Herb to Know- Salvia Officinalis- Sage - Mothering Forums
Gardening > Herb to Know- Salvia Officinalis- Sage
Chanley's Avatar Chanley 04:00 PM 05-17-2002
This is a picture of a type of Salvia Officinalis var. Bergarten.


This sage is by far the prettiest of the garden sages. It makes a tight low growing bush and is very compact. I dont believe this one will flower. The other salvia officinalis do flower profusely in small purple blooms that bees go nuts over.

I have not had much success with sage in pots, it seems to do better when stuck in the ground. They take full sun and dont require much water.

More about salvia o. to follow

Chanley's Avatar Chanley 04:13 PM 05-17-2002

here is a recipe we love, I snabbed off of allrecipes.com awhile back.

It is vegan if you leave out the parmesan. My forever skinny Dh likes to drizzle grated mozzarella on his. :
I like to serve this with a fresh greens salad. This dish screams summer. I have thought about using this as a filling for tamales but have not had the time to fool with corn husks. Ohh and a word to the wise, DONT MAKE SOAP while doing this. Stirring two pots can get confusing! bad bad bad scenario!

Saged Polenta with Fresh Corn


2 ears corn
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
1/2 yellow onion, diced
3 cups water
2 cups rice milk
1 cup cornmeal
salt and pepper to taste
3 tablespoons chopped fresh sage leaves
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese


1 Grill corn in the husks, or roast in the oven; cut kernels from cob.
2 In a heavy 4-quart saucepan heat oil over medium heat. Stir in garlic and onions; reduce heat to low and cook until onions are translucent.
3 Stir in water and milk and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Slowly stir in cornmeal, whisking thoroughly. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring often to prevent sticking and burning. Season with salt and pepper; simmer 15 minutes more.
4 When cornmeal is tender, stir in corn, sage and Parmesan cheese. Transfer to a large bowl to serve.

what do you do with your sage?
Ms. Mom's Avatar Ms. Mom 05:06 PM 05-17-2002
WOW! It's beautiful. Would it grow well in Michigan? We have great soil, but the seasons can be really harsh.
bamboogrrrl's Avatar bamboogrrrl 05:37 PM 05-17-2002
I have the sage you mentioned and a purple leaved one that is gorgeous. I tried to grow a tricolor (white, green and purple I think) but it died almost immediately, and I found out later it was less hardy. Bummer because it was beautiful. Last fall, I cut off and dried all the foliage from the green one for a friend with Hep C - she read that sage was a great liver toner. I was worried I killed it, but it is coming back.

I am also growing the perennial Russian sage this year - it looks like a great visual alternative to lavender. We'll see how it does.

I think the trick to sage is poor soil.
3boysmom's Avatar 3boysmom 05:57 PM 05-17-2002
Russian Sage is one of my favorites! I have tons of it, it makes quite a statement! Such a striking presence in the garden.

I also grow pineapple sage for its pretty red flowers and wonderful pineapple scent.
Chanley's Avatar Chanley 07:15 PM 05-17-2002
This is Chan's husband....
Russian sage is actually a Perovskia, and therefore not a sage. Its medicinal uses should not be confused with that of Salvia officinalis. Perovskia has been used as an intoxicant either smoked, or mixed into vodka in Siberia and a few other places of Russia.

If you'd all like I can take pictures of any of the following:
Salvia officinalis
Salvia officinalis 'Bergartten (already viewed)
Salvia officinalis 'Tricolor
Salvia argentea (one of my favs)
Salvia apiana (used for native smudge sticks)
Salvia greggi (got a pink, a red, and a white)
Salvia verticillata 'Purple Rain Salvia'
Salvia nemorosa 'Blue hills
Salvia superba 'Maynight
Salvia superba 'Plumosa
Salvia suberba 'Blue Queen
Salvia elegans 'Pinapple sage

I'm sure I'm forgetting a few.... These are just a few of the Salvias I have out at the farm.

If anyone would like me to talk about the growing conditions of any of these lemme know.

Thanks for your time,
Drew (chan's gardener)
cynthia mosher's Avatar cynthia mosher 06:30 AM 05-18-2002

I don't believe I've ever seen sage growing here. Do you think it can survive hot, dry, desert air Chan?
Chanley's Avatar Chanley 11:47 AM 05-18-2002
Ms. Mom,
I do not believe the sage pictured would over winter a Michigan winter.

