced. The double-pot method may work for rosemary outdoors or on a balcony. Indoors, rosemary will need direct sun and good air circulation. Its native Mediterranean environment should be simulated as closely as possible. With our milder winters, it is worth a try to overwinter it outdoors, but insulation is needed. The roots need a stable environment to keep them from freezing and thawing. Loose leaves such as oak can be filled between pots (double-pot technique). Wrapping burlap around a pot loosely to make room for insulating leaves can be used. If rosemary is in the ground it can be protected with burlap staked on 4 sides, making a box, leaving enough space for leaves as insulators. A thick surrounding of oak leaves acts like a down comforter to trap air and protect the plant from winter conditions (leaves are added after the ground freezes). If a container is on cement, lifting the pot up off a cold cement floor helps. Do this by using enough bricks to balance the pot off the ground.
For tips on a variety of gardening topics, see our Plant Information Guides.
- Courtesy of NYBG Plant Information Service