Sage: planting, growing, caring for and flowering


There are a multitude of species and varieties of sage, annuals or perennials, some being ornamental, others aromatic. There are even species of subtropical or shrub sage. They can be used in pots, rockeries, flower beds or beds, or even indoors. You can thus create a real magic in your garden or veranda by multiplying them on condition that you choose them taking into account their needs in terms of the type of soil or even exposure. Here’s how to plant and care for sage. Let’s also see if it is possible to prolong their flowering.

Growing sage

All sage should be installed in sunny and hot areas. They need light, well-drained and fertile soil. Some varieties particularly appreciate stony, ultra-draining soils, such as rock gardens. This is the case of Salvia pachyphylla, S. jurisicii or even S. caespitosa.

Plant perennial sage

Planting directly in place is possible for perennial sage.

The non-hardy varieties are planted in May, when the soil has been sufficiently warmed by the spring sun, at least after the Ice Saints. They are usually grown as annuals. But to keep them for several years, it is better to plant them in pots or flower boxes so that they can be sheltered from the first frosts and until the following spring. It is therefore especially in regions with a mild climate that the cultivation of non-hardy sage is possible in the ground.

The hardy variety can be planted either in autumn or in spring, directly in the ground knowing that a large pot is also suitable for them. You can vegetate both your garden and your terrace.

Regardless of the variety chosen, all perennial sage should be spaced from each other 40 to 50 centimeters.

Sowing annual sage

These are especially the annual sage that we sow. The best sowing period is between early April and late May. When the seedlings emerge, it is necessary to thin out so that each sage has enough room to develop. We recommend leaving a minimum space of 20 cm between the plants.

If we have a tight, or at least one frame, we can sow annual sage between the end of August and mid-September and leave them under shelter until spring returns. Thus, at the end of March, all you have to do is put your plants in place, making sure to space them sufficiently apart from each other.

Caring for sage

When summer is in full swing and temperatures are high enough, it is essential towater the sage regularly but we must avoid stagnant water. Few sage appreciates soggy soil.

It can however be noted that the Marsh sage with beautiful flowers of a soft blue is among the only ones to suit all gardeners who own a land with particularly wet soil.

Flowering sage

As with many flowering plants, it is essential to cut dead flowers As things progress. This prevents the foot from tiring unnecessarily and is preferable, let’s say it, so as not to harm the aesthetics of the pots, beds and rockeries.

The elimination of faded flowers is a major issue so that sage, especially when it is a variety or a perennial species, can last for at least 4 or 5 years. After a few years, it may be useful to renew tired plants that no longer or do not flower much.

Multiplication of sage

Sage occupies a prominent place in the garden, on the terrace and the balcony. It is not surprising that many of us want to perpetuate it. There are different ways to multiply its sage plants: by dividing the stumps, by sowing sage seeds or even by cutting.

Sage Strains Division

This task is carried out using a sharp-edged spade only on strains of great vigor and on condition that it is a species of tuberous sage, cespitose, rhizomatous or even a sucker because all give few seeds, sometimes even do not provide any at all. This method of multiplication is not suitable for all sage. Each chip thus obtained must be replanted without delay once cleared of damaged leaves.

Sow sage seeds

Sowing renews certain species of botanical sage. The seeds are collected when they spontaneously fall from the very dry calyces as soon as they are tapped.

We do the sowing in January and February in small crates of commercial seed soil or in which a layer of homemade soil is placed, obtained by mixing equal parts of river sand and classic potting soil.

The seeds must be sufficiently spaced from each other and then covered with a very thin layer of substrate that we take care to keep wet through frequent spraying. The containers are to be placed either in a greenhouse or in a veranda. It is possible to sunbathe in the afternoon on these small plantations in the southern regions only.

We then arm ourselves with patience because the transplanting can only be performed when each new foot has at least two real leaves. Once transplanted, the young plants should be kept warm for a few more months, namely as soon as the risk of frost is no longer to be feared (mid-May).

Cuttings from a sage shoot

It’s about a mother plant duplication method thanks to which we preserve the genetic heritage of the plant: this method is possible on sage which cannot be divided. The cuttings are carried out in May, even until mid-June.

We take a grows 5 cm at the most on a vigorous foot with very sharp scissors to obtain a clean cut, just below the last knot. We remove the flower bud, the lower leaves, then we immerse the stem incutting hormone. Then simply place in a very small pot (egg cell type with a bottom pierced with several holes) a mixture made up of equal parts of sand and potting soil and then plant the stem (cutting).

The substrate must always be moist thanks to regular spraying but not excessive. After a period of 14 to 21 days, the roots are present. It’s time to transplant the shoot in a larger pot, but it must still be kept well protected from direct sunlight.

Among more than 900 botanical species of sage, each lover of the genus can therefore find the variety he prefers, whether it is to flower his garden in the countryside or his balcony in town. By multiplying species and varieties, we play as much on the shape of the leaves as on the color of the flowers (some are two-colored) and we take advantage of fragrant foliage. But that’s not all, since the officinal sage (Salvia officinalis) is renowned for its many medicinal properties.

As to subtropical sage, they require to be stored away from the cold and need much more water than the others. Finally, it is just as interesting to plant in your garden one or two varieties of shrub sage, with semi-evergreen or evergreen foliage, and whose flowers are available in a wide variety of colors.

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