Growing Sage – Discover How to Grow Sage (Salvia officinalis)
Sage is another ornamental shrubby herb suitable for growing in a border or large container to relieve pressure on space in the small. It is used in stuffings and to flavour pork, game, poultry (but not chicken), and some dishes. An evergreen, it may lose its leaves or even die in very bad winters. It grows to about 600 mm (2 ft) in height.
There are several forms with coloured leaves, which increase the decorative effect, but for flavour the broad-leaved form of the common sage is considered superior. Plants raised from seed may be well-flavoured, but to get the best leaves you should buy pot-grown plants of the type required and increase them by cuttings, as for rosemary.
A sunny well drained site is preferable with on the alkaline (limy or chalky) side. Sage is a rather straggly plant and should be kept trimmed every year. Branches which touch the ground often take root; these may be cut off and replanted.
Harvest the leaves as required.
Recommended varieties: Salvia officinalis, the type plant, broad-leaved with grey-green leaves, is the best culinary form; ‘Icterina’ bears yellow-splashed leaves; ‘Purpurascens’ has purplish leaves and stems; ‘Tricolor’ has leaves splashed pink, white, and purple
Soil: Well-drained, alkaline
Plant: Spring or autumn
Harvest: All the year