Growing Sage
Great Garden Ornamental

Common sage is a staple to any garden. Growing sage adds contrast to your flowers beds as well creating nice boarders and back drops to your colorful flowers.

Sage is one of my favorite perennial herbs to grow because it comes back each year.

By the third year sage is a nice size bush that adds such a nice contrast to my garden.

The soft leaves have a sliver cast from the hairs on the leaves.

Take a leaf in your hand and roll it into a ball. Smell the aroma! Nice, smells like Thanksgiving.

Sage’s aroma comes from terpene, salvene and camphor. As you dry the leaves the aromatics become more pronounced. Sage has a slight bitter taste that is pleasant. The leaves can be used fresh in salads or cooked and used in eggs and stuffing’s.

Not only is sage a great plant for the garden, it adds nutrition to your recipes.

Common sage and purple sage are used most often for culinary and medicinal purposes, but the other varieties offer such contrasts in the herb garden and flower beds they are worth growing.

Growing Sage Garden Varieties

Sage species and varieties create a great contrast to any herb garden or flower bed. Here are some popular varieties you can grow.

    Common Sage use most often for food flavoring. It keeps its aroma and flavor well with extended cooking. Nice silvery green leaves. It produces small lavender flowers in the summer. Hardy to zone 4-8.

    Pineapple Sage popular in Mexico hardy to zone 8 and above. Nice pineapple scent. Likes full sun and well drained soils. Has beautiful red flowers summer through fall. Good for use in teas and jellies. Can grow in containers indoors with good light.

    Purple Sage is compact, aromatic. Use the same as garden sage in stuffing, sausage and soups. Nice in the garden to add color and variety. Purple sage grows to 18 inches with purple tinted leave on tips and green leaves lower down on the stems. Hardy in zones 5-8.

    Tricolor Sage has variegated leaves in colors from cream, purple, dark pink, white and green. Good ornamental sage for the flower garden to add interest. Grows in zones 6-9.

    White Sage is use in many Native American ceremonies. Use to make sage smudge sticks burned as incense to bring about a feeling of well being. Also used as a natural deodorant and skin wash. White sage has nice dusty green foliage. Grows in zones 6-9

Planting and Care of Growing Sage

Sage can be started from seeds or from plant cuttings. Seeds need to be fresh as sage seeds do not last long. Sage seeds germinate quickly in 3-5 days. Start seeds indoors about 8 weeks before last spring frost.

Plant in potting mix and lightly push seeds into soil. Keep pots out of sunlight until germination then put in sunny window until time to put out side.

Growing sage can be started from cuttings in the fall or buy started plants from your local nursery. Sage takes a few years to reach its full height. After the first year it develops woody branches.

Plant sage in a sunny spot with well drained soil 2 feet apart from other plants in the garden. Sage grows well with rosemary, lavender and thyme. As the sage plant matures, water when soil dries out. Sage doesn’t like soggy soils. Sage grows well in drier climates.

Harvest individual sage leaves any time through out the summer. In the fall harvest stems by cutting branches back to 1 or 2 leaves.

Sage can be hung upside down until dried or used fresh. Dry sage is more concentrated and it takes less to bring out flavor in recipes.

After 4 or 5 years sage plants need the woody parts pruned back to keep it looking fresh. After a while the plant looks tired and spindly. Replace these older plants with new ones to keep the garden looking its best.

Medicinal Properties of Growing Sage

Sage (Salvia officinalis) has been used for centuries for its medicinal properties. The Greeks used it to heal tubulocus, ulcers and digestive problems. Studies in Japan have suggested sage tea helps to prevent blood clots. Silva taken from the Latin word to mean “to heal”

Like all healing substance, take in moderation. A little sage goes along way.

This is a favorite tea for my husband when he gets a cold with a sore throat and congestion. The sage helps heal a soar throat and the chamomile and peppermint help with stomach upset and relaxation. My husband likes to add a squeeze of lemon to this tea along with the honey.

Soothing tea for coughs and chest congestion:

    Soothing Sage Tea

    4 teaspoons dried Chamomile flowers
    2 teaspoon dried Peppermint leaves
    1 teaspoon dried sage leaves

    Place dried herbs in a pint jar with a lid. Fill jar with boiling water. Put on lid and let set for 30 minutes to an hour. Strain leaves from liquid. Pour into mugs and warm again if needed. Add honey to taste and drink. Drink 3 to 4 cups a day until feeling relief.

Growing sage has some antibacterial and antiviral properties. An infusion of sage can relive skin Inching. Make a sage infusion and cool liquid in the refrigerator. Pour liquid over irritated skin or use cotton balls to apply.

    Sage Infusion

    ¼ cup of dried sage leaves
    1 pint boiling water

    Put dried sage leaves into a pint jar. Pour boiling water over sage leaves and fill water to top of jar. Put lid on jar and steep for 4 hours.

    Strain liquid though cotton dish towels or several layers of cheese cloth. Discard leaves and cool liquid in the refrigerator. Good for 2-3 days. Use left over sage infusion to water house plants.

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