Do you want to grow sage but have no idea how? Are you a gardener planting sage but need to learn more about how to take care of this plant? You are at the right place.
To grow garden sage, ensure the soil is thoroughly dried with a pH of 6.5 to 7.0. Then, plant it where it gets plenty of sunlight and soil rich in the organic composite. If you plan to grow sage, remember that annual or biennial sage grows from seeds. In contrast, perennial sage grows well from young plants.
Sage is an easy-to-handle plant. Although it doesn’t require great care, you must know some tricks to grow it properly. Let’s discover everything related to the sage’s growth!
- What Is Sage?
- Benefits of Sage
- Types of Sage
- How To Grow And Care For Sage?
- How To Harvest?
- Possible Problems
What Is Sage?
Sage, also called Salvia officinalis, is a culinary herb. It belongs to the mint family. Its gray silvery-green leaves and beautiful blue-purple blossom flowers make it an adornment for your house.
This plant is quite aromatic and flavorful too. People worldwide use sage leaves, either fresh or dried, in their dishes. Usually, it is paired with pork, poultry, lamb, winter squashes, and risotto.
Sage is famous for its medicinal properties. For example, it was healing broken bones, treating memory loss, and curing stomach disorders. Sage is associated with many benefits. Let’s have a look at some of these.
Benefits of Sage
Sage has several benefits when consumed; here is a quick run-down of a few.
Benefit #1: Rich In Nutrients
Sage is exceptionally rich in nutrients (vitamins and minerals). Even its small consumption can cover up to 10% of your daily Vitamin K needs.
It contains low calories, carbs, fibers, and proteins. Moreover, it can be considered a powerhouse for some beneficial acids, i.e., chlorogenic acid, rosmarinic acid, etc.
Benefit #2: Cures Memory Loss
It helps improve memory and brain functions in adults. Sage contains several antioxidants that support the brain’s defense system.
Its higher dose in adults leads to a sense of calmness and satisfaction.
Benefit #3: Fights Off Cancer
Many test tube and animal-based studies have proved that sage is helpful in the prevention of certain types of cancer.
These include liver, colon, mouth, kidney, breast, and skin cancers.
Types of Sage
Almost 900 species of sage exist in this world till now. Some of them are for culinary purposes, and some are ornamental.
Here we have listed down popular types of sage.
- Garden Sage
- Golden Sage
- Grape Scented Sage
- Pineapple Sage
- White Sage
- Tricolor Garden Sage
How To Grow And Care For Sage?
Growing sage is not that hard. You need to follow our step-by-step guide.
Know When To Plant
The best time to plant sage is usually in the early spring. Ensure the winter has passed, or only the last weeks are left.
The temperature at that time, 65°F (18°C), will be beneficial for the sage to grow appropriately.
Select the Site
Sage can grow anywhere, but you should choose where the soil is drained. Make sure that there is no issue with sunlight as it does exceptionally well in it.
Avoid over-watering at all costs. For sage’s optimal growth, the pH of the soil should be 6.5 to 7.0.
If you have clay soil in your garden or selected soil, always mix it with sand or organic composite (ripe chicken manure) for better sewage. In zone 5 to 8, keeping sage in a container will be good. Otherwise, it will become hardy perennial. In zone 9 and further, sage grows annually because of its humidity.
Sage likes to grow individually, so it is planted 18 to 24 inches apart. It is to avoid interruption in its bushlike growth pattern.
You can grow sage in the following ways.
Method #1: By Seeds
If you want to grow sage by sowing seeds, it will take a long time to become a fully mature plant.
Growing sage by seeds will require you to plant it indoors in a pot or container for almost 6 to 8 weeks.
The germination process will start by the 3rd week, and then you can place the germinated seedlings into your garden soil.
Method #2: By Cuttings
Another method includes cutting a 3-inch stem tip from the sage plant.
Then you must wait for 6 weeks after applying root hormone at the end and putting it in sterile sand.
When you notice a root ball, this is your cue to transfer it to your garden or pot.
Method #3: By Layering
You need to plant a sage stem into the soil. After a month, roots will form along the stem. Cut these roots and take them to your garden.
Keeping sage with other plants like tomatoes, rosemary, and basil will bring out the best flavor. It will also help keep pollinators away from the sage.
How To Harvest?
You can directly pick sage from your garden when you need it. You can also dry the leaves for later use. For drying, hang them upside down in an airy spot.
Using crushed sage leaves will bring out an exceptional flavor.
After 75 days of seeding, the sage leaves mature enough to begin harvesting. If you prefer the flavor, harvest the leaves before the flowers bloom.
Make sure it is late morning (the dew has dried) or early evening because aromatic oils are highly concentrated at that time.
People have encountered very few problems with sage so far. Some pest and plant diseases can occur, but you can control them with suitable precautions.
Let’s look at these problems.
Problem #1: Pests
Some garden pests like slugs, spider mites, and spittlebugs can attack sage.
You can try pesticides, insecticidal soaps, and neem oil to overcome this problem. Diatomaceous earth is also beneficial.
Problem #2: Plant Diseases
You can come across diseases like root rot and Powdery Mildew. Both disorders occur when the soil is too wet.
You need to stop overwatering to prevent this. And make sure your garden is airy.
Sage is a herbaceous plant used in cooking for seasoning and flavoring purposes. Growing sage is easier than you might have thought. To plant it in your garden, you will need to follow the steps mentioned above.
To ensure the proper growth of sage, keep some details in your mind. Like, plant it at a distance of 18 to 24 inches and in well-drained soil.
Avoid overwatering and harvest it whenever you need it. It is not a high-maintenance plant. So you can seed it, gather it and enjoy it!