I grew Sage from seed this year. Before sowing the seeds, I had grand notions of Thanksgiving turkeys and savory pork dishes. I can’t say that I have been using it quite as much has I had planned. However, I have learned that it is surprisingly easy to grow and the grown plants are pretty tough – they survived being stuffed in a plastic bag for a week (maybe two) and powdery mildew. Plus, they smell and look very nice. This has earned them a permanent spot in my garden artillery.
And I am not the only one…
Since the age of the Egyptians, Sage has been used in both cooking and medicinal capacities by cultures throughout the world. The Greeks cultivated the plant as they believed it brought great wisdom. The Romans held special ceremonies for its harvest. Many used the plant to help preserve meat before the age of refrigeration. Sage continues to be a sacred herb by American Indians.
It is native to Mediterranean climates and classified as a member of the mint family. There are currently more than 700 varieties. You can choose between growing sage from seeds or cuttings (of the several cuttings I attempted this year, the sage was the only to survive). To start from seed, sow seeds in a potting mix approximately 6 weeks before the last frost. Transplant one week before the last frost. Avoid planting Sage near cucumbers.
To grow new plants from cuttings, cut 10cm cutting of new growth and remove the bottom most leaves. Dip in a rooting hormone (I used honey and water). Stick the cutting in a small pot filled with loose soil and wait. If the plant remains perky after approximately a week, it is likely that the cutting will survive.
After about a month, transplant the cutting into a 10 cm pot filled with potting soil. After another six weeks, the plant can be transplanted into the garden. If you are planting in a container, skip the second step and directly transplant the cutting from the original pot into whichever pot will become its permanent home. It is recommended that cuttings be taken in the spring and summer. Replace the plants every 4 -5 years when they become too woody and straggly.