January 11th, 2021 – By J. L. Wells
Today’s post will be about Salvia, the perennial kind. The first and foremost important step is to make sure to have the coverings of your choice; whether that be mulch, shredded leaves, or compost. Cover the base of the plant with your coverings, between 2-3 inches thick if you are having a mild winter and 4-6 inches for a colder winter. Many of the varieties of saliva are inedible, but salvia apiana (White Sage) and Salvia Dorrii (Desert Sage) can be used for smudging and cleansing sticks. The common salvia (common sage or cooking sage) can be used as an ingredient for cooking.
Either in late fall or very late winter, you can cut down the plant but leaving 4 inches. If you are growing Salvia Apiana or Salvia Dorrii, make sure to harvest the leaves before the flowers open up. You can use a dehydrator or leave them in the warm sun for several hours to dry them for later use. When growing common cooking sage, keep harvesting throughout the season but the leaves are more flavorful right before they flower. If you wish to continue to prolong the life of your common cooking sage, make sure to nip the buds off before they get too big and bloom.
Do keep in the mind that Russian Sage is different than Salvia. Russian Sage has more of a fern-like structure, and grow much taller than Salvia does. But I will do a new post about Russian Sage and give a bit more detail.
Salvia winterizing is quite simple but like other plants, make sure the soil doesn’t get too wet or root rot, diseases, and or fungi will cause damage.
If you have any questions or have a way you care for your salvia, please let a comment. I would love to hear feedback.