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Old December 14, 2015   #1
BackyardFarm
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Default Rosemary is still alive in Wisconsin. How to overwinter?

Amazingly, my rosemary is still outside and THRIVING. Usually I just buy a small cheap plant (usually with a coupon) from the local Shopko garden center every year.

But this one is hanging on despite several frosts. Of course it's been an unusual year, this december feels more like october or march.

So my question is: this rosemary is in my old herb bed, near the vegetable garden and is currently unprotected. Can I protect it and try to overwinter?

(If it dies, then I will just spend the extra in the spring to buy an ARP cultivar and plant it in my new herb/flower bed in front of a south facing brick wall.)
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Old December 14, 2015   #2
Labradors2
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I don't think it's going to survive outside in your zone.

You could try digging it up, putting it in a container and growing it as a houseplant for the winter. Alternatively, you could snip off a few stems and root them in water. One might take, and then you'd have a new plant for next year.

Linda
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Old December 14, 2015   #3
jmsieglaff
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I've tried to overwinter Rosemary. I didn't go crazy and build it a house but mulched heavily and it never made it so I stopped trying. I like the idea of digging it up and putting it in the house. Maybe trim back the branches a decent amount too?
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Old December 14, 2015   #4
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This was brought up in another thread and I think Hill hardy is the best one for cold weather.
My Tuscan blue has skipped right through 10 degree weather but you guys get well below zero and your ground freezes.

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Old December 14, 2015   #5
BackyardFarm
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Yeah I don't think it will either. An ARP will survive zone 5/6 which is what the south facing brick wall is.

I should cut it all down and dry it all for cooking. But I can't bring it inside. I have evil rosemary loving cats. I've brought in 2 rosemarys so far and every time the one cat nibbles them to death. Rooting a cutting might work...since I can keep it on a small shelf high above kitty jumping abilities.
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Old December 14, 2015   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BackyardFarm View Post
high above kitty jumping abilities.
Felines have skills
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Old December 14, 2015   #7
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Darned cats!!!!!
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Old December 15, 2015   #8
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I always thought I was terrible with plants indoors until I caught the cats nibbling. They've killed many things that cats aren't supposed to like or that supposedly taste nasty.

Now I know anything I do have must be in a hanging planter or be in a terrarium. That's a thought. Potted herbs in an old fish tank....that could work...if I can find a spot in front of a window or can reuse the lighting...
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Old December 15, 2015   #9
RobinB
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I'm (supposedly) zone 5 here in northern Nevada. The ground freezes and our winter lows are in the teens usually. I've got a rosemary plant that I bought at Walmart about seven years ago in a 1-gallon pot, and it's in the garden and has grown into a huge plant and is still going strong. I mostly ignore it in the winter and make sure it's watered in the summer. Next to it I've also got a huge sage plant, also originally from WM. These plants don't "come back" each year, they have never died. It's out there under a couple inches of snow right now.

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Old December 15, 2015   #10
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Wow Robin those plants must be in a very sheltered spot, or else you live in a micro-climate.

That almost makes me want to experiment with a sacrificial Rosemary plant

We must be colder than you, but the worst things are those late freezes where a plant makes it all the way through the cold winter, puts out its spring buds and WHAM, it gets nailed by a late freeze and dies.

Sage is a perennial for me, but dies back each winter.

Linda
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Old December 15, 2015   #11
ScottinAtlanta
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I root rosemary by cutting several branches, putting them in a vase for decoration and scent on my desk, and a few weeks later, planting them. Nothing to it.
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Old December 15, 2015   #12
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I root rosemary by cutting several branches, putting them in a vase for decoration and scent on my desk, and a few weeks later, planting them. Nothing to it.
I didn't realize it was that easy. I guess I know what I'll do each fall now.
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Old December 15, 2015   #13
Labradors2
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I didn't realize it was that easy. I guess I know what I'll do each fall now.
Yes, they are dead easy (as Scott says) and don't even seem to care that it's the WRONG time of year to root cuttings when I root them in November . I need winter projects......

Linda
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Old December 15, 2015   #14
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I may try rooting cuttings--is it too late now after we have had several hard freezes?
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Old December 15, 2015   #15
jmsieglaff
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I may try rooting cuttings--is it too late now after we have had several hard freezes?
If the plant is alive, no it's not too late. If the plant is dead, then yes it is too late.
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