Salvia officinalis is referred to as many names such as the garden, common, or culinary sage. They are a part of the Mint family, Lamiaceae. More often than not, they are ironically known for their aroma.
The plant itself is a perennial herb with woody stems and simple leaves that are opposite in their arrangement.
Sage plants tend to originate from the Mediterranean and Asia Minor, though the specific region depends on the species. Sage is grown indoors for a number of reasons.
The most obvious is that growing these plants can provide you with seasonings. People also enjoy the fuzzy texture that the leaves give while being presented with a lovely smell.
No matter your reasoning, Salvia officinalis is a great addition to anyone looking for a good, useful indoor plant.
INDOOR SAGE PLANT CARE BASICS
Growing your own Sage plant indoors isn’t too challenging if you know what you’re doing. To keep you on the right track, we’ve pinpointed the basic needs. This will ensure that your plant stays happy, healthy, and minty fresh!
At the very minimum, Sage plants need a soil that is rich and able to drain properly. If these plants sit in water for too long, there will be lasting negative effects.
Those who are more particular about providing the right soil should look for sandy or loamy options.
The pH should be somewhere between 6.0 and 7.0 to meet the expected acidity levels. Some people find garden beds to be an adequate place to house Sage plants.
The light preferences for a Salvia officinalis will change depending on the season. Warmer times of the year will require more sunlight. During the spring and summer months, you should strive for at least six hours of direct sunlight.
This will help the overall look and health of the Sage plant. Surprisingly, the leaves will be tastier if they get adequate light. The remainder of the year put your Lamiaceae into a spot with indirect, bright sunlight.
The nice thing about the Sage plant is that it’s relatively hardy when it comes to times of drought. The average Salvia officinalis needs to be watered every other week, unless there are signs of the plant drying out.
Newer plants require a more frequent schedule, sometimes even twice a week. Overwatering can damage the root system, so be sure to watch out for wilting of the leaves.
These plants tend to thrive when placed in rooms that have a consistent temperature range between 15 and 21 degrees Celsius. Growing Sage plants indoors can help prevent damage caused by frost.
The Sage plant starts to see signs of stress when a temperature drops below 0 degrees, or the freezing point. Surprisingly, younger plants tend to be less hardy when it comes to handling colder temperatures.
Fortunately, the average household will do when it comes to humidity. This usually is at around 40 percent. An interesting fact about the Sage plant is that it will grow differently based on the overall moisture in the air.
If you live in an area that tends to get higher levels of humidity, it will grow as an annual. These individuals will likely not be as hardy when exposed to elevated summer temperatures. Places with average to lower humid climates will be a hardy perennial.
Using a fertilizer can impact the overall taste of your plant. Some say that the taste minimizes with the addition of such solutions. Fertilizer can be a great addition to a Sage plant that has only just been planted.
The solution should just be diluted to about a tenth of the strength. NPK fertilization can aid in providing the proper nutrients. Our article on Fertilization 101 is a great resource for those wondering about the process and what plants need.
Salvia officinalis can be propagated through two different methods. The first is the more common stem cutting technique. The plant will start taking root in about six weeks’ time.
Layering is the other way that you can propagate a Sage plant. Some suggest that it is easier, seeing results in about a month or less. Despite the choice of propagation, this process should be performed a week or two after the last frost happens.
The Sage plant has a wide range of growth that they can reach. This height depends on if all the basic needs have been met. A lack of the proper nutrients, for instance, will result in a shorter plant.
On average, you can expect your Salvia officinalis to reach anywhere between 12 and 30 inches tall. As for as width, they only spread out about 24 to 36 inches in total.
Are you curious about what other small plant you’d like to have in your home? We suggest the Resurrection plant. It’s extremely hardy, just like the Sage plant.
Even if this plant isn’t notorious for getting all that large, you may still need to repot it. Without repotting your Sage plant every year, the roots become too cramped, affecting the overall health of the perennial.
And after a few years, it shifts to take on a more woody feel. At this point, it’s best to replant your Sage plant. This process involves dividing and replanting to allow for enough space in the new pot or container.
SAGE PLANT WATERING SCHEDULE
This herb is known for being drought-tolerant, making it easier to care for in terms of providing a good watering schedule. Even if you notice that your Sage plant is struggling, a little bit of water will give it more pep. Too much water, however, can be detrimental. To learn the right balance, we have laid out the best plant to follow with your Lamiaceae member.
THE WAYS OF WATERING YOUR SAGE
Watering these types of plants depends on the living conditions of your home. If you have a drier house, then you’ll have to amp up your watering routine. In these circumstances, you should expect to supply the herb with liquid every week or so. The average household will water their Sage every other week, unless the soil shows signs of being overly dried out.
Newer plants also need a more fine-tuned schedule. Once you first add your Sage plant to a pot, you’ll want to keep the soil evenly saturated. It should be moist, but not drenched. Continue watering the new growth twice a week until there is a developed root system. Once this happens, every other week should be adequate.
