Common sage

Salvia officinalis 'Tricolor'

Photo/Illustration: 
Michelle Gervais
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Common sage (Salvia officinalis 'Tricolor')
SAL-vee-ah oh-fi-shi-NAH-lis
Genus:  Salvia
Cooks and gardeners alike are indebted to this evergreen perennial for the unique, pungent flavor and aroma that its gray-green leaves produce. This cultivar has ornamental value, too—green leaves with white margins which are suffused with pink or purple. It forms a 1- to 1.5-foot-tall and wide bush with woody stems that may be trimmed back to newly emerging growth or strong stems in spring. In early to mid-summer, it sends up lavender-purple flower spikes; it has both ornamental and culinary qualities in an herb garden. It is tolerant of alkaline soils, but cannot survive wet winter conditions.
Noteworthy Characteristics:  Attracts butterflies.
Care:  Provide moist but well-drained soil in full sun. This species tolerates alkaline soil, but not wet or poorly drained soils.
Propagation:  Divide in spring. Take cuttings spring through fall.
Problems:  Powdery mildew, rust, stem rot, fungal leaf spots, whiteflies, aphids, mealybugs, spider mites.

Overview

Height
1 ft. to 3 ft.
Spread
1 ft. to 3 ft.
Growth Habit
Clumps
Growth Pace
Moderate Grower
Light
Full Sun Only
Moisture
Dry to Medium
Maintenance
Low
Characteristics
Attracts Butterflies,
Fragrant Foliage,
Showy Flowers,
Showy Foliage
Bloom Time
Early Summer,
Late Spring
Flower Color
Niagara
Foliage Color
Variegated Foliage
Uses
Beds and Borders,
Cut Flower,
Dried Flower,
Ground Covers
Style
Cottage Garden,
Herb Garden
Seasonal Interest
Spring Interest
Tolerance
Deer Tolerant,
Drought Tolerant,
Frost Tolerant
Type
Perennials

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