Over Wintering Fo Ti, Ginkgo and Black Cohosh in Ottawa
Answered by: Inge Poot
Question from: Angela Patterson
Posted on: November 13, 2001

I am hoping you might be able to advise me on a couple of matters related to herb plants that I purchased from you in the spring. The first is how to over-winter Fo-Ti. The plant remains in the same pot that it arrived in as I will be relocating in the early spring and want to take it with me. So how do I care for it over the winter? Put it in the garage, bring it in the house, build a cold frame? I live in Ottawa so the winters are quite severe.

Fo-ti is only hardy in zone 7b so if you have it in a garage the winter temperature must stay above 20 degrees Fahrenheit (above minus 6 degrees Celsius) to survive out of the soil in a pot. That is the roots will experience a 7b winter in a zone 9b out of soil location. I would put the pot in a cool bedroom for overwintering.

Second, I purchased two black cohosh plants and would like to know if they come as male and female plants as the two I have are completely different. If they aren’t male and female, then what the heck do I have here.

It depends on what you mean by different. This plant does not have the sexes separated on different plants, but there will be differences amongst plants grown from seed. Perhaps you could sen us leaves from the two plants and if one turns out to be something else, we will be glad to give you a credit for one plant.

Overwinter them in the garage as they are hardy to zone 3.

Also, I have the same question about how to over-winter two gingko trees that will also be moving with me in the early spring.

Overwinter them in a cool bedroom since the trees are only hardy to zone 5 and would need a garage with minimum temperatures of 0 degrees Fahrenheit or minus 18 degrees Celsius (ie zone 7) to survive the winter in a pot.

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