Root Beer Plant

Hoja Santa (Piper auritum) Root Beer Plant. I noticed that the local master gardeners were growing this plant, but when I asked them if it would survive the winter, and come back next week they did not know. I live in Pittsburgh,PA was wondering if I planted it outside would it come back the next year, or should I plant it in a pot, and bring it inside for the winter. I noticed someone on a plant website said they were growing it in a greenhouse in Indiana.
Thanks
Tom
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Hi Tom! A google search: http://www.google.com/search?q=%28%22Hoja+Santa%22++or+%22Piper+auritum%22%29zone Yielded several conflicting results: 10, 8b, 7. We were zone 5/6 until recently, we'ce since been moved to 6a (IIRC) so in all cases, we're too cold.
You *might* be able to get by if you had a southern exposure high heat retention level microclimate (stone/brick wall sheltered from wind) but I wouldn't count on it. Best bet is to pot it up and bring it in in mid/late fall.
Where did you get it? (sounds like a neat plant... and i like root beer. ;)
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May no harm befall you,
flip (Ingram PA)
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I have not purchased it yet. If you live in the Pittsburgh area the plant I saw is located in North Park at the corner of Ingomar and Babcock where the cannon is across from the lake. It is planted in one of the flower beds, and the sign says it was started from seed.
Tom

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Root beer is not made from this plant.
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Travis in Shoreline (just North of Seattle) Washington
USDA Zone 8
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Travis M. wrote:

Nowadays, root beer is made from artificial flavor.
When it was made from a plant, that plant was the sassafras tree.
I've got about a hundred sassafras trees along the perimeter of my property. We made root beer from them last summer. Just add dry ice (for carbonation) and sugar.
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Thank you, Tom, for providing me with the *real* name of this plant. I bought one in the Spring at the UIs Horticulture Club Plant Sale, but it was only labeled *Root Beer Plant*. I may try to take a start and leave part outside (I do have a microclimate area in my garden) and bring the mother inside.
Cheryl
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clc wrote:

When I lived in Minnesota, I did an experiment one year. I had a few plants that *should* have died over the winter but I stuck the pots in a fairly protected area and surrounded them with garbage bags full of leaves. All around and on top. The plants survived to grow the next year. (IIRC, at least one a calla.)
Tracey
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