Growing Organic Sage – In Containers, And Pots

Introduction to Growing Organic Sage in Containers

Sage is an herb that can be used in the kitchen and as medicinally. Sage is also called garden Sage or Common Sage and a member of the mint family, culinary Sage is a highly aromatic herb with a subtle, earthy flavor. Sage is good-looking with greyish-green foliage and beautiful purple-pink blossoms. It is successfully grown at homegrown indoors in containers or outdoors in garden beds. It is a perennial herb that you can grow in the garden in containers indoors or in warmer climates.

A Step by Step Guide to Growing Organic Sage in Pots and Containers

Sage is a robust perennial that tastes aromatic and slightly bitter. It is easy to grow, with only 3 major requirements such as good air circulation, plenty of sunshine, and good drainage. Sage grows well in several climate conditions, and it can live in temperatures as low as -17°C. Its appearances pleasant in the garden and grows pretty purple, pink, white, or blue flowers in summer. Growing Sage in pots is easy and requires some care. Sage is an accepting plant that can grow well in a variety of conditions.

Organic Soil Preparation for Growing Sage

Sage requires loamy, sandy, well-draining soil. You want a pH value between 6 and 7 for the best growth. If you are looking to plant in clay soil, mix in organic matter and sand to provide well drainage. Sage grows well in rich clay loam that is rich in nitrogen and drains well. Sage grows well when it is planted with some other perennial herbs, such as oregano, marjoram, thyme, and parsley. Sage thrives in well-drained, loamy, sandy soil, and it prefers a pH value between 6.0 and 6.5. If you are looking to grow Sage in indoors, place your pot closer to a sunny window.

Below are some of the most popular varieties are;

Berggarten Sage – If you are comparing this Berggarten Sage with common garden Sage, both are very similar in their look, color, and style of leaves, but it does not bloom.

Garden Sage – In most well-known varieties of Sage, Garden Sage will be the one and is also referred to as “common Sage.” It’s hardy and can resist even extreme cold during winters, bouncing back each spring.

Golden Sage – Golden Sage is a creeping plant and has golden and green variegated leaves. Beautiful in a garden with other plants, as the colors highlight whatever is planted around it.

Grape Scented Sage – In the largest-growing varieties, Grape scented Sage is the one, and growing up to 8 feet tall by 6 feet wide. Its leaves and flowers will attract hummingbirds and can be steeped to make tea.

Mealycup Sage –The most common version is known as blue salvia, grows around 2 to 3 feet, and is most frequently an annual, based on the region you are growing it in. It has lovely purple, blue or white flower spikes and has some varieties such as “Victoria Blue” and “Empire Purple.”

Mexican Bush Sage – Mexican bush Sage is drought tolerant and grows 3 to 4 feet.

Purple Sage – When it is young, purple Sage plants have purple leaves. And it is also used for cooking, but unlike garden Sage, a purple Sage bush doesn’t bloom very frequently.

Pineapple Sage – Pineapple Sage is mainly grown as an ornamental plant but is also widely supposed to have medicinal properties. This perennial grows tubular red flowers and attracts butterflies and hummingbirds.

Scarlet Sage – Scarlet Sage is an annual that succeeds in full sun, but it can also withstand some partial shade on condition that it’s planted in well-draining soil.

Tricolor Garden Sage – Tricolor garden Sage is very familiar in looks as purple Sage, but has uneven white accented leaves, giving it the perception of being “tricolored.”

White Sage – White Sage is used for cooking and is also known as bee Sage. This plant is an evergreen perennial shrub that can take up to 3 years to mature and grows to 2 to 3 feet tall.

The Site Preparation for Growing Organic Sage

Sage grows well in containers or pots and requires full sun tolerates partial shade and well-drained soil to succeed. Dig in plenty of well-aged chicken manure or organic garden compost before planting. For best growth, Sage chooses well-drained soil mixed with organic and compost material, and full sun or partial afternoon shade. Once established, Sage is a hardy plant that needs little water to succeed.

Growing Organic Sage from Seeds in Containers

Start germinating your Sage seeds 6 weeks before you can plan to plant them outdoors. Select container that has 5-inch-deep and must have drainage holes in the bottom. Then, fill it to 1/2 inch from the top with a mix of equal parts perlite and peat moss. Set the container on a tray and water it carefully until water runs out of the bottom and into the tray. Dump out the extra water and sprinkle Sage seeds on top of the perlite and peat moss mix. Fully cover the seeds with 1/8 inch of moist peat moss.

