Sage, whose botanical name is Salvia, comes in many varieties and can be grown for its seasoning properties, medicinal properties and for the show of beautiful blooms that it produces at the end of each growing season. Sage flowers range from pink to deep purple and tend to grow in long spikes. Sage has been glorified for centuries as a miracle healing herb–its name means to save or salvation.
Sage Grown for Seasoning
Sage can be used in cooking to add a minty spice to foods. Some varieties of sage plants are better for this than others. When growing sage to be used in this manner it is best to harvest the leaves before the plant begins to flower. This will produce the sweetest herb flavoring–flowering herbs tend to be bitter. If flowers start to bud before the plant has been harvested, just cut off the buds and allow the plant to continue growing until you are ready to harvest.
Sage Grown for Medicinal Uses
Sage has been said to have antiseptic properties and sage tea is good for a sore throat. It is also thought to aid in digestion and boost insulin production. When growing sage for medicinal purposes, all parts of the plant can be used and therefore it is okay to let the plant flower. If the flowers are desired as part of the medicinal regimen, cut them soon after blooming for the highest potency.
Sage Grown for Flower Production
Sage plants produce beautiful flowers that are very desirable in cut flower arrangements. The silvery soft leaves of the sage plant offset the colors in other plants very well and can add a variety of texture and color to a flower arrangement or garden. When sage flowers, the stems can be cut and the flowers used in cut flower arrangements. These flowers are desired by many because of their ability to stay fresh for a long period of time. To keep the sage plant growing and producing flowers, cut the flowering stems soon after blooming. This will encourage the plant to bush out and to not get leggy and woody.