HOW TO AVOID OVERWATERING
Checking the soil itself is the best way to avoid overwatering your Sage plant. Giving these individuals too much water will flood the roots, leading to root rot. To go about accurately checking for oversaturation, dip your finger into the soil itself. If the top inch or two feels dry to touch, then you should add water.
Any less than that and you should put off implementing more moisture. Keep in mind that a wild Sage plant gets about an inch of water for every week, so an indoor plant doesn’t need much moisture either.
Letting the soil completely dry out before watering can also help your plant from going into shock. The roots need to slowly absorb moisture, which also means that they can’t sit in water.
PROPAGATING A MINTY PLANT
Creating copies from your Sage plant could mean more herbs to work with and use around the house. There are two methods that you can choose to do this, either through cutting or layering. Since both techniques are widely accepted, we’ve decided to provide the steps to each.
PROPAGATION THROUGH CUTTINGS
- Choose a healthy individual to clone and make a three-inch incision along the tip of a stem with sharp scissors.
- You can now opt to use a rooting hormone to give the new cut a boost, applying it to the open side of the stem.
- Place the exposed end of the stem into a pot with freshly laid soil, watering the soil thoroughly once planted.
- Continue watering your new individual twice a week until the roots start to develop, then transferring it to a larger pot.
PROPAGATION THROUGH LAYERING
- Find a stem that is rather long in length and that can be bent.
- Take the lower leaves and gently remove them from the stem.
- Make a small cut across the section of the stem that you want to bury, placing it about two inches underneath the top layer of soil. It should not be far off from the parent plant.
- Saturate the plant with water and keep a close eye on the rooting system.
- The newly cut stem should start to grow roots within a few weeks. Once this happens, carefully disconnect it from the parent plant and put it in a new pot.
SAGE PLANT PESTS AND SOLUTIONS
Unfortunately, this perennial plant can be exposed to a number of pests. Those who keep their Lamaiaceae indoors don’t experience as many issues. Regardless, it is still wise to know which bugs can infect your aromatic herb and how to combat such pests.
The most common pests that you might see for an indoor Safe plant are mites, whiteflies, aphids, and spittlebugs. Each of these can be taken care of with an insecticidal soap.
You can even make this at home, though commercial products tend to be the better option all around. Take special care to only use this type of spray when the plant is affected.
This will keep your plant’s leaves from burning. A combination of plentiful air circulation and a soil that drains properly can limit reduce the event of pests.
SAGE PLANT SUFFERING SIGNS
If you own a plant long enough, chances are that you will see signs of wear and tear. For this reason, we have listed a few issues that may surface as well as how you might solve them.
TELLTALE SIGN #1: BROWN SPOTS ON THE LEAVES
Cause: The formation of brown spots is typically an indicator that your plant does not like the amount of water that it is receiving. This can either be too much or not enough, so experiment to find out which problem it is.
Remedy: It is safer to assume that your plant is getting too much water so that you don’t add more moisture where it isn’t needed. Let the plant dry out and then continue to test which watering schedules works best.
TELLTALE SIGN #1: STEMS START TO DROOP
Cause: This peppy plant generally sports upright leaves. Dry soil can be the root of a drooping stem when it comes to the Sage plant.
Remedy: Although quite resistant to drought, these Lamiaceae members do need some moisture, especially in the warmer months. To fix this problem, saturate the plant enough so that the roots are satisfied.
FIVE SUGGESTIONS TO A FRESHER SAGE PLANT
Salvia officinalis is known for its minty appeal, making it essential to meet all of the basic needs. We’ve laid them out below for you to reference.
- Place your Sage plant in a spot with indirect, bright sunlight.
- Only add water when the top inch of soil is dried out.
- Choose a soil that drains properly, is between 6 and 7 on the pH scale, and tends to be sandy or loamy.
- Try to keep your Sage plant in an area of the house that remains between 15 and 21 degrees Celsius, without sudden drops in temperature.
- Only use a fertilizer if you think it’s absolutely necessary to keep your herbs tasting fresher.
SAGE PLANT FAQ
What are the uses of Sage?
This herb can be used to cure a number of issues like appetite loss, stomach and digestive problems, heartburn, bloating, memory loss, and possibly even Alzheimer’s disease.
Should I let Sage flower?
The honest truth is that letting your Sage plant flower might be a poor decision. The productions of these flowers take away from the freshness of the leaves because of the energy spent.
How many types of Sage plants are there?
There are six separate types of sage plant in total. They are differentiated based on their color, size, and slight difference in taste.
Marcel runs the place around here. He has a deep passion for houseplants & gardening and is constantly on the lookout for yet another special plant to add to his arsenal of houseplants, succulents & cacti.
Marcel is also the founder of Iseli International Commerce, a sole proprietorship company that publishes a variety of websites and online magazines.