Sunday, March 21, 2010

March 21, 2009

Well, blogging didn't happen last week like I'd hoped, but it doesn't mean gardening didn't.  In fact, I've been so busy that tonight's post is going to be short and sweet.  I need to hit the sack. I actually brushed my teeth and came back out to the computer to post this.

Speaking of sweet, that is the topic of today's post.  Specifically my stevia plant.  If you recall, I planted 10 seeds in a separate pot so I could bring it in during the winter. I had heard you can overwinter here if you bring it inside.  Well, last year, 9 of the 10 seeds failed to germinate.  Thankfully one did and I got a beautiful plant out of it.  Here's a pic of the plant in all it's glory when I brought it inside at the end of last season.

I stuck it in the southern facing window of my garage hoping to give it enough light to survive despite the unheated temps in the garage.  Alas, my attempts to keep the plant alive were thwarted, even after moving it indoors to the top of the fridge to keep it warm.

I can't seem to find a picture of the plant completely brown.  My guess is it's in the device memory of the phone that died.  These were properly stored on the memory card.   Anyway, I felt betrayed by the claim that I could overwinter the plant.  Sure I can't keep houseplants alive, but this is a hearty herb, right? Wrong.  So the entire winter this dead plant sat in my fridged garage in a southern facing window.  My plan was to clean the pot out for use this season.

Well, I finally gave it a second glance this week because I was eyeing it for use to plant my wife's licorice herb.  I am ashamed to say the pot is difficult to get to since we've let that room get cluttered over the winter. So from ten feet away, the plant looked a foot tall and brown, brown, brown.  Or maybe it wasn't. Did my eyes deceive me or was there a bit of green at the bottom?  Sure enough, when I cut away all the dead branches, I was left with this...

I was shocked!  Seems there is some sort of root ball or crown in there that survived and grew this nice new plant again.  Maybe THIS is what they meant by overwintering?  And in case that's not shocking enough, notice that I said I paid not attention to this for several months.  This plant grew with absolutely NO watering!

Of course, I have since watered it and moved it to the bright sunlit window up in the light system room.  I expect it to thrive this year.  Yay!  This year I will harvest all the leaves and dry them at the end of the season, so I don't have to worry about keeping it alive during the winter. 

I guess I need to find a new pot for my wife's herbs. hehe

Enjoy your garden!


  1. What a nice surprise!! It looks like a healthy little plant too. With some tlc I am sure it will thrive.

  2. Congratulations! I thought my lemon verbena gave up the ghost this winter and I just saw it sprouting from the base a week ago today. That sort of thing is always such a nice surprise!

  3. That's a treat!! I love perennials just for their miraculous recovery powers.

  4. What a great recovery! I know absolutely nothing about this plant - but I have several perennial plants that die back and need a heavy hair cut (remove the old stuff) and they then grow new leaves and stems from the root mass. Perhaps this is like that?