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Herbs - CulinaryHerbaceous Perennial

Salvia officinalis
  • RHS Plants for pollinators

common sage

S. officinalis is a bushy, spreading evergreen sub-shrub to 75cm tall, with very aromatic, finely veined, grey-green leaves and short spikes of pale blue flowers in early summer

Other common names
common garden sage
sage
see moresauge
Synonyms
Salvia officinalis 'Greek'

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Size
Ultimate height
0.5–1 metres
Time to ultimate height
2–5 years
Ultimate spread
0.5–1 metres
Growing conditions
Clay
Loam
Moisture
Moist but well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Green Grey Silver
Summer Blue Green Grey Silver
Autumn Green Grey Silver
Winter Green Grey Silver
Position
  • Full sun
  • Partial shade
Aspect

South–facing or North–facing or West–facing or East–facing

Exposure
Sheltered
Hardiness
H5
Botanical details
Family
Lamiaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Evergreen
Habit
Bushy
Genus

Salvia can be annuals, biennials, herbaceous or evergreen perennials, or shrubs. They have paired, simple or pinnately lobed, often aromatic leaves and 2-lipped flowers in whorls, forming simple or branched spikes or racemes

Name status

Correct

Plant range
Mediterranean, Africa

How to grow

Cultivation

Grow in a light, moist, but well-drained soil in full sun in a sheltered position. Avoid excessive winter wet

Propagation

Propagate by softwood cuttings in spring or semi-hardwood in late summer. Propagate by seed sown in spring

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • City and courtyard gardens
  • Coastal
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Patio and container plants
  • Wall side borders
  • Flower borders and beds
Pruning

Pruning group 9 in spring

Pests

Salvia can suffer damage from sage leaf hopper, capsid bug and slugs

Diseases

Foot and root rots, powdery mildew and verticillium wilt can be problematic on salvias

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