This spring my Russian Tarragon came back and it's already 3 feet high
which I didn't expect (both how big and it coming back period). I
googled to find out if I could split the plant because it's getting huge
and it's in a rather small pot for its size now. I'd like to get this
growing in a bigger pot but not disturb the original plant too much.
Anyway, I went to http://www.seedsofknowledge.com/tarragon.html which
said these plants can't survive a hard freeze in winter. I'm in zone 5
Chicago and we definitely had hard freezes here last winter and I thought
that you had to subtract a zone for plants growing in pots since the
roots freeze easier. This is pretty weird.
Has anyone grown these and split them?
In a pot, they won't survive the winter unless you bring the pot indoors, or
at least into a garage. In the ground is another story. I'm in Rochester NY,
zone 5/6 depending on luck and which side of the house, and my tarragon has
been coming back for many years. This year, at my new house, it was under 5
feet of snow for 2 months. It is now taking over a flower bed.
It's not too late to split your plant. But, remember that if it were in the
ground and you split it, it would be going back into relatively cool, moist
soil at this time of year. Try to duplicate that with your pot(s). Keep the
pots shaded for a few weeks if you can, or the soil will heat up too much.
Oh....maybe I'll change "will" to "might", so nobody here gets apoplectic.
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Somehow this one survived in a relatively small pot, a 12" high and wide
and 6' long. It's planted at one end of the pot. Even mint has problems
coming back in this container.
Next winter I'll try bringing some of these perennials into my basement
to see if they come back. Do you have to keep them watered while
they're inside like that? Having these things come back is extremely
convenient in that it's one less thing to plant in the Spring.
No idea about keeping them watered. Or, more correctly, I *think* I could
poke my finger into the soil (of in-the-cellar pots) and know what's too dry
or damp, but I can't explain it very well.
Is there any reason you couldn't sink the pots into the ground outdoors, in
an used flower bed?
Use your nose, too. If something smells like it's rotting, it probably is.
If you wanted to get really gutsy, you could wait till late fall when the
plant is already looking like it's ready to hibernate, knock off the soil,
and bury the roots in damp peat moss. It's slightly acidic and has a
tendency to quell the growth of nasties that would rot the plant. Another
preventitive step is to buy a container of sulfur powder, one of the few
things you'd ever want to buy from Ortho, the chemical slobs. Dust the roots
with sulfur as you would dust a chicken breast with flour before cooking.
Then, the peat moss. Store in a plastic bag, but not sealed. Too damp and
you'll have problems. At the other extreme, if the peat moss dries out,
it'll suck the life out of the roots. Keeping a misting bottle nearby is a
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