Cynthia, the Salvia appiana might work in the dessert. It is native to the deserts of the US and Mexico. Apiana is the sage used in smudge sticks. It is very resinous and the leaves are incredibly sticky. It was indigenously used to purify the air and clean the energy of homes. I have used it for such and the smell is wonderful. Very earthy and sensous.

I agree that Russian sage (Perovskia) is beautiful. It is one of my fav. plants in the garden. As any tried drying the flower stems for decoration? I am going to try that this year. Our Perovskia is just starting to bloom.
amnesiac's Avatar amnesiac 12:36 PM 05-18-2002
My sage generally doesn't do quite as well as my other herbs. It survives the summer in full sun, but is more fussy than the others & doesn't grow as much. I usually use sage when cooking poultry. I rarely cook chicken without it & would never even think of making turkey & dressing without it.
LaLa's Avatar LaLa 03:49 PM 05-22-2002
we have two varieties of sage (both larger bushes then this style, and both the flowering kind) that come back every spring here in IA

I have never used any of the herbs in my yard...

bad mommy!
Chanley's Avatar Chanley 04:19 PM 05-22-2002

take pics of the sages and send them to me. The salvia genus is HUGE HUGE HUGE. And it is one of Drews favorites so we have lots of them.

I really think that sage needs poor soil. So amnesiac, this may be why your sage does not do well. What kinda dirt ya got?
amnesiac's Avatar amnesiac 11:44 AM 05-24-2002
We've got nasty black clay here. The veggies have nice soil that I fixed up, but I didn't alter the soil for the herbs or flowers, just loosened & mulched it. The pH tends to be around 7.5, zero N, high P & little to no K. I usually give them some fish & seaweed emulsion every 4-6 weeks.
summermom's Avatar summermom 12:23 PM 06-01-2002
You all probably know this already, but I thought I'd post this just in case -- sage dries up breastmilk, or so I've heard.
iris's Avatar iris 02:20 PM 06-04-2002
Chanley, I really like what you are doing with this.

Summermom, never heard that but will do some reading. Thanks.

I use fresh or dried sage tea when i feel a sore throat coming on. I've found that unless it is a doozy, the sage tea will fix it up in a jiffy.

(By the way, I know you all know eachother at this forum. I've been gone soooooo long and have also changed my name from Happymama to Iris. I changed it when the Mothering boards renovated. So, here is a little about my gardening self. I am a 2nd year paracticing gardener after 10 years of waiting waiting waiting for a patch of soil. I am a rain worshipper and a compost fanatic. My garden in on a borrowed patch of land in my neighbor's backyard and it is teensy weensy with a huuuuuuuge tree which grows exponentially each year or so it seems. My garden is a mostly shade space now with little bits of sun along the fence line. Gardening, soil and rain have literally saved my sanity in the concrete world I live in and has provided my 2 1/2 yr. old DS with dirt to dig in, bugs to watch and growing green to rest his eyes.)

Happy sage-ing

LaLa's Avatar LaLa 03:30 PM 06-19-2002
What will our next herb to know be?
i am so excited to find out!

I drive my family crazy most of the time!
Sorry Chan!

shematrix's Avatar shematrix 08:10 PM 06-19-2002
Thanks so much for posting this. I didn't know that about sage. I don't want anything messing with my supply. Thanks again!

Originally posted by summermom
You all probably know this already, but I thought I'd post this just in case -- sage dries up breastmilk, or so I've heard.

cornflake girl's Avatar cornflake girl 06:23 PM 06-23-2002
ok, I'm a little hesitant to ask this because it's probably a silly question, but......I noticed the Salvia suberba 'Blue Queen' in the list of sages. So I can use the leaves in that recipe you posted? We recently planted this in our yard because I liked the way it looked. It's an herb? I had no idea. Or maybe I'm just way off track. I'm so new to this.
Chanley's Avatar Chanley 07:15 PM 07-01-2002
Not all salvias are edible tho they are all technically sages. Only use Salvia Officinalis in recipes. Do not use the ornamental types, especially if they came from a garden center and you transplanted them in your yard.