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Sage is a perennial medicinal plant from the Lamiaceae family. Due to the rather low winter hardiness and the possibility of freezing in most regions of Russia, it is grown as an annual.
- Botanical description
- Growing conditions and care
- Growing sage from seeds
- Other ways to breed sage
- Collection of sage to obtain medicinal raw materials
- Using sage
Sage, also known as salvia officinalis, is a rhizome perennial with a height of about 30-50 cm. It grows in the form of densely leafy bushes with pubescent stems. It is characterized by a powerful highly branched root system and straight branched stems that die off for the winter.
Flowers of deep purple color, collected in inflorescences in the form of panicles. The flowering period lasts from June to July. Sage fruits are small nuts with a diameter of about 2.5 mm, round in shape and dark in color. They ripen by the beginning of autumn. Sage seeds can maintain their germination for 2-3 years.
Growing conditions and care
For planting sage, open, well-lit areas with moderately fertile neutral or slightly acidic soils are best suited. This culture feels very good on loamy soils. In one place, salvia can grow for over 5 years.
The main care for this crop is timely watering, especially during dry periods, and weed control. Sage can withstand drought for quite a long time, but in this case its greens become tough and dry. Also, from the care measures, it is worth noting feeding. Fertilization must be carried out in two terms.
The first time feeding is carried out in the spring at the time of the growth of the aerial part. For this, fertilizers of the nitrogen group are used. The next fertilization takes place at the end of August. Various phosphorus-potassium complexes are used for it.
In the second and subsequent years of cultivation, sage, like most other perennial crops, needs pruning. This allows you to renew the aerial part of the plant. The pruning height should be about 10 cm from the soil surface.
Growing sage from seeds
Sage is fairly easy to grow from seed. Sowing them is best done in open ground in early spring or before winter. For this, grooves are prepared with a depth of about 1.5 cm. After sowing, they are covered with a layer of soil about 1 cm and thoroughly watered.
When sowing, you can also use the seedling method. For this, in February or early March, sowing containers with loose and nutritious fertile soil are prepared. The depth of planting seeds in them should not exceed 1 cm. If the seeds were fresh and of high quality, then the first shoots can be seen in 2-3 weeks.
After the appearance of the first true leaf, the seedlings are seated in individual cups. Sage seedlings are planted in open ground in the second half of May. The distance between the plants should be at least 25 cm. For the first few days, it is recommended to shade them with a non-woven covering material.
Other ways to breed sage
Sage can be propagated not only by sowing seeds, but also by dividing bushes or cuttings. The division of overgrown sage bushes is best done in the spring at the time of the emergence of shoots. Each division must necessarily have a sufficient number of viable buds and a piece of rhizome sufficient for subsequent rooting.
When sage is multiplied by the method of division, the first collection of medicinal raw materials can be carried out in the fall, in the year of planting. Cutting sage is a rather laborious process and requires certain skills, so it is rarely used.
Collection of sage to obtain medicinal raw materials
Sage leaves and tops of flowering shoots are used as a medicinal raw material. In the year of sowing, the first collection of raw materials is carried out only at the beginning of autumn, with subsequent cultivation, the harvesting is carried out 2 to 3 times per season. Moreover, you can start from the moment of flowering and finish at the beginning of autumn. The collection is carried out by simple mowing of the aerial part to a height of 10-15 cm.
The harvested leaves and parts of the shoots are dried in a dry, well-ventilated place without direct sunlight. After drying, the raw materials are packed in paper or cloth bags and stored in a cool dry place.
Sage leaves and flowers have a pleasant aroma and a specific spicy taste. Therefore, they are very often used as a seasoning in the preparation of a wide variety of dishes. It goes well with meat, fish and vegetable dishes. Very often, the raw material of medicinal sage is used to add to various wines and confectionery products.
Also, this plant is widely used in perfumery and medicine. In addition, flowering sage bushes are excellent honey plants. The honey collected from the plantation of this plant has a rich golden color and a pleasant smell.
Dried sage herb is a traditional traditional medicine for treating various colds. Various decoctions and infusions are prepared from it, which are then used to treat bronchitis, tonsillitis, tuberculosis. In addition, sage has a number of other beneficial properties:
- Excellent tonic
- Relieves bleeding gums
- Has an analgesic and soothing effect
Sage essential oil is a valuable component in the production of a number of perfumery and cosmetic products. For example, it is very often included in toothpastes. It is quite easy to grow a beautiful and healthy sage on your site. The main thing is to find a place suitable for the plant and carry out all the care measures in a timely manner.
Video about sage and proper cultivation: