Plant of the Week ~ Salvia officinalis (Sage)

Salvia officinalis botanical art
Botanical artwork detailing the components of a Salvia officinalis plant

This week we are taking a look at an evergreen shrub that has been used by humans for centuries – Salvia officinalis (Sage). Flowering in summer, sage is a great addition to the garden not only for it’s uses and it’s value to wildlife but also for the beauty of its flowers and foliage. Let’s take a closer look at this wonderful plant.

Cultivation & Care

Salvia officinalis aromatic foliage
The foliage of Salvia officinalis is covered in fine hairs and releases a distinct aroma when bruised

Sage enjoys a well-drained soil in a sunny position for optimal growth. Sandy soils are best but heavy soils which hold onto wet during the winter months should be avoided as this can kill the plant off. Though they will tolerate partial shade, full sun is best. Once established they will also tolerate drought conditions.

Not much maintenance is required. Cutting them back will prevent them from becoming too large and woody at the base, allowing the plant to have more luscious growth.

Edible, herbal and other uses

Salvia officinalis has many uses in both cooking and herbal medicine
Salvia officinalis has many uses in both cooking and herbal medicine
  • Leaves ~ can be eaten dried or fresh and cooked or raw. It is a great addition to the flavour of fatty and savoury dishes. The leaves can also be used to brew a tea.
  • Flowers ~ eaten raw and make an attractive addition to salads.
  • Aromatic pest confuser ~ the aroma of the plant will deter and confuse certain insect ‘pests’.
  • Medicinal uses ~ antidiarrhoeal, antihydrotic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, appetiser, aromatherapy, astringent, carminative, cholagogue, galactofuge, stimulant, tonic, vasodilator.

Wildlife & Eco Gardens can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants.  Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Wildlife Gardening

Many insects feed on the nectar of Salvia officinalis
Many insects feed on the nectar of Salvia officinalis
  • Great source of nectar for bees & butterflies
  • Pollinator attracting plant
  • Lacewings favour this plant for laying their eggs
  • Nectar source for hummingbirds

Wildlife & Eco Gardens can help you create a vibrant wildlife garden for you and your family to enjoy all year round. Contact us for more information.