The magic of sage in the ornamental garden


Sage with sedum

Against the power of death grows in the garden of sage …

Whatever the name of this amazing plant! «Savior of life», «sacred herb», «grass of immortality», «prolonging life».

Sage is credited with magical properties. They say that this flower can heal not only the body, but also the human aura. Its leaves are used in cooking as a spice with a spicy aroma.

All these enthusiastic epithets are devoted to two types of sage: medicinal sage (Salvia officinalis) and clary sage (Salvia sclarea). But there are other varieties of this plant that can turn your garden into a fabulous landscape.

Types of sage
The color palette of sage is diverse and depends on the species.

The most popular and common shades of blue and purple (from pale lilac to dark purple). However, there are species and varieties with white, pink, red, purple, and even multi-colored flowers.

The height of this amazing plant also varies. It ranges from 30 cm to 1.5 m. And some specimens grow up to two meters.

The soil for sage should be moisture-permeable, without stagnant moisture, aerated (loosening is used). Organics (manure, compost) are applied as fertilizers before winter.

For winter, perennial species in the northern regions should be covered with spruce branches or sprinkled with compost on the root neck. Rejuvenating (sanitary) pruning is best done in early spring.

In one place without a transplant grows up to 4 years.


Salvia officinalis

Salvia officinalis (Salvia officinalis)

  • Growth area: Italy, southeastern Europe.
  • Flowering period: June July
  • Color spectrum: blue, blue-violet.
  • Height: herbaceous plant, semi-shrub up to 75 cm high.
  • Growing conditions: drought-resistant, does not tolerate excess moisture, freezes without shelter in severe winters, frost resistance zone 5-6.
  • Peculiarities: evergreen shrub, if cut every two years in spring, will grow in one place up to 8 years; spice (leaves), medicinal plant (herb), source for essential oil (all parts of the plant and seeds).

Clary sage

Clary sage (Salvia Sclarea)

  • Growth area: Central and Southern Europe, Western and Central Asia, Caucasus
  • Flowering period: June-September.
  • Color spectrum: pinkish, white, lilac.
  • plant height: herbaceous plant, semi-shrub about 100-120 cm high.
  • Growing conditions: undemanding to the composition of the soil, drought-resistant, cultivated in the Middle lane as a two-year crop, propagated by self-sowing.
  • Peculiarities: spice (flowers and leaves), medicinal plant (herb), source for obtaining essential oil (aerial part).
oak sage

oak sage (Salvia nemorosa)

  • Growth area: Central Europe, foothills of the Crimea.
  • Flowering period: June August.
  • Color spectrum: lavender blue («Blue Hill»), violet blue («Ostfriesland»), lilac blue («May night»), dark lavender («Plumosa»), pink purple («Ametist»), white (» Adrian»), dark purple («Caradonna»).
  • Height: 35-90 cm.
  • Growing conditions: one of the most unpretentious species. Likes partial shade, loose, fertile soils. In winters with little snow, it can be damaged by frost, so sage is cut only in spring. Winter hardiness 4-6.
  • Peculiarities: valuable honey plant, very decorative.
blue sage

blue sage (Salvia azurea)

  • Growth area: Central America, Eastern North America.
  • flowering period: July — October.
  • Color spectrum: bright blue, large-flowered species — Salvia azurela grandiflora.
  • Height: 60-100 cm, herbaceous plant forming clumps.
  • Growing conditions: shade-tolerant species, drought-resistant, does not tolerate stagnant water, frost resistance 7-8.
  • Peculiarities: we grow it as an annual, we love gardeners for its high decorativeness and long flowering.
Transylvanian sage

Transylvanian sage (Salvia transsylvanica)

  • Growth area: Romania (Eastern Carpathians, Transylvania), Russia (North and Center).
  • Flowering period: from June to August.
  • Color spectrum: purple, dark blue.
  • Height: herbaceous plant up to 80 cm high.
  • Growing conditions: unpretentious to the soil, watering, frost resistance is low.
  • Peculiarities: lush inflorescences.

whorled sage

whorled sage (Salvia verticulata)

