Overwintering Herbs Indoors

Overwintering Herbs Indoors
  • Posted September 25, 2013

Overwintering Herbs Indoors

Bringing herbs from outside and into your home for overwintering is a wonderful way to enjoy their flavor and fragrance all year. If you live in a northern zone it’s also a great way to protect your investment in tender perennial herbs, such as rosemary, that would normally be killed by colder winter temperatures.  Any herbs you’d like to overwinter indoors should be brought in once night temperatures are no longer consistently above 50°F.


Herbs will do best indoors if given a well-lit location away from cold drafts and heating vents. Another point to consider is visibility; placing your herbs where you see them regularly means you are more likely to use and enjoy them!

Container Considerations

Herbs you’ve been growing in containers can stay in their current pots, unless the plants are root-bound (roots circling in the pot) or the pots are too large for the available indoor space. Those being taken from garden beds will of course need to be potted. Whether transplanting from the garden or another container, be sure to use a light weight, well-draining potting mix – herbs don’t like wet feet! Also, be sure to place saucers under the pots.


6 hours of direct, bright light or 12-14 hours of artificial light is the first requirement. Watering every 7-10 days should be sufficient for most herbs - when the soil is dry an inch down, water thoroughly. Any excess water remaining in the saucer after a few minutes should be poured off. Herbs are very light users of soil nutrients, so an application of half strength fertilizer every few weeks is enough to help them thrive. Regular snipping of tips, for seasoning meals or just to keep things tidy, will also encourage dense, healthy growth.

Dawn Sherwood
About the Author

Dawn Ochsner is a landscape designer and garden writer.

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Overwintering Herbs Indoors