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June 2011
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Salvia officinalis – also known as Garden Sage or Common sage

Salvia officinalis which is also known as Garden Sage or Common sage is an evergreen shrub. It is a perennial that is small and belongs the family Lamiaceae; it can grow up to a height of 2 ft (0.61 m) and of about same width. It has stems that are woody and leaves that are grey in color and bears flowers that are blue to purple in color. It is a native to the Mediterranean region. It has culinary and medicinal uses and is used as a border and an ornamental plant. It has lots of healing properties and hence is termed officinal which means the traditional storeroom of storing herbs.
The leaves are oblong and variegated and 2.5 in (6.4 cm) long by 1 in (2.5 cm) wide. They are rugose on upper side and hairy and white beneath. The flowers are about 2 ft (0.61 m) tall and wide and bloom from late spring to summer. This herb is used for treating snakebites, fertility, diuretic, as a local anesthetic, a styptic, anhydrite, antibiotic, antifungal, astringent, antispasmodic, estrogenic, hypoglycemic and as a tonic. Its essential oil is also used and is used for stuffing, flavoring and in Italian cooking.
It is also known by the names Sage, Common sage, Garden sage, Kitchen sage, True sage, culinary sage, Dalmatian sage and broadleaf sage.

Growing conditions of Salvia officinalis:

• After the frost passes, plant the Mexican sage.
• The root ball is large enough, so choose a container to sustain the plant through out the winter.
• The plant can be propagated by taking a cutting.
• It grows well in zones 7 through 11.
• The plant needs full sunlight during the day.
• The plant will grow tall and scrawny in shade as it will try to reach for sunlight.
• Plant at least 2 to 3 feet away apart from other plants.
• A hole can be dug 3 inches deep and fill in the dirt around the plant.
• Water the soil for first month and let it not dry out.
• Water the plant once a week later.
• Prune if the plant is too large.

Care for Salvia Officinalis:

• The temperature should not be very cool as the roots can be damaged.
• The temperature that this plant can tolerate is as low as 25 degrees.
• The plant needs well drained soil and full sunlight.
• Water the plant twice a week or once a week depending on the conditions.
• Add compost to the soil when planting.
• During weather being dry, keep the roots moist.
• Spread mulch around the plant to retain moisture and also to reduce weeds.
• Fertilize the plant with layer of compost around the base of the plant.
• Add all purpose plant food as budding starts.
• Prune in spring to encourage growth.
• If the plant reaches two feet, cut the top third of the stem.

Photos of Garden Sage are available at this site (link)

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