Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Did you kill rosemary?

Among the highlights of Organic Gardening Day, I won a two-foot tall rosemary plant. They raffled off about eight of them, and as they were doing so, I heard several people around me talking about how they'd killed rosemary multiple times. Still, I coveted those rosemary plants and really hoped I'd win one. When they called my number, I was as excited as any little kid on Christmas morning. Then as I proudly walked away with my lovely rosemary plant, people began telling me their rosemary tales of woe.

"I've killed so many, I don't even try to overwinter them anymore," said one woman.

"We always kill them," said another. "I think we overwater them," chimed in her husband.

"Oh, that's so pretty," said another woman, "but I always kill them. I think I underwater them."

"But she said they kill theirs with too much water," I said as I pointed to the woman behind me. The underwatering gardener just shrugged with a questioning look on her face.

Not one to be deterred, I walked right up to the man who had been conducting the drawing and asked him what I should do to keep my rosemary alive over the winter. He said it needs to stay cool, but in a sunny spot, and I should make sure not to give it too much water if it goes dormant. If it keeps growing, however, it will need more water. I should have asked how I would know if it was dormant.

So, I came home and posted on Facebook that I'd won this lovely plant, which everyone says they kill, and I pleaded for someone with some level of positive rosemary knowledge to chime in on the subject. What did I get? Five rosemary killer confessions and one who says she can't kill hers with a blow torch, but she has no idea why it's thriving.

So, what about all of you? Is there anyone out there who can tell me the secret to keeping rosemary alive over the winter?

4 comments:

Mari said...

Plant it to the soil - or if you want to keep it in a pot, then plant the whole pot for the winter. If you keep the pot above the soil, the roots can get too much cold during chilly winter nights.

In the spring it might happen that the sun shines warm and the plant wakes up, but the roots are still frozen. Then you could either try to melt the soil with warm (not hot) water or wrap the whole plant to some fabric (not plastic) for some weeks.

If it looks like dead, don't give up - just keep it moist and it will sprout again. Mine does :)

thecrazysheeplady said...

I've been told they don't like wet feet, so watch your drainage. Amend your soil as needed. Good luck!

Annette said...

I would LOVE to be able to overwinter Rosemary in the house. This year I am trying in a sunny spot outdoors. I cannot wait to meet the Rosemary expert. =)

Michelle said...

My rosemary do GREAT here; they are in the ground, we have wet but not cold winters, and they are growing great guns. LOVE rosemary, both to cook with, to fondle (for smell), for evergreen foliage and cute little flowers, and because (drumroll) the deer don't touch them.

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