Winter Hardiness of Culinary Herbs
Answered by: Inge Poot
Question from: Pat Dinsmore
Posted on: October 23, 2007

I want to create an herb box filled with herbs I use in the kitchen for a friend of mine. The problem is that he has a limited amount of space in his new townhouse and, honestly, the best place for this box would be outside on his deck.

However, we live in Canada and given that we’re almost half way through October now, the cold weather is definitely on it’s way. What I’m wondering is if the culinary herbs could withstand the cold temperatures that we would receive throughout the winter if I were to put the box out on his deck? I tend to go worst case scenario on this so I’m thinking that the herb box would need to be out the entire winter season. My alternative would be to wait until next spring and create the box for him then, unless I manage to find a spot inside his house to put the herb box over the winter. Any suggestions? Are some culinary herbs more winter hardy than others?

The roots of container plants experience temperatures that are equivalent to temperatures experienced by in-soil plants grown in an area two zones colder than the one the container is grown in.

Our catalogue gives you the range of zones in which the plants can be grown out of doors. Subtract two zones from that number for container plants over-wintering without being dug into the soil.

Unless you live in Vancouver- Canada’s banana belt- I suspect that you will have to take the planter indoors or start one in the spring. A large percentage of herbs are hardy to 5 zone which means you have to live in zone 7 to make them over-winter successfully in a planter out in the open.

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