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Growing Sage, Planting, Care and Harvesting

A full guide of growing Sage in the home garden

Today, let us go through the information of growing Sage plant from cuttings, seeds in pots, indoors at home. we also explain here about Sage planting, Sage plant care tips along with harvesting procedure of Sage herb. Sage which is scientifically called as Salvia officinalis is a hardy perennial. The taste of the sage will be aromatic and somewhat bitter. Growing sage is easy as it has only three main requirements. It needs an adequate amount of sunlight, a good drainage system and good circulation of air. Sage will grow well in different types of climatic conditions and it is the one which can thrive in the climatic conditions which are at the lowest. Sage, when planted in the garden, looks very pleasant and it also gives rise to flowers which are pink, purple, white and blue in color. These flowers look very pretty. When you harvest sage and dry it, you can make use of it as a stuffing for meat like baked fish, rabbits, poultry, etc. Sage can also be used in sausages. Why wait, let start growing sage herb at home.

A Sage Plant.
A Sage Plant.

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The growth of Sage plant:

  • Purchase the seeds of sage or a plant. You can also start the growth of sage by making use of many different methods. If you have never grown safe before, you can plant the sage seeds which are fresh or you can also buy a small sage plant from the garden center present in your locality and then opt for the transplantation of it into your own garden or into a pot which is made of clay.
  • Anyways, if you are already having a sage plant which is established, then you can make use of its cuttings or you can also follow a few techniques of layering to give rise to a new sage plant.
  • Now it’s time for the preparation of soil for growing sage. Sage will grow very well in the clay loam soil mixture. The soil should also be well-drained and has to be rich in the content of nitrogen. The pH of the soil should be in between 6 and 6.5.
  • If you are making use of the clay soil, you can also try adding in some amount of organic matter and sand. This will help the soil to get lightened up which will, in turn, help the soil in terms of drainage.
  • Sage will grow at its best when the plantation is done along with other herbs which are perennial like oregano, parsley, thyme, and marjoram.
  • After the preparation of the soil is done, you can go ahead with the plantation of sage in pots or you can also plant it in the outdoors in the ground. You can plant the seeds or plants of sage, that is completely your choice.
  • If you are transplanting the sage plant into the ground, then ensure that you are planting it at the same level as when it was in the pot.
  • If you have decided to go with the plantation of seeds, then you will have to plant them at the time of the end of the spring at a depth of about ⅛th inch and at a distance of at least 25 inches from each other. The seeds of sage will take 1 week to 3 weeks to undergo the process of germination.
  • When your sage plants are still small, you will have to mist them with some amount of water in order to maintain the soil in a moist condition.
  • But when you see that your sage plants have reached the stage of maturity, then you will have to water it when you find the soil at the plant’s base is dry. This can be known when you touch the soil with your fingers.
  • In a few of the climatic conditions, you will not be required to water your sage plants at all. They will get all the moisture they require from the rains in that locality.
  • Sage is a plant which is tough and is very tolerant of drought.
  • Actually, sage plants are the one which has to be grown under full sunlight, but they will also thrive in partial shade in the regions which are hotter.
  • If sage is being exposed to too much amount of shade, then it will grow leggy and the result will be a fail. So, if you are keeping your sage plants in the indoor locations which will not consist of enough amount of sunlight, you can make use of fluorescent lights in place of it. Standard fluorescent lamps have to be placed at a height of 3-4 inches above the sage plants.
  • Anyways, the fluorescent which is of high output or compact are the ones which are plant growing lights which would do good, if you make use of them. They have to be placed at a height of 4 feet above the plants.

