Rosemary and Lavender in Alaska, USA
Answered by: Inge Poot
Question from; Colleen Clifford

I live in coastal Alaska, USA and every year I try to save my rosemary without luck through the winter. Does it go dormant? I had a creeping rosemary that I grew in my greenhouse all summer and brought it in in the winter and it just turned brown and lost all its needles. I don’t overwater and the light is minimal because of winter. Is it possible to save them without a heated greenhouse? I love rosemary and I am desperate to grow it successfully. any hints ? I have the same problem with lavender here in Alaska...

I think you may need to invest in artificial lights to get your plants through the winter. Your winter natural light is just not there! I presume you have your plants in pots in the greenhouse, so that they don’t have to sustain the shock of root damage on top of lower light levels, lower humidity and less than ideal temperatures (too high I presume). Lavender will die down for the winter and has to be kept cool (just above freezing) and barely moist over the winter. Rosemary is harder, because it does not die down and must get good light, cool temperatures and moist, but not soggy soil during the winter. You need a double tube flourescent light fixture for minimum light. Put it on a timer to run 14 hours per day to get some growth from the rosemary.

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