If you are looking for a perennial herb that is easy to grow and has many health benefits then sage is the right choice for you.
Sage is known for its culinary sage, it has gray-green aromatic leaves that are up to about 4 inches long.
The leaves are usually used fresh or dried in cooking and add an earthy and slightly pepper flavor.
Today in this article you can learn how to easily grow sage.
How to Plant Sage
When to Plant
The best time to plant sage is early spring. Most gardeners recommend planting sage seeds two weeks before the last spring frost.
Selecting a Planting Site
The best place to grow sage is where there is drainage soil. If you do not have a suitable place to grow the plant, then you can use a container in which you will put well-drained soil.
Stick the seeds of the plant in the soil and then cover them well with soil. Recommended distance between plants should be 1.5 to 2 meters.
Sage Plant Care
For a healthy and nutritious herb, sage should be exposed to at least six hours of direct sunlight.
If you live in zone 8 or higher, your plant will need afternoon shade.
Sage likes a sandy or loamy soil with good drainage. Wet soils can cause rot and be fatal to the plant. A slightly acidic to neutral soil pH is best.
Sage needs moderate moisture, the soil should be kept moderately moist but never soggy for young plants. When watering the plant, avoid wetting the leaves, as it can cause mold.
Temperature and Humidity
Common sage tends to be a bit hardier than the more ornamental varieties, such as golden, purple, and tricolor sage. Established plants can withstand some frost, but temperatures between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit are best. Sage likes a moderate humidity level. In areas with high humidity, make sure there’s enough air flow around the plants to help prevent fungal growth.
Sage plants aren’t heavy feeders, and too much fertilizer can result in weaker flavor. You can use an organic fertilizer for edible plants in the spring, or simply work some compost into the soil.
Sage is pollinated primarily by bees and butterflies and is excellent at attracting these beneficial insects to the garden.
How to Prune Sage
- Prune about ⅓ of green growth
- No more than 20% of total plant
- Do not prune down to bare stems
Pruning sage is easy. Guidelines for pruning sage envy of the size and age of the plant.
Younger plants are recommended to be cut up to almost 80%, while larger plants should be cut to about 20% of their new stems, never the woody base.
Sage can be propagated by stem cuttings. Not only is this an inexpensive way to create more plants, but it’s also an easy method to start new plants as established ones are becoming too woody for a good harvest. The best time to take cuttings is in the spring as active growth picks up. Here’s how:
- Trim off a 4- to 6-inch piece of young stem (rather than old, woody stem).
- Remove the foliage on the lower half. Also, remove any flowers and buds.
- Dip the cut end in a rooting hormone.
- Plant the cut end in a small container of moist soilless potting mix.
- Place the container in bright, indirect light, and keep the soil moist but not soggy.
- Wait to see new growth on the stem. Gently tug the stem; if you feel resistance you’ll know it has rooted and can be planted outside.
Harvesting and Storage
Harvest leaves sparingly during the first year of growth; pick as needed in following years. Sage is best used fresh but may be stored. Dried leaves have a stronger and somewhat different flavor than fresh.
To dry, tie the cuttings in small bunches and hang upside down in a well-ventilated, dark room. When dry, remove the leaves from the stems and store whole.