Place a strong plastic bag over the pot and fold the open-end underneath to seal in moisture. Leave the container in direct sunlight. When the seedlings arise and have developed one set of true leaves, remove the bag. Thin out the seedlings so there are 4 to 5 left in each pot. When they are 3 inches tall, separate the seedlings, one to a pot, if you are keeping them indoors.

Seed Germination for Sage;

Growing Sage from seed is generally not ideal.  It takes a seeded plant 2 years to reach maturity. Because of this reason, most of the gardeners start their Sage from cuttings or by dividing up the new growth of their existing plants. If you are looking to start your Sage from seeds, sow them under grow lights around 6 to 8 weeks before the last expected frost date. Most seeds take around 3 weeks to germinate, and a germination rate of 40% is normal. Once the risk of frost has passed in the starting stage, you can bring your Sage seedlings outdoors for a few hours each day to harden them off and decrease the shock of transplanting.

Tips for Growing Organic Sage in Containers

  • Growing Sage in containers is the best way to ensure it’s simply accessible for all your cooking requirements.
  • Keep in mind not use anything smaller than a 12-inch pot, as Sage grows over a foot tall.
  • It’s best to use a commercial potting mix instead of garden soil to prevent the spread of disease to your plants.

Setting up a Garden Bed for Sage

Setting up a garden bed for Sage is very simple compared to other herbs, more needy herbs. Be sure to choose a garden space in full sun. Sage chooses a pH level between 6 to 6.5 and need well-drained soil with a good supply of nitrogen. Before planting the Sage, cultivate the soil around 12 inches deep and mix in a thin layer of organic compost. Be light on the fertilizer, as Sage has a stronger flavour when it’s grown in poor soil.

Once the risk of frost has passed and your Sage plants have at last 4 true leaves and are appropriately hardened, they are ready to be planted outside. Simply plant each herb at a distance of 12 to 18 inches and water them carefully.

Growing Organic Sage from Stem Cuttings

To start Sage plants from stem cuttings, just follow below directions;

  • First, you have to fill the container with pre-moistened growing media of your choice.
  • Take a 4-inch stem cutting right below a node and take away all of the leaves from the bottom 2 inches of the stem.
  • Place the cut end of the plant stem in rooting hormone.
  • Carefully plant cuttings in containers.

When taking cuttings from an existing Sage to prevent the spread of disease plants you can use clean, sanitized handheld pruners. First of all, clean the blades of your tool with a clean, damp rag or paper towel. One simple way to disinfect after cleaning is to wipe the blades with a paper towel soaked in a solution containing 70 to 100% ethanol or isopropyl alcohol. Now you are ready to trim off 3 to 4-inch stem segments. In a glass of water stick them, cut end down, to keep them from wilting.

Fill a 5-inch-deep container that has drainage holes in the bottom with a mix of equal parts peat, sand, and perlite. Pour water into the pot till it drains from the bottom and uses your finger to make a 2 to the 3-inch-deep hole in the center of the potting mix. Take away the bottom set of leaves from the cutting, put it in the hole you made, and slightly press the soil around the stem, taking care not to bury any leaves.

Wrap the complete pot in a strong plastic bag so that it doesn’t touch any of the Sage leaves. It will stay moist this way, but you can add water if the soil dries out. Place the pot in direct sunlight. Then in 2 weeks when the cutting has developed roots, remove the bag.

Mulches also help hold soil moisture and maintain uniform soil temperatures. For Sage plant, an organic mulch of shredded leaves or aged bark lends a natural look to the bed and will improve the soil as it breaks down in time. Always maintain mulches off a plant’s stems to prevent possible rot.

