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August 2010
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Sage: Blue (Salvia farinacea) – Part of the mint family

Sage is a native of southern California and northern Baja California. Its common names include Blue sage, fragrant sage, and Cleveland sage. This is a small, hairy, dull-green shrub. Its leaves are wrinkly and have a texture of leather with ridged teeth along the sides. The flowers are lavender to dark purple to vivid blue in color. Blue sage is vivid blue in color. The stamens are long and belong to the mint family, Lamiaceae. It is an herbaceous perennial in warmer regions and annual in colder region and is ornamental plants too. It has a fruit that is a spotted nutlet. About 500-700 species are known in this family.
It grows up to a height of 3 feet. The flowers bloom in mid season. It grows in zones 3-10. The medical uses for growing sage include making sage flavored tea which counteracts sweating. Homeopathic preparations use the herbs as a remedy for menopause symptoms and poor circulation. An infusion of the herb has been used in the past to treat anxiety, depression, and liver disorders. The leaves are antiseptic and can be used in gargles for laryngitis and tonsillitis; as a mouth freshener and teeth cleanser.

Growing conditions of Sage blue

• Grow the herb in well-drained rich soil.
• It needs full sun.
• Provide protection for the plants from cold winds.
• Propagate by layering or from cuttings in spring and summer.
• Layering is a foolproof method of encouraging the stem of a woody perennial such as sage to make roots of its own while it is still nourished by the parent plant.
• Hardy herbs like sage can be started by rooting several cuttings together in a small pot and then transferring them as a single plant.
• Striking is a propagation technique where small cuttings are taken from the parent plant to create new plants.
• It can be grown by cutting too.
• Prepare a gritty, free draining rooting mixture by blending sand with an equal volume of peat or compost.
• Trim the cuttings to size using a sharp knife to cut through the stem just below a node. Remove the lowest pair of leaves.
• Fill a pot with the mixture and insert a cutting in each.
• Water and strike cutting in pots.
• Enclose in a plastic bag to allow the cuttings to take root before transplanting.

Caring for Growing Sage Plants

• Pinch off tips of shoots to encourage bushy growth and keep the plants’ compact for several months.
• Trim growing sage frequently for best results.
• Renew sage plants every 4-5 years as scrubs become spindly.
• When old woody herbs develop lower stems, they can be propagated by mounding.
• Clear out any dead stems and leaves.
• Heap soil in the center of the bush.
• Leave for a few months.
• Each of the branches will have rooted and can be detached as a new growing sage.

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