by Jodie Perry
Have you ever seen a sage plant that just LOVES the spot where it grows?
I’m talking about sage that grows wildly in all directions. Sage that sprouts huge, succulent leaves. Sage bursting with purple blossoms that look like it’s putting on a fireworks show?
If you have, then you have experienced one of the great pleasures of being a gardener.
Sage is truly an amazing herb. I want to share with you some surefire methods to growing a plant that will return all the love you put into it come harvest time.
When you rub a leaf between your fingers, feel that tacky texture and inhale that aromatic medicine, you’ll know it was well worth the (very modest) effort you invested.
Sage Advice: How to Grow a Monster Sage Plant
Sage plants like sandy, well-drained soil with a pH level between 6.0 and 7.0. They also like a lot of sunlight.
A lot of your success in growing sage is because of what you DON’T do. Don’t over-water your sage plants. They only need to be watered at all during dry spells. And don’t over-fertilize them. Sage plants don’t really need much fertilizer. Over-fertilizing makes them grow faster but they have a weaker flavor, defeating the purpose of growing it. Once or twice per year is enough for mature plants.
Plant your sage with other compatible herbs and vegetables. Sage grows well with rosemary—another herb that prefers dry conditions—as well as cabbage. Sage repels some insects that feed on cabbage and it actually improves the flavor of the cabbage! It also grows well with carrots, strawberries and tomatoes.
If you find a sage plant you like, take a cutting. You can grow a sage plant from cuttings and that’s the preferred method because growing from seed can take years. Prune the plants back in the spring just as they begin to grow. Because they like well-drained soil, sage does well in containers as long as you have a location with enough sun.
Unlike most plants, you don’t have to worry much about pests. Sage is impervious to most garden pests and it’s flowers draw beneficial bees in droves.
Health Benefits of Sage
Sage has been used in herbal medicine for thousands of years. It has natural anti-bacterial and preservative properties, which is one reason it’s often used in preparing meat. It’s chock full of a variety of vitamins and minerals, as well as fiber.
1) Improved brain functioning – Sage is also great for your brain. One study found that sage can significantly and immediately improve cognitive functioning in young, healthy adults. (Are you college students listening?)
2) Fewer hot flashes – The second amazing benefit is in treating the symptoms of menopause. Researchers found that hot flashes decreased by 50%-100% over eight weeks of treatment.
3) Skin conditions – The third little-known benefit of sage is that it’s great for your skin. Using a topical salve or tincture can help with skin conditions like acne, eczema and psoriasis.
With so many benefits, I think we can all agree that you’d be crazy not to grow some sage this year. So I know you will.
The only problem you’ll have then is what to do with the huge pile of sage you’re harvesting. Fear not, we have you covered. As a bonus, I created this great list of home remedy recipes to help you exploit all the health benefits of sage.
Are you going to grow some sage? Have any tips of your own? Let us know in the comments below!