Overwintering horseradish in a container

Asked August 19, 2018, 12:53 PM EDT

I live in Casper.I planted Horseradish in a 2'x2'x4' container.Will it overwinter in there? If not,what is the best way to keep some roots for spring planting? Can I get a harvest in the first year? I don't want to plant it in the ground because it is supposed to be hard to control.

Natrona County Wyoming

3 Responses

I have been looking through my garden books for a reference on horseradish that suggests planting horseradish in a container. I have not yet found one. I see there are suggestions that if the plant is left to itself, it can become weedy and the recommendation is to lift the entire plant in the fall and replant in the spring, so that it does not go rogue.

I have found a post online that suggests you can plant it in a container but it must be big (24 - 36 inches deep) for the large root. It also suggest potting it after the last frost date and then putting it outdoors. So, I am not sure that I see the benefit if you would be lifting the whole plant each fall to keep it from spreading.

I do find a suggestion of cutting the bottom out of a 5 gallon bucket and putting that in the ground to contain the growth of the plant. (This method is also suggested for keeping mint to a dull roar.) Then filling the buried bucket with soil and planting the horseradish is this container, but outdoors.

Planting is recommended for early spring, as soon as the soil is workable. A corner of the garden seems to be the best spot unless you are planting next to potatoes to prevent disease and some insect pest. Propagation requires a 3" or longer root piece planted horizontally.

One book suggests leaving the whole plant outdoors so that fresh root can be dug anytime during the year, but that is difficult except in the most protected warm areas of a yard in Casper. But the root retains flavors and vitamins if stored in the crisper of the refrigerator, maybe in a brown paper bag. Or it could be stored in cool damp sand in a cool dark location in the house until time for spring planting.

I think the chances of it becoming a weedy problem increase if the plant is left outdoors and the interest in horseradish condiment decreases or family usage diminishes.

Thanks for that in depth and informative answer.I think I'll put some in damp sand indoors to try and keep some for planting and leave some to see if it makes it over winter outside.Burying a five gallon bucket seems like the best answer,but it is also a big hole to dig.Maybe next year.

Glad to help. If you are in need of assistance in the future you are welcomed to come to the local UW Extension office at 2011 Fairgrounds Road or call us directly at 235-9400.

Good luck with the horseradish.