White sage is a perennial, with plants living well past two years if properly cared for. This article will be a walk through as to growing this precious herb and how you can have your own on hand.
Starting Your White Sage Plants
White sage seeds themselves are edible, and can be found in pods on a sage plant. They have a very low germination rate, so it is important to start a white sage plant indoors and keep the seeds close to the surface (no deeper than an eighth to a quarter of an inch) and place in an area where there is a lot of light. You will want your plant to get at least eight hours of direct sunlight. Florescent lights can be used, although sunlight is preferred.
White Sage Soil Needs
The soil should be of a dry, sandy texture that drains water easily (cactus potting soil is a good choice) and put in a container with holes in the bottom. Since sage plants don’t do well in cold temperatures, they should either be replanted to grow indoors in a pot or covered during the winter months. Ideally, they should not be exposed to temperatures less than 20 degrees Fahrenheit.
Initially in caring for your sage plant, it is important to make sure once the seedlings sprout to four inches that the plants are kept at least two feet apart to avoid overlapping. If you plan on transferring your plants outdoors, be sure to wait until all chances for frost have passed… and continue using dry, sandy soil that will easily drain water.
Watering White Sage
Watering is done a bit more often in the early stages of growth, without overdoing it. When the very top soil feels dry upon touch, water until it starts running through the drainage holes and the soil is completely dampened. Once the sage is growing well, it is only necessary to water when the top soil has completely dried.
White Sage and Sunlight Needs
Make sure the plant is exposed to the maximum amount of sunlight possible. While sunlight is essential for sage to grow well, keep a close watch over the plants for extreme heat or wind damage.
White Sage and Fertilizer
During the spring and summer months of growing white sage outdoors, it is good to use a regular liquid fertilizer. Mix equal amounts of water and fertilizer, and treat the plants monthly as the package directs.
The white sage plant can grow up to five feet tall, and has stems (often called “sage wands”) that can grow up to six feet. The leaves flower along the stems and have a white tinge to them that comes from the fine hairs that grow on the leaves themselves. Flowers from the sage plant are generally white or a light lavender in color.
Harvesting Your White Sage
In harvesting the sage leaves, it is important to remember that if you snip in the lower part of the stem, no more leaves will grow… so cut the stem close to the top to get the maximum growth from your sage plant.
Written by Angela Sangster, Copyright 2010 HousePlantsForYou.com
Also see – Preparing White Sage For Smudging