I have only successfully overwintered rosemary indoors once and I’ll be honest, it wasn’t in the best shape, but it was alive and lived to see another summer in Wisconsin. Many years of trial and error have allowed me to observe what works and what doesn’t and that is what I am sharing with you today.
Let’s start with getting to know the plant in its native habitat. Rosemary are native to the sunny Mediterranean where the climate is hot and dry in the summer but cool and damp in the winter. The best one can mimic this environment is how the rosemary will survive. The three ideal needs are a sunny location, cool temperatures, and humidity. It may be challenging to recreate cool temperatures but if you have two out of the three it should survive.
It seems like the main reason rosemary come to their demise around January is because they get too dry. To be successful you will need to change your watering habits from allowing the soil to dry down to making sure it is always moist, but not saturated. I find that I need to water twice a week to achieve this; the first time I will water thoroughly so water runs out of the drainage holes, and a second time 4-5 days later lightly on the top of the soil if it feels dry. Humidifying the air is also essential. Now that temperatures have dropped and the heat is on, our home environment is very dry. I keep a cool mist humidifier within a few feet of the plants and like the overall humidity to stay around 45%.
I have two plants that I am overwintering this year so let's see how it goes! If you have any questions I would be happy to answer them. You can find a link to this post on my social media and leave a comment there.
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