Popular kitchen herbs that like the heat, such as rosemary and sage, should be brought indoors for winter. They will thrive in pots placed on or near a sunny windowsill and you can use them year-round.
Make a Cool Resting Place Indoors for Hardy Herbs:
- Dig out herbs grown in beds. Using a shovel to cut around the perimeter of the plant, grab as many roots as possible. Put plants in a pot, and fill in crevices with potting soil. Water plants after potting. Trim back the foliage by at least half. Label plants that are expected to become dormant before moving them to a cool basement or other dry, dark place where they will stay cool but not freeze.
- Clean and trim herbs grown in pots. Brush off outside of container. Trim broken or awkward branches, and shake the plants gently to dislodge debris and hitchhiking pests before bringing them indoors.
- Grow herbs such as rosemary, sage, parsley, thyme and various oregano cousins under a fluorescent plant light. These herbs hold their foliage through winter and will gradually adjust to reduced light indoors. Expect some of the older leaves to wither, and clip them off to keep the plants looking neat.
- Take 5-inch-long stem cuttings from your favorite herbs if indoor space is limited. Many perennial herbs such as rosemary, sage and mint will grow roots in water, especially if you root the cuttings in a dark-colored vase that blocks light. Small cuttings take up only a little space, and the plants will be nicely rooted and ready to grow by planting time in spring.
Tip: Cool air seeping through a leaky window can be beneficial to rosemary that shows white patches caused by powdery mildew. Clip off affected branches to further discourage this common disease.