Your Complete Guide to Growing Sage
Sage, (Salvia officinalis), is a herb that’s popular among many culinary dishes. Sage belongs to the mint family (Lamiaceae) and is native to the Mediterranean region. This hardy perennial can also be used as border plants. The flavor of sage is so intense that all you need is a little to spruce up your favorite dishes. Garden sage is easy to grow. The leaves are beautiful green grayish, with flower blooms of white and pink among many.
What we will be covering in this article is the planting location of sage, the soil that sage grows in best, sage water and fertilizing requirements, garden insect pests and disease of sage and how to control, growing sage in pots, growing sage indoors, sage bloom period, pruning and harvesting sage along with using sage when fresh, drying and sage storage. This herb is worth your time and effort as you reap a bountiful harvest. For more on how to grow sage let’s take a closer look.
When planting sage installed in an area that gets the full sunlight, give them a spacing of 2 feet apart. If planting from seeds ensure that the soil remains moist for germination and proper growth.
The soil of sage should be loamy to sandy and slightly acidic to neutral.
Although sage requires moisture when starting from seeds, once mature sage doesn’t like wet feet so allow the soil to dry out between watering because too much water will lead to root rot and powdery mildew. Once the soil is dry water thoroughly again.
The use of 5-10-10 is ideal for sage if growing for beautification but if as an edible plant applying fertilizers will reduce the flavors.
Mid-summer is the time of bloom for sage.
Growing sage in a pot
The pot size to grow sage in can be anywhere from 8 inches deep or larger, the pot should have drain holes for drainage. A soil that’s loamy or well-drained is ideal, the pot should be placed in an area that gets 6-8 hours of direct sunlight. When transplanting sage water regularly for the first week until it develops a strong root system. Once the root system develops water only when the top few inches of soil is dry.
Growing sage indoors
When growing sage in containers indoor place sage in an area that gets 6-8 hours of sunlight like the kitchen window sill or a South or West facing window. Allow the soil to dry between watering and then water thoroughly again.
Garden insect pests of sage
- Spider mites
Thrips are winged insects that are slender, these garden pests cause white leaf scares. The use of neem oil along with keeping the plant bed free of debris will bring control. It’s also has been recommended that a strong spray of water from a garden hose will eliminate thrips also.
Whiteflies dose the same damage as aphids, keeping the planting bed free of weeds and debris will offer help. Neem oil will also bring elimination.
Spider mites are tiny insect which can hardly be seen except for the damage, these garden insect pests cause stippling, and yellowing of the leaves. Spider mites are most active during dry drought conditions, regular irrigation will help the plant from being stressed that encourages spider mites. neem oil may need to be applied depending on the infestation.
Aphids are known as a sucking insect and cause yellowing of the leaves along with sooty mold, which develops from the sticky secretion of aphids known as honeydew. A strong spray of water will eliminate these garden pests along with controlling sooty mold.
Homemade remedies to control garden insect pests are popular and have been used for years to maintain a pesticide-free garden. Here are a few among many that have proven to be effective.
Diseases of sage
- Powdery mildew
- Leaf spot
Rust shows up as discolored masses on the leaves of sage that is dry, following the proper water methods along with giving them the right amount of sunlight and the proper spacing will allow for good air circulation safeguarding your sage against this disease.
Powdery mildew shows up as a white powdery mass in the plant’s leaf, proper spacing will discourage this disease.
Leaf spot appears as small dots to large yellow blotches on the leaf surface, this disease is encouraged by fungi. Placing sage in an area that gets 6 to 8 hours of sunlight along with proper spacing and the right amount of moisture will help them to avoid this disease.
Sage can become woody over time causing it to lose its flavors, during the spring months when plants start to sprout prune the plant back to about 1 to 2 inches above the ground. Once pruned go ahead and give your sage a good soaking or a drink of water.
If you prefer using your sage dry then cut the stems about 6 inches or a little longer in length, once this is done tie stems in a bundle. Locate an area that is cool and dry then hang your sage upside down. Once dried store sage in a container that’s air-tight.
The best time to harvest sage is before it flowers because before flowers appear the leaves will maintain their flavors. For your sage to be used fresh cut during the early morning.
The final word on how to grow sage
Growing sage is that simple, all it takes is knowing how, by following my guide you will be well on your way to growing a healthy plant or plants you can enjoy both as a border plant beautifying your garden or as an edible to flavor your favorite recipes. Go ahead and give sage a try as you excite your taste buds with the taste of this garden herb