Knowledge from Olle Garden Bed: Planting Salvia Apiana

Salvia is a native plant in the desert, but due to the popularity of the custom of smearing, more people are interested in planting attractive herbs on the neck of the forest. If you don't live in a desert climate, you may want to know whether you can successfully plant sage, but never be afraid. It takes some extra work, but you can plant it almost anywhere. The following content also has some reference value for raised garden beds.

Salvia miltiorrhiza Bunge (Salvia miltiorrhiza Bunge) is not only a beautiful landscape plant, but also a kind of herb. Silver/green leaves contain aromatic oil, and flowers are very popular with bees. Of course, Salvia is also an important plant in the spiritual purification ceremony.

Whether you are planning to use it or looking for a beautiful supplement to the garden, Salvia apiana is a pleasant choice, thanks to its gorgeous fragrance and unique silver leaves.

You can use many different herbs in the daubing ceremony, including common sage, lavender sage, cedar, pine, juniper or rosemary. However, for many people, Salvia is the only way out.

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What is sage?

Salvia is a part of the larger Salvia family (Salvia), closely related to common Salvia (Salvia). In turn, the Sage is a member of the larger mint family.

There are all kinds of sages, including pineapple sage, blue sage and scarlet sage. There is even a species called Death Valley Sage (Salvia miltiorrhiza).

Don't confuse Dakota sage (also known as Salvia apiana) with Salvia apiana. It is not sage, but a member of the Artemisia annua family, related to wormwood. Similarly, mountain sage (Artemisia annua tridentate) is not a real sage.


Salvia is a perennial evergreen plant with warm climate. In colder climates, it will die and return in spring. Salvia is unable to spend winter in cold climate.

I didn't have ideal conditions in my garden in Kentucky, so I planted my sage on the roof of the greenhouse. I ventilate the side of the greenhouse because it often reaches 100 ° F or higher on sunny July days. The greenhouse is still protecting my sage in the cold winter.

If you have less than ideal conditions, you will want to do similar things. Or you can plan to bring your plants indoors in winter.

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Growth zone

The Salvia apianaland is located in the 8-9 area of the southwestern United States, so as you expect, it prefers sunny and warm conditions. It grows as an annual plant in cold weather or is brought indoors in cold weather.

Sunshine and soil requirements

This desert plant needs plenty of sunlight - get as much sunlight as possible. It also likes sandy, well drained soil. Excessive water will kill sage.

Planting Rattletail Grass from Seeds

Cultivating Salvia dahurica from seeds can be challenging because of its low germination rate. Therefore, if you choose to grow from seeds, you need to overplant to compensate for 30% or less germination.

Sowing shall be started about eight weeks before the last frost. Plant them in a light seedling mixture about 1/4 inch deep. Place two or three seeds in each pot.

Germination takes up to two weeks to take place in a room between 65-70 ° F. Spray the soil lightly with water to keep the seeds in full sunlight or plant light.


When plants are four inches tall and the soil temperature is above 55 ° F, you can transplant them outside. Give them a hardening rest period of about seven days.

Growing from cuttings

Many gardeners will have more luck planting Salvia apiana from cuttings. I have a plant that a friend gave me to see what happened!

Growing from cuttings can also be a challenge. The average germination rate of cuttings was 20%. Here are some tips for your cuttings to thrive:

Tips for creating cuts

Get the young cuttings from the top of the established plant. Avoid woody parts of plants.

Cut the stem with multiple leaves about four inches.

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Use the same amount of perlite, potted soil and sand in the container.

Lightly moisten the soil before planting.

Immerse the cut end into organic rooting solution, such as earth juice stock Cut gel and liquid concentrate.

Ideally, you should place the cut on the growth pad and keep it at 75 ° F.

Give the cutting four to six weeks to take root.


For beginners, it may be the easiest to start from the purchased plants. The easiest way to get plants is to buy them in a local nursery or online to avoid the trouble of low germination. Or better yet, get a plant from a friend.

Put sage on the ground

Salvia likes sandy soil, so if you don't have it, you need to create it. First, dig a hole about a foot square and put the excavated soil in a cart. Then, take a third of the soil and mix it with a third of the sand and a third of the pot soil in the hole. This makes a light, breathable mixture that gives your Salvia apiana a good start.


Plants shall be spaced at least 18 inches apart and 24 inches apart in rows. The Salvia apiana is a shrub herb, which is six feet high and four feet wide, so you should give it enough space.

Beautify with sage

If you are doing xerophytes, Salvia apiana is an ideal plant, because it does not need too much water, and it looks great, beside which are broad-leaved desert plants such as aloe and yucca. It will also highlight plants with small flowers, such as sedum and yarrow.

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The Salvia apiana is also great in the rock garden as a higher background specimen. It looks solemn behind thyme and candy clusters or phlox.

It is also an excellent mailbox factory. Many people plant flowers around their mailboxes and then have to work hard to keep them alive. The Salvia apiana likes to be in a sunny and dry place near the road, where it will get heat from the sidewalk, so this is a win-win situation.

