This treasured Ayurvedic herb is hardy to 15 degrees and quite intolerant of moist soils in the winter. The plant is an evergreen woody shrub in the tropics and hot desert areas, and acts like an herbaceous perennial in temperate zone eight and warmer. For areas cooler than zone eight, ashwagandha is best grown as a summer annual. This light dependent germinator is best sown early spring indoors or in the greenhouse. The plant prefers full sun and dryish conditions in fast-draining, alkaline soil.