  • Growth area: Eastern and Southern Europe, Iran, Iraq, the Caucasus, Turkey, the European part of Russia, Western Siberia.
  • flowering period: June — September.
  • Color spectrum: lilac, purple, dark purple («Purpl Rain»).
  • Height: semi-shrub 30 — 80 cm high.
  • growing conditions: sunny places, clay and limestone soils, frost resistance 4-5.
  • Peculiarities: blooms dimly, but long and plentiful; spice (leaves), honey plant, source of essential oil (aerial part).

whorled sage

Salvia brilliant (Salvia splendens)

  • Growth area: tropical belt of Brazil.
  • flowering period: June — October.
  • Color spectrum: bright orange, red, purple; varieties of cream, pink and white shades have been bred.
  • Height: up to 60 cm.
  • Growing conditions: does not tolerate frost (zone 8), therefore, outside the tropical climate zone, it is grown as an annual crop.
  • Peculiarities: for its bright color, decorative properties and long flowering, it takes pride of place in garden and city flower beds.


In the photo below, you can clearly see how large and small arrays of sage flowers look in the landscape.

Sage in the garden

Sage in the garden

Sage in the garden

Sage in the garden

Sage in the garden

Sage in garden design

Sage in the garden

Sage in the landscape

Sage in landscape design

Sage with other perennials

Sage along the paths

To emphasize the beauty of sage flowers, one must take into account the height and color of the plants that will be adjacent to them.
Sage on the lawn

Blue and purple pair equally well with yellow and orange. In the photo, a stunted calendula is next to blue sage curtains.

Neighbors of the same height as sage are chosen when they want to apply the alternation technique.

Sage along the fence

Reception of alternation: the bright blue or purple color of oak salvia (Caradonna variety) looks beautiful against the background of calm flowering of the soft cuff.
Sage and roses

Salvia, one of the few flowering herbs that does not fade against the backdrop of the queen of flowers — roses.

Sage, allium, chistets in the flower garden

A beautiful contrast is shown in the photo above: blue sage flowers (officinalis and oak), alliumsilver cleaner and a green cushion of Siberian brunner leaves.

Sage and Echinacea

In this mix, the plants were placed in height. In the foreground are blue sage flowers, followed by pink petals. echinacea. The background for the composition can serve as a curtain of ornamental grass with green strongly elongated leaves (any grass, sedge, feather grass).

Sage in a spicy flower garden

Even the varieties of sage intended for cooking are diverse and look great together on the same green bed. Curtains will make a beautiful couple rosemary.

I planted my sage officinalis with a prominent stonecrop (Brilliant variety) and spice peach. It turned out a charming trio that reveals its beauty to the maximum in the velvet season (photo above).


  • Sage loves light sandy soils rich in humus.
  • To repeat the flowering of perennial sage, it is necessary to cut the plant (rather short, up to 7 cm from the root collar), it will start new shoots that will bloom in late August-September.
  • It is advisable to plant different types of salvia at some distance from each other in order to avoid crossing and maintain the purity of the species.


Grow sage from seeds in indoor or greenhouse conditions. In February-March, the seeds are sown in prepared soil (ordinary garden soil or seedling substrate), lightly sprinkled with earth.

The container is covered with a film and monitor the maintenance of humidity in the greenhouse. Waterlogging or drying out of the soil is equally detrimental to seedlings. A single airing and spraying from a spray bottle at room temperature will be enough.

In the open field, seed germination is low, although … Karadonna sage was dug up last year and transplanted, and this summer about twenty seedlings grew in the old place. Perhaps the weather was favorable.

When two true leaves appear, the seedlings are transplanted into a separate container.

Young shoots cannot stand even a slight cold snap, so seedlings can be planted in a permanent place when warm weather sets in. In a temperate climate, this period falls on the month of June.

Another way is air layering. In spring, the stems of an adult plant are bent to the ground and fixed. Over time, in places of contact with the ground, the plant will take root. When they develop, the layers are separated and planted in a separate hole. This may happen in autumn or next spring — depending on weather conditions.

Perennial sage varieties can be propagated by cuttings. Cut semi-woody cuttings 15 cm long are immersed in water with a root formation stimulator.

Roots should appear in two weeks. After another week, planting material can be planted in the ground.

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