How to Grow Common Sage – For Beginners
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Beginners and amateurs gardeners can easily grow Common Sage or Garden Sage in their backyard. Sage prefers well-drained soil and full sun. It cannot thrive in shade. Some species are more drought tolerant than others, but generally common sage prefers moist soils.
You can grow Common Sage indoors or outdoors, by seed, seedlings or cuttings. Salvia is mostly propagated either by buying seedlings and transplanting them or by planting seeds in pots indoors and then transplanting them in the garden.
Growing Sage from Seed
Growing Sage from seed might be a little time consuming because you will have to wait 1,5 years for the plant to mature, establish and produce many leaves that you can collect. However, if you decide to grow Sage from seed, you need to get sterilized potting soil. It is important to buy sterilized soil, because other types of soil may contain seeds from unwanted weeds. As a result, although you may think you are growing Sage, the emerged seedlings just might be a weed. Moreover, some seeds that you buy from your local nursery may need special handling in order to break their dormancy. Seed dormancy is a condition where the seed will not germinate unless it meets certain environmental conditions (ask your seller or a local agronomist for further instructions). It is better to sow 3-4 sage seeds per individual pot and water the pot every other day. About 25 days later, and provided the last frost has passed, we can transplant our seedlings into their final positions.
If you are a beginner gardener, then buying a small plant and propagating later by cuttings is the easiest way. You can plant the seedlings in late spring (May) and place them 11-23 inches (30-60 cm) apart, depending on the variety. Sage normally blooms twice a year and its leaves are tastier when it is grown in full sun. However, the plant may need shade at noon in some very warm areas. Sage is drought tolerant but can thrive if the soil is well-drained. Some varieties might need staking (support) because they can grow 30 inches (76 cm) or more in height. The plants can also perform well in containers. We can harvest fresh sage leaves from the spring of the second year onwards.