Sage plant care – Sage is not only fantastic to cultivate in the garden but also on the balcony. There, too, the half-shrub would like to find a warm and sunny place.
Here, ordinary plant soil is sufficient, which is loosened up a little with sand. When watering, you must ensure that no waterlogging occurs – moderate watering is entirely enough for the sage.
Just as sparingly, the sage in the pot is getting supplied with fertilizer. The first choice here is organic fertilizer.
The sage can remain well protected on the house’s wall and the balcony with proper winter protection in very mild climates.
However, in climatically not preferred areas, it is better to move to a frost-free winter home. Lets us check out the facts.
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Table of Contents
Sage plant care correctly in summary explained
The correct care of sage is critical for it to thrive. You should therefore observe a few points when handling your sage. Here you will find the most important care tips:
- Sage prefers a warm and sunny location, ideally protected from the wind.
- Do not overwater the sage, watering too little rather than too much. Sage can also tolerate a dry phase now and then.
- It is best to plant sage on a gravel layer, as this allows heat to be stored. Ensure to keep a distance from other plants. A length of about 35 centimeters is getting recommended.
- It would help if you cut back the sage in spring and autumn. Shorten the shoots by about half, but be careful not to cut too much. Otherwise, the sprouts may not grow back.
- Do not overfertilize the sage. Sage reacts sensitively to this and, in the worst case, stops sprouting.
- Ideally, it would help if you hibernated your sage indoors. However, this is not always necessary.
- It would help if you only spent the winter outside when the temperatures are remarkably mild. However, this is not usually the case. It would help if you protected plants that spend the winter outside accordingly. It is best to cover the sage, for example, with leaves.
- Especially sage that grows in pots should be getting stored in the cellar for the winter. The plants cannot tolerate frost at all. Only when the cold season is safely over should, you put the sage outside again. It is usually the case in April.
Plant sage outdoors from April
Sage loves stony, dry limestone soil, and full sunny locations without waterlogging. Sage can be sown from April like in the greenhouse from March.
Place the seed in moist soil, press it down and cover with a little mud. Carefully watered, sage germinates in 7 to 21 days. In mid-May, the sage plants should be placed in the open at intervals of 35 by 35 centimeters.
It is quicker to plant offshoots and cuttings, which are getting placed in the soil. You should apply fertilizer in moderation. Fresh manure damages the barren soil of the Mediterranean plants, which thrive better with well-rotten compost.
From March of the second year, you can give sage small amounts of complete fertilizer every four weeks. But be careful with too much care; Sage stops flowering when over-fertilized.
How to harvest sage properly?
With the flowering varieties of kitchen sage, the plant goes into a resting period after flowering. It reduces the aroma in the leaves, and less green is getting formed overall.
The rule of thumb for flowering varieties is to harvest the leaves at the beginning of flowering. However, there is a trick to preventing the plants from dormancy: you have to remove the flowers early.
It prevents the plant from forming seeds – and it has virtually not reached its goal. It must now continue to grow.
Drying and using sage
After harvesting, you can tie the branches with a string to form a bouquet and hang upside down in a dry place.
The best way to do this is to stretch a clothesline across the floor or pantry and tie the sage bouquets to it.
It is the best way to dry the leaves. You can use both fresh and dried leaves in moderation for seasoning Mediterranean dishes and meat.
Sage propagating and cutting
If the plants become too woody after a few years, new semi-shrubs can quickly be grown from the harvested seeds. But cuttings can also develop the sage.
In autumn, the shoots are getting shortened by half, but not too far into the lignified parts. Otherwise, there is a risk that no new shoots will grow back.
Frost protection for the sage in winter
Layed out brushwood or fir branches protect against frost in the cold season. Those who keep sage on the balcony or in pots should take it into the house in winter or protect the banks with jute bags or fleece.
By the way, the green leaves remain visible in winter. It would help if you cut the shoots back to about 15 centimeters in spring; this way, the sage will always sprout lushly and evenly.
Master gardener advises keeping the time in winter quarters as short as possible and as long as necessary. During a mild period in winter, it is best to put the pots directly back outdoors.
Because in winter storage, the plants often do not reach enough light. They then form soft, long, and sometimes also lighter shoots. The experts call this horny.
It weakens the plants, and these shoots are susceptible to lice and other pests.
FAQ Sage Plant Care
Which location does sage need?
Location and soil - In general, Sage likes a warm and sunny place with porous, not too nitrogen-rich soil. The plants also thrive well in flowerpots and balcony boxes with a humus-rich substrate.
How to care for sage in a pot?
Sage thrives beautifully in a pot - water young sage regularly without causing waterlogging. Older specimens should be getting watered moderately when the substrate has dried well. Supply organic liquid fertilizer every two weeks, from March to August.
When should sage be cut back?
Sage can be planted from early spring until long into autumn. The perennial is hardy and shoots with young shoots in spring. Keep a space of about 15 cm from other plants because Salvia nemorosa cannot develop optimally if the planting is too dense.
Can sage be cut back?
Cut back the real sage only when no more severe frosts are expected - depending on the region, this is the case from the end of February to mid-March. Like the other semi-shrubs mentioned, sage needs pruning every year to keep it compact.
How is sage watered?
How is sage adequately watered? - Water young sage regularly and generously. Allow the soil to dry between waterings. From the second year on, water only when there is no rain. In winter, water occasionally if it does not freeze.
What goes well with sage in a pot?
Among the biennial or perennial herbs, the following harmonize particularly well and can be getting placed close to each other: Tarragon, sage, chives, thyme, lemon balm. Savory, oregano, sage. Tarragon, pimpernel, lemon balm. Borage, dill, chervil, marjoram, parsley.
How can sage winter?
In mild locations, the herb can winter well outdoors. Nevertheless, it should be getting protected: In autumn, it is best to cover the plant with leaves or fir branches to prevent it from being exposed to permafrost. Sage planted in pots should ideally be stored in the garage or cellar in a relaxed but frost-free place.
When should sage be harvested and dried?
Sage is incredibly aromatic shortly before flowering. Harvesting and drying the shoots at this time preserves the full flavor. Depending on the variety, sage blooms between June and August. Harvest sage on a dry, warm day, preferably late in the morning.
Can sage winter?
Winter-hardy sage includes, above all, the varieties of the famous meadow sage (Salvia pratensis), which can survive climates as low as -40 degrees Celsius.
Can sage be eaten after flowering?
Salvia officinalis, i.e., genuine sage and many other widespread species, can be used without hesitation as a spice and making tea. Sage leaves, flowers, and roots are edible. The height has the mildest taste.
How often does sage bloom?
From May to July, sage blooms on long stems with many small flowers in shades of violet. It makes the 40 to 60-centimeter high half-shrub also suitable for a flower bed.
Why doesn't sage bloom?
It probably gets too much fertilizer and water—dry, fertile soil, but well-drained, calcareous, the soil with sand, little nitrogen.
When do I cut back ornamental sage?
As a rule, ornamental sage can be betting cut well all year round. However, more extensive pruning operations should be getting carried out at a particular time. Cutting the withered inflorescences is done in summer, after the first flowering, so that a second flowering phase can occur in autumn.
How can sage be propagated?
Sage can be getting propagated using cuttings that are best grown between July and late summer. When breeding, the plant should not flower. Choose a young shoot at least 6 cm long and cut it off under the leaf crown.
Can sage be harvested all year round?
Sage is an evergreen half shrub. In theory, you could harvest it all year round - even in winter.
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