Mountain Valley Growers USDA Certified Organic Herb, Perennial and Vegetable Plants

 
 

Salvia officinalis Garden Sage

 

Garden Sage rivals many of its ornamental Salvia cousins during its three to four week bloom period.  And, of course, nothing says stuffing like good old Garden Sage.

Garden Sage in Bloom

The buds of Garden Sage are reminiscent of oddly shaped Easter Eggs. They look like someone took a wax crayon and made bands, dipped the egg in pale green, removed the wax and dipped it in pale purple. Shooting up to three feet with its blooms, Garden Sage is both a culinary and ornamental delight. Sharing its color for three to four weeks in early spring, it is one of the prettiest of all Salvias. It makes a great informal hedge or drift. Garden Sage flowers can be used as a garnish or as an addition to fresh bouquets.

Garden Sage, Salvia officinalis, and, all of its many forms, is short lived. Either becoming too woody for adequate production or dying out completely, these sages usually need to be replaced every three or four years. It does help somewhat if the plants are pruned back beyond the flowers when the bloom is finished, but care should be taken not to prune into wood that has no growth showing. 

There are several variations of Culinary Garden Sage. These include S.officinalis icterina; Golden Garden Sage, which has green and gold irregularly variegated leaves; S. officinalis purpurea, Purple Garden Sage, which has dark purple new leaves that turn a soft green with age; S. officinalis tricolor, which is variegated cream, green and pink; S. officianlis Berggarten, which has a large oval leaf; and S. officinalis minum or Dwarf Garden Sage, which is particularly nice in a container and is the only one of these that replicates the splendid blue flowers of Garden Sage. All of these have basically the same flavor of Garden Sage. The Golden and the Tricolor Sages may be a tad less winter hardy than the zone 5 rating assigned to common Garden Sage.  

Culinary Sages are best used fresh, but they can be dried. For drying large amounts of leaves, wait until after the plants have grown back after pruning blooms. Wash the plants in the garden with a fine spray of water the night before; and the next morning, when the dew has dried, cut stems as long as possible without cutting into old wood. Hang these in bunches of three of four in a dark, dry, clean area. As soon as they are crispy dry, strip the leaves (whole, if possible) and seal them in an airtight container placed out of direct light.

Garden Sage Flowers

The flavor should remain potent for three or four months, hopefully---at least until spring brings fresh, tender leaves again. Besides the traditional use in stuffing, Sage is good with pork, sausage, other meats, and cheese. It is often combined with thyme and used with beans and in soups. Use Sage with fruits in vinegars; if the vinegar is a light colored elixir, try one of the variegated forms. The flowers make an attractive garnish in salads, butters, soft cheeses, and ice cubes. Check out these great recipes using sage.

Fresh picked "hands" of Sage tips can be used to make wreaths or tussie-mussies. They dry well and have that heavenly Sage fragrance. Just one more reason to give Garden Sage a good size space in your garden.

Garden Sage is one of the six plants chosen to be in our Kitchen Herb Garden Six Pack and is often included in our Basic Culinary Herb 36 Pack Assortment.

Cultural Information

Height: 3 Feet

Hardiness: Perennial
in Zones 5-11

Flower Color: Blue 

Characteristics: Full Sun,
Water Conserving,
Evergreen

Uses: Fragrant, 
Medicinal, Culinary

Garden Sage

$4.50 per 3 inch pot

Quantity

 

View Other Cooking Sages

View All Sages 

Sign up to be notified of sales events and new arrivals

Home | Plant List | Specialty Gardens | Plug Trays | In Stock | Quick Plant Descriptions |
 Podcasts | Feature Newsletters |
Zone Information | Gardening Supplies | Ordering Information | Wholesale Information | SearchContactFAQ's | Gift Certificates | Books | Join our Newsletter | Organic Certification | About Us | Shop | Log Out

 

 

(Share this page with your friends on Twitter)

Copyright 1997-2014 Mountain Valley Growers, Inc.