Plant in the spring after all danger of frost has passed in a location that will receive full sun. Space plants 12-18″ apart in moderately fertile soil that is well-drained.
Also known as “lime-leaf sage,” plants can reach a height of 3-5 feet and can cope with acid soils and moderate drought. Although drought resistant, chia thrives when watered regularly; water the soil when it is dry to the touch. Don’t overwater. Even moisture is necessary for seedling establishment.
Does well in containers or mixed pots. Attracts bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds to the garden.
Chia salvia hispanica
Chia is an annual plant in the mint family. Made popular by the Aztecs, it was as important of a food crop as corn or maize in pre-Columbian civilizations and is still popular in Mexico and South America today. Until recently, Chia could only be grown in tropical climates due to its long growing season. Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, Chia seeds provide an excellent source of soluble fiber and antioxidants.
Successful collection of chia seeds without waste has a lot to do with timing. It’s best to pick individual flower heads when most of the petals have fallen off the flower. Allow the heads time to finish drying by placing them in a paper bag or on a drying rack. Once completely dry, the easiest way to crush the dried flower heads to extract the seeds is to rub them with a flat hand on a hard surface or counter. Then pour the seeds and debris into a fine meshed sifter. Gently tap the sifter until the chaff falls out through the mesh until only seeds remain. Store in an airtight container. Properly cleaned, Chia seed can be stored successfully.