Plant in the spring after all danger of frost has passed in a location that will receive full sun to partial shade. Space plants 2-4′ apart in dry to average soil that is well-drained. Plant height 4′. All of the sage varieties are drought tolerant, and a great choice for mixed pots.
During the spring and summer months of growing white sage outdoors, it is good to use a regular liquid fertilizer or a light compost mulch for optimal growth. Sage is a perennial in zone 5 and will become quite woody after a year or two so plants should be replaced every four or five years. Cut back severely in the spring before new growth appears.
Attracts bees, hummingbirds and other pollinators to the garden. Deer resistant.
Sage, White salvia apiana
White Sage is a bushy perennial shrub, with thick stems and dusty gray-green foliage that reaches 4’ tall and 4’ wide. When rubbed, the whitish evergreen leaves have oils and resins that release a strong aroma. It is most commonly used to make the smudge sticks that are used in Native American ceremonies.
Sage is extremely complementary to meats, especially poultry. It is delicious with dairy products as well, especially in sauces with eggs, butter, or cheeses. Sage is used in marinades as well.
To harvest: fresh is always best. Leaves should be stripped before the sage plant flowers. If you pinch the flowers off during the growing season, you will be able to harvest more leaves. To store, chop the leaves finely and add a little water, freezing the mixture in ice cube trays. Or mix the finely chopped leaves into softened butter for a delicious spread for bread.
You can also dry the stems by gathering them in bunches, hanging them on drying racks out of direct sunlight. Once completely dry, strip leaves from stems and store in airtight containers. Dried sage has a stronger flavor, but a different taste, than the fresh.