As the summer ends, what will happen to my herb garden? What can I do to make sure they come back?

Question by nitz: As the summer ends, what will happen to my herb garden? What can I do to make sure they come back?
I grew mint, basil and rosemary on my window sill for the first time this summer. What can I expect to happen to them as the weather turns? Will they come back next summer? Do I have to do anything to the plants or soil to make this happen?

Best answer:

Answer by reynwater
Mint and Rosemary are perennials, basil is an annual. Collect seeds.

Know better? Leave your own answer in the comments!


  1. Hi:
    My first question to you is are they in pots that can be brought in the house? If you live in a cold climate region, this would be ideal to bring them in so you can have them year around. They will have to have some sun.

    Mint and Rosemary are perennials and will come back next year. Basil is an annual and will not come back. I have brought basil in over the winter (I live in zone seven in the United States) and the basil did well in a pot inside. Rosemary is an evergreen in warmer climates.

    There isn’t much to do with potted plants during the colder months. If the inside is not right for you, consider putting them in a shelter area, such as a garage. I put our fern plant in the garage throughout the winter and it survives fine.

    I hope this has helped some and good luck to you. I will direct you to my Landscape article section of my website as I have some articles about herbs. Also take a look at my site map page, as this may give you some more ideas. I have a preparing for fall page also.

  2. Mint you can plant in the ground, and it will spread, and you will have it forever. You can even TRY to kill it when it’s planted in the ground – and it will come back.

    Basil is an annual, and you need to grow it new each year. If they have flowered, save the seeds for next year.

    Rosemary is a tender perennial. It will grwo for years in warm climates, but it doesn’t survive winter here (Zone 6). I usually start a couple cuttings, or layer one of the branches (nick the underside of the bark, and bury that section in an inch of soil right where it’s growing – in 4-6 weeks, it will have rooted, then cut the part connecting it to the “parent” plant, and dig up the small offspring), and bring the start into the house for the winter – in a sunny window (south facing is best).

  3. On your window sill? Does that mean that they are in pots or planters that can be moved inside?

    I suggest using a “cold frame” inside for the winter. I have a two tiered cold frame for use indoors which features 4 hanging fluorescent lights (2 tubes each, 2 lights per tier) in which I use the fluorescent grow light tubes. I put the whole unit on a timer and subject my plants to the typical summer “sun” of 16 hours daily. My portable outdoor plants continue to grow and thrive all winter long.

    Here’s an example of a cold frame, similar to what I’m talking about: