Ozrkgirlie
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First year herb grower ...my sage needs help

This is the first year I have ever grown herbs...we live in central Missouri just to give you an idea of general weather conditions. They were doing great til it started getting colder I brought all my herbs in...we do not have a garden as of yet...they are all in large plastic pots. I am aware that both Rosemary and Sage prefer terra cotta pots and have yet to do that...not sure if I should wait til spring. Eventually I would like to plant them outside.

I do not have alot of windows that provide alot of light. So the sage is dying and the rosemary is starting to it seems. I have them where the sun comes in the window from the South but that is only 1 window and it doesnt provide sun for very long each day. I have been watering them only once a week.My hope was since it was winter not alot of sun etc and they were brought in that they might go into a kind of dormant stage then in spring when I put them out hopefully they would flourish again.

Questions are...how do I keep this alive...what kind of soil mixtures do you find useful...fertilization etc....I am a complete novice so all practical advice would be useful. Should I move them outside during days where it is warmer and sunny...meaning in the 50s or would moving in and out be more traumatic for them?

Thanks a bunch all
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applestar
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Re: First year herb grower ...my sage needs help

They can handle temperatures down to upper 30's and light frost no problem.

Sage is hardier than rosemary and more sensitive to insufficient light, so I would recommend putting that back outside. Place it against the south side of the house, or if you have a well draining spot that absolutely will not get waterlogged and gets full sun, bury the pot to the rim.

For rosemary, I have a thread somewhere with all kinds of personal experiences and will go find it at earliest opportunity unless someone else posts it first. Bottom line, you need to put it in coolest sunniest location. 50's is best, 40's is good. You may need to provide supplemental light -- colder it is ess light it needs. I thoroughly mist every morning with filtered water. You actually need to water it more than you might think when they are in containers, depending on how pot bound the roots are and the ambient temperature. Once rosemary starts to look crisp, they are done for.
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evtubbergh
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Re: First year herb grower ...my sage needs help

Oh yes sage needs light. I had a beautiful healthy sage until the lemon verbena grew foliage. Then it just up and died! The same thing happened the next year.

I must point out that everything else does fine with the reduced sun but the sage couldn't handle it.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: First year herb grower ...my sage needs help

To start with, it looks like you have way too many sage plants in that pot. Give them some room. And then put them back outside as Applestar suggested. Sage is cold hardy even in zone 5, which it looks like you are in. (Surprisingly, a zone colder than me, even though I am farther north.) In pots is colder than in the ground, so you might want to provide some protection, maybe put some leaves or straw around your pots or bury it.

Rosemary has to come in and is tricky to overwinter indoors. It helps if you can mix some cactus mix or sand into your potting soil, so that it is very free draining. Water it very little, but mist it frequently. Yes, I think moving in and out would be traumatic and make things worse. But it will need supplemental lighting. I have mine where there are windows on two sides and I still have a lamp on it.
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Ozrkgirlie
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Re: First year herb grower ...my sage needs help

Thanks for the advice....actually there is only 1 plant in there...I know it looks like more but when I bought it ..it was just this small little thing ...I don't know much about pruning and such so maybe I have made it grow like that not sure. I did try to snip it so that it would bush out more not get tall. I will definately get some sand etc and re mix soil as soon as I can.

So i can plant this outside without the fear of it dying due to the colder weather in the winter? Burying the whole container...is this so that I can pull it out easily next year since I do not have a place set yet for it to go?

I have never misted my rosemary so I will start doing that as well. By supplimental light I assume you are meaning a growing light ...not just keep the light on in the bedroom...lol.

Thanks so much for the insight!


My son has asked me to ask if there are tricks to making Thyme grow better as well...right now I have it in a small pot in the window sill. Let me add this was one of those Living plants you purchase at the grocery store..lol...Thanks again

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rainbowgardener
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Re: First year herb grower ...my sage needs help

By supplemental light, I mean a light bulb that is shining directly on the plant from only a few inches away (has to be fluorescent, incandescent bulbs give off too much heat and will burn your plants up if they are close enough to do any good). If your bedroom light is in the ceiling, it is way too far away to help your plants. But it doesn't have to be any fancy grow light.

Re "Burying the whole container...is this so that I can pull it out easily next year since I do not have a place set yet for it to go?" No, it is just for insulation. Plants in the ground are a lot more protected. In a pot, they freeze a lot harder and are more vulnerable to freeze/ thaw cycles.
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Ozrkgirlie
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Re: First year herb grower ...my sage needs help

With the new energy efficient bulbs would you recommend a higher wattage...also should I turn the light on and off with the sun cycle??

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rainbowgardener
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Re: First year herb grower ...my sage needs help

Maybe someone else can give a better answer about the wattage.

But no... lamp light is so much less than sunlight, you can compensate for that a little bit by leaving it on 16 hrs a day, not keeping it with the sun cycle. I just turn mine on first thing in the AM when I get up, and off last thing before I go to bed.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

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