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The Plant Guide

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Common sage

Salvia officinalis

SAL-vee-ah oh-fi-shi-NAH-lis Audio

Cooks and gardeners alike are indebted to this classic, evergreen perennial for the unique, pungent flavor and aroma that its gray-green leaves produce. It forms a 2.5-foot-tall by 3-foot-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 tolerates alkaline soils, but not wet winter conditions.

Noteworthy CharacteristicsButterflies love salvia.

CareProvide moist but well-drained soil in full sun. This species tolerates alkaline soil.

PropagationSow seed, or divide plants, in spring. Take cuttings spring through fall.

ProblemsPowdery mildew, rust, stem rot, fungal leaf spots, whiteflies, aphids, mealybugs, spider mites.

  • Genus : Salvia
  • Plant Height : 1 to 3 feet
  • Plant Width : 1 to 3 feet
  • Zones : 5, 6, 7, 8
  • Uses : Containers, Ground Covers
  • Tolerance : Deer Tolerant, Drought Tolerant, Frost Tolerant
  • Moisture : Dry to Medium
  • Bloom Time : Early Summer, Summer
  • Characteristics : Fragrant Foliage
  • Light : Full Sun
  • Maintenance : Low
  • Growth Rate : Moderate
  • Plant Type : Perennials
  • Plant Seasonal Interest : Spring Interest
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