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How to grow sage from cuttings:

  • The best time to cut back sage is at the time of starting days of spring. If the sage leaves are cut prior to winter, the plant will face some difficulty to overcome the winter. So at the time of spring, you can cut the shoots of sage to about 5 cms. After the pruning, the part is completed and when there is an improvement in the climatic conditions, the sage will form new sprouts and will grow even bushier. Anyways, if you already see the formation of new shoots when you are planning to cut back the sage, make sure that you are not pruning it anymore.
  • After you see the formation of new shoots and leaves at the time of spring, you can make use of sage leaves which are fresh for the preparation of sage tea or you can also use them to add flavor to your dishes.
  • If you want the sage which will add some amount of fragrance to your garden, a multiplication of the sage through cuttings will be the best alternative. This is a simple process. The best time for multiplying your sage is from the start of summer to the end of summer. Make sure that the plant is not flowering. If it flowers, make sure that you are removing the buds and flowers.
  • Make use of a sharp knife to remove a young shoot which is present below 6 centimeters of the leaf crown. The lower leaves have to be stripped off in such a way that the cutting has a minimum of three-leaf pairs. Now, you have to start the plantation of cutting into the compost water and watering has to be done in a careful manner. Always ensure that the soil is moist. As the cutting will grow at its best when there is high humidity, you can make use of half of the plastic bottle as a greenhouse and keep it on the pot which is having the cutting in a careful manner.
  • If you see that the bottle is getting steamed up, make sure that you are turning off the lid. When you see that there is the formation of roots for the cutting and they have grown stronger, you can plant it from the plant directly to the outdoor locations.
  • You can also take into consideration to keep cutting right after cutting it off from the sage plant into a water glass. After about 15 days, there should be the development of enough roots so that the plantation can be done directly into the soil.

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Care and maintenance in growing Sage plant:

  • The sage plants have to be pruned at the time of the early stages of spring. The stems of sage which are older and woodier have to be pruned after the danger caused by freezing is passed but it should be done prior to the beginning of new growth. Each and every stem of the sage plant has to be pruned for about ⅓ rd.
  • The most common problem with which the growers of sage have to deal is the mildew. You can also consider avoiding it by monitoring the sage plants in a careful manner at the time of hot and humid environmental conditions and by thinning them on a regular basis for raising the circulation of air.
  • You can also take into consideration mulching the base of the plant by making use of the pebbles as it will help in the evaporation of the moisture in a quick manner.
  • If there is the development of mildew on your sage plant, then you can try spraying a sulfur spray or horticultural oil.
  • Pests will generally not target sage, but in some situations, spider mites, spittlebugs and thrips will affect the sage. If you see any kind of pests, you can take into consideration usage of any organic pesticides such as pyrethrum or any kind of insecticidal soap which will keep them in control.
  • Sage plant has to be replaced after every three to five years. This is because, for every three to five years of growth, the sage plant will turn woody and straggly and will have to be replaced. You can also start the sage plant again by using a seed or a new plant or you can also take an old plant for layering or cutting.
  • For layering of the plant, you will have to bend an existing sage branch onto the soil. Make use of some wire and pin the branch of the sage to the ground at about a distance of 5 inches from the tip. After about a month, you will see the formation of roots. Then you can go ahead and start cutting the branch. After that, you can start the transplantation of the sage which has been formed newly to some other location.
  • For making use of the cuttings, you will have to cut the above 3 inches from the branch of the Sage plant which is existing currently. The lower leaves of the stem have to be stripped or you can also make use of scissors for cutting them off. The ends have to be dipped in rooting hormone and then keep in the sand which is sterile. Then, be patient for at least 1 to 1 ½ month for the formation of roots and then move it to a pot and then to the garden. It is always best to take cuttings from the plant at the time of the start of the spring season, that is just after you see some new growth.
Sage Plant Care.
Sage Plant Care.

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How and when to harvest sage:

  • Sage has to be harvested in a light manner at the time of its first year by just picking its leaves only when you require them.
  • In the upcoming years, you can consider harvesting the safe all across the year by cutting the complete stems from the plant. Sage will be at its best before the flowering stage which will generally occur in the middle of summer.
  • The last and full harvest of the sage can be done prior to two months of the first frost of the year. This will give any foliage which is recently formed sufficient time for reaching the stage of maturity prior to the winter comes in.

