How to overwinter herb planters

Credit: Flickr / KitAy

Q: I have a small herb planter which has grown well all summer with rosemary, oregano and basil.

How do I overwinter it? Can it stay outside in a sheltered spot? Should I cover it with peat? Should I wrap the blow against frost?

Are these perennial herbs that will come back next year?

Here’s what I recommend: Pick and eat the basil as soon as possible. It won’t survive the winter outside or in a sheltered spot.

Next, move your planter to a cool indoor spot with light, or wrap it up as best you can (assuming you are on the coast and not in a northern location) and hope for the best. I had a gorgeous prostrate rosemary that I wrapped up and left outside one year; it didn’t make it and I still haven’t got over it!

Now I always overwinter my potted rosemaries in a protected spot, such as the greenhouse or garage. My oregano, on the other hand, has always done just fine through the winter in our coastal location. It will die back, but expect it to fully recover and re-leaf by mid-spring. Regarding basil, I am having great success growing this inside our house with the help of growing lights and a heating pad – but that’s another story.