Tips for Growing Organic Sage in Containers

Tips for Growing an Organic Sage in Containers.
Tips for Growing an Organic Sage in Containers
  • Sage plants are extremely drought-tolerant, hardy perennial plants. They are honestly requiring low maintenance when grown as indoor plants.
  • As part of the care of potted Sage herbs, you will need to maintain the plants in a warm area, away from drafts, in temperatures around 21°C. Provide humidity when growing Sage indoors, with a nearby humidifier or pebble tray. Water as needed, letting the top inch of soil dries out between watering.
  • When watering the plants please avoid getting water on the foliage if possible water the soil directly and maintain good air circulation to lower the incidence of powdery mildew.
  • Keep plants on a window side of a sunny window so plants are exposed to a minimum of 6 to 8-hours of sunlight daily.
  • Sage is adapted to lots of sunlight outside, making it difficult to give it sufficient light indoors. If essential, supplement plants with light via high-intensity discharge (HID) or fluorescent growing lights; simple lights can be purchased at a local garden center or online.
  • Monitor Sage plants closely for some pests like aphids, whiteflies, and spider mites, particularly if you introduce new houseplants to your indoor garden.
  • If in case plants are overgrown, you can do a more severe harvest. Starting from the top of the plant start harvesting stems, making sure to remove no more than half of the plant at any given time.

Organic Fertilizers for Growing Sage in Containers

Like other herbs, Sage also doesn’t like a strong fertilizer dose. Also, fertilizing a lot decreases its intense flavour. Then, you can mix well-rotted manure or aged compost at the time of planting in the potting mix and side-dress it again after 6 to 8 weeks interval. If you’re not using compost or other organic fertilizer, fertilize Sage with a general-purpose liquid fertilizer like 20-20-20, once in 4 to 6 weeks in the growing season. Do not feed in winter unless you live in a warm climate.

Organic Pests and Diseases Control in Sage Plants

The Sage plant’s fragrant leaves tend to attract hummingbirds, though slugs and spider mites also frequently land on the leaves. Spider mites can rapidly destroy Sage leaves if their populations get too much. To control for pests, take away any leaves that have been contaminated, and to control the worst outbreaks simply use organic pesticides like neem oil.

Few of the common garden pests, slugs, and spider mites are a found-on Sage. Watch closely and follow some pest control tips;

  • Take away weeds and other garden debris to eliminate alternate hosts.
  • Remove severely infected plants by securely bagging and putting in the trash.
  • Release commercially available beneficial insects to destroy and attack insect pests.
  • Spot the area and treat the pest problem with neem oil or other organic pesticides.

Foliage is prone to fungal diseases, such as verticillium wilt and powdery mildew, which can disfigure the leaves under severe infestations. To decrease these plant problems:

  • Avoid overhead watering whenever possible
  • To improve air circulation properly space plants
  • Apply sulfur or copper sprays to prevent further infection

Mildew is one of the problems Sage-growers have to deal with. You can avoid it by watching the plants carefully in humid, hot weather and by thinning the plants frequently to increase air circulation.

Sage is generally not a target for pests, but occasionally it will be affected by thrips, spider mites, and Spittlebugs. If you notice any pests, try using an organic pesticide or an insecticidal soap to maintain them under control.

When and How to Harvest Sage

Snip off small sprigs or pinch off leaves from the plant. In the 1st year, harvest lightly to ensure that the plant grows fully. After the 1st year, be sure to leave a few stalks so that the plant can refresh in the future. If fully established, one plant can be harvested up to 3 times in one season. Stop harvesting Sage in the fall season so the plant can prepare for winter.

Commonly Asked Questions about Growing Organic Sage

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Questions about Growing Organic Sage.
Questions about Growing Organic Sage
Why is my Sage plant dying?

The most common reason for dying your Sage may be doing poorly is overwatering. Soil should be dry before watering to prevent mildew and brown or yellow spots.

Can Sage survive winter?

Sage is a cold-hardy herb. Most plant varieties will simply go dormant in the winter season and come back the next spring.

How much time does it take to grow Sage from seed?

Sage seeds germinate in 7 to 21 days at a soil temperature of 21°C.

Does Sage grow well in pots?

Sage is one of the most popular perennial kitchen herbs and easily grown in pots. You can grow Sage plants easily in pots or containers in a limited space, both outdoors and indoors. It needs the right combination of soil, sunlight, environment, and little care.

Can you over water Sage?

The Sage plant should be watered regularly. However, one must not overwater the plant, especially during summer seasons. Sage plants tend to thrive best in dry and sunny locations.

What are the reasons for Sage leaves curling?

When leaves curl at the tips, the Sage plant is trying to retain moisture. Any form of downwards curling generally indicates overwatering or overfeeding.

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