How to store the Sage herb:

  • Sage is one of the herbs which will have a strong flavor when it is dried. Anyways, it will be required to get dried in a quick manner to avoid the development of the taste which is musty.
  • For the drying of sage, a bunch of sprigs have to be tied together and should be hung upside down in a location which is warm and also has very good ventilation. Make sure that the place should be ventilated, but not in direct sun.
  • Once the sage is dry, the leaves have to be stored in a container which has an airtight lid.

Facts of growing Sage herb:

Facts of Sage Herb.
Facts of Sage Herb.
  • Growing Sage herb at home is as easy as any other home garden plants.
  • Sage plant can be grown in pots, containers, indoors, backyard, balcony, terrace, greenhouse, and polyhouse.
  • Sage is a perennial herb and it comes back every year. It generally becomes bigger and gets spread in your garden year after year. Sage is one of the herbs which is mostly used for cooking like thyme and oregano. The main advantage of this perennial herb is that it is not only tasty, but also attractive which makes it beautiful in the garden.
  • Mostly, during the times of winter, most of the plants will not be able to survive. But sage is a cold-hardy herb which will get adapted to climatic conditions of winter in an easy manner. In the areas where there is a frost, Sage will grow as a perennial and will become dormant at the time of winter and will come back with a fresh growth at the time of spring.
  • The leaves of the sage will start wilting sometimes and this is mainly due to the soil which is dry. Though the plants of sage will be tolerant to heat, they will require a sufficient amount of moisture in the soil to survive with the evaporation at the time when the climatic conditions are hot. The soil has to be watered and make sure that you are not watering the roots.
  • Sometimes, you see the leaves of sage turning yellow and there will be brown spots seen on them. This happens when you are watering your sage plant too much. If you see that your soil is soggy when you touch, you will have to stop the watering of the plant until you see that the soil’s first inch is dried. The sage plants have to be watered only when you see that the top inch of the soil is dried out.
  • When the sage is grown from seed, sage will take two years for reaching the stage of maturity. Most of the gardeners will start the culinary sage from cuttings by making use of outer growth. If you are starting the seedlings in the outdoor locations, sow under the plant lights prior to 8 weeks before the last frost date. Seeds will take about 20 days to undergo the process of germination.
  • Sage can be planted in full sun or you can also consider the medium sun. If you are growing sage indoors, you will have to keep your pot close to a sunny window. Sage is a herb which is somewhat tolerant to drought and even when you find that the leaves are wilted, a small amount of water will adjust the complete plant. You will have to be patient until the soil is dry to provide it with a very good amount of watering.
  • The sage seeds or cuttings of sage have to be planted in the soil which is well-drained prior to 7 to 15 days of the last frost at the time of spring. Plants have to be grown to a height in between 20 to 30 inches. If you are planting sage in a garden, you can plant it near to cabbage, rosemary, and carrots but make sure that you are keeping the sage away from cucumbers.
  • The stems have to be removed from the outer part of the sage plant by making use of a pair of shears. The stems have to be cut in such a way that it has a length of 4 to 6 inches and have to consist of at least two leaf sets.
  • The leaves have to be removed from the stems after the harvest is completed. Then the stems have to be discarded.
  • The leaves have to be used whole or you can also cut them into tiny pieces as you wish.
  • In growing Sage herb, Pruning of sage is not suggested at the time of autumn or winter. Rather than that, your sage plants can be trimmed at the time of spring, just when the new leaves start to grow. Live woody stems are mostly mistaken to be stems which are dead if the pruning is done too early, so it is always better to be with patience until some new growth is seen prior to starting.
  • Pruning the sage in a light manner at the time of autumn will help for the preparation of bushes of sage for the coming winter. In the climatic conditions which are mild, most of the varieties of sage are evergreen, so they will not need heavy pruning at the time of autumn. The flower stalks which are dead have to be trimmed off and make sure that you are cutting off any branches and stems which are overgrown or damaged.

That’s all fellow gardeners about growing sage on your own. Keep growing herbs and spices at home!.

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