Care for the Salvia apiana

With the right start, Salvia is easy to take care of. Please remember that Salvia does not like cold and will die every winter. As long as it is not exposed to the long-term cold below 20 ° F, it will come back. This is another reason why I raise me in the greenhouse, because it provides extra warmth and shelter in winter.


The Salvia apiana benefited from the good thick covering applied in autumn. If your plants are in your greenhouse, you can cover them with straw to keep them warm. If they are outside in the garden, put a few inches of bark or wood mulch on them for protection.


It doesn't need much fertilizer to grow Salvia apiana. In fact, too much fertilizer makes plants spin. Test your soil. If you have serious defects, consider fertilizing. Otherwise, it is unnecessary.


Salvia does not need much water because it is native to desert. Overwatering will make it more susceptible to disease.

During the first growing season, make sure your new plant has about 1/2 inch of water per week. After the first season, the taproot has been fully established, so unless you encounter drought, it does not need additional water.

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The plants in the container need more water.


Sages are mints, and we all know what that means. They may lose control. Salvia with appropriate growth conditions will spread rapidly.

Consider planting Salvia apiana in an area of the garden where it will not encroach on other plants. Or you can plant it on a raised bed, or in a flower pot that sinks into the ground. Remove the bottom from the pot so that the taproot can reach the subsoil.

If you can't give sage its own small garden, please actively trim the plants at any time in late autumn or early winter. Do not trim below the node joints where new leaves sprout. Pruning in this area will promote branching and new growth.

Problems and Solutions of Salvia Vulgaris Growth

Aphids and whiteflies

Two big honey sucking parrots, aphids and whiteflies, like sage. The leaves are fleshy, which is the desire of these two pests. Azadirachem oil works well for these two troublemakers.

powdery mildew

Powdery mildew is a common problem for many of us. It is easily identified by the white spots covering the leaves of the plant. Powdery mildew is a fungal spore, which is transmitted through the air and makes it infectious.

Make sure your plants have good airflow. One of the difficulties in growing my Salvia apiana in the greenhouse is the lack of airflow. Good air circulation is essential to prevent powdery mildew.

Salvia apianaland is produced in a dry and hot climate. This means that it is susceptible to those moist love fungi and molds. Spray neem oil in the evening when the weather is cool. Be sure to spray the underside of the leaves where pests are hiding, as they can spread fungi and viruses.


Rust is another fungal disease that attacks Salvia. The fungus shows yellow or white spots at the top of the leaves and orange spots at the bottom. Remove the infected leaves and make sure to water them from the bottom, not from the top.

Companion planting

The Salvia apiana has deep roots and is used to find water and nutrition. Therefore, it helps to absorb nutrients from the subsoil and is beneficial to other plants around. Plant it next to other plants that like dry soil, such as oregano and rosemary.

Harvesting and storage of Salvia

Once your plants are established, you can start harvesting. In the first year, do not delete more than 30% of new growth.

Use a sharp pair of scissors or a clipper to cut the sage so as not to damage the stem. Avoid pruning wood - stick to remove softer green growth.

Harvest early in the sunny afternoon, because this is the time when the leaves have the highest oil content.

Air drying is best for sage. To dry, you can hang a bundle on the door or wall like me. This provides you with the benefits of a beautiful smell room. Alternatively, you can place the leaves and stems on a mesh screen in a cool, dry area.

Most people don't realize this, but you can eat Salvia apiana like common sage.

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Medicinal quality

Salvia leaves contain high eucalyptol and aborigines will chew it to freshen and clean the mouth, and help prevent heatstroke.

Fight a cold

The white rat tail grass has always been taken to fight colds and chest congestion, because the content of eucalyptol helps clear the airway. I found that the best way to use it is to breathe steam.

To release steam, boil the Salvia apiana for ten minutes, then remove it from the fire. Cover your head with a towel and breathe the steam from the pan. Be careful not to burn yourself.

Other uses

Native Americans in California and Mexico used the white rat tail grass as a bath gel and shampoo. You can't believe how wonderful homemade sage soap and conditioner smell.

Some local cultures chew Salvia apiana to alleviate indigestion and help solve menstrual problems. You can also use leaves to make an antibacterial plaster.


Halo dye originated from the aborigines in the southwest. It spread in Native American culture and was incorporated into their religious practice. Today, smears are popular with many Protestant groups and witchcraft followers.

Smear or smoke cleaning is a method of purifying areas such as rooms or houses. It can also be used to clean a person.

Cleanliness means removing negative energy from the body or family and protecting people, animals and families.

How to apply

First, collect and dry your Salvia apiana. Once dry, it can burn. The Salvia apiana is good for smearing, because it burns slowly and produces stable smoke, which is necessary for the ceremony.

Although you can make a halo dye with a leaf, if you tie sage together and tie it with cotton and hemp, you can get a longer and larger smoke output. Align the partially dried sage branches with the stems at one end, press the bundles together tightly, and then wind the ropes around the bundles at a certain angle. Once you reach the top, use the twine pointed at another angle to come back, so you can use the twine to form an x. Tie it tight and let it dry.

During the daubing ceremony, dried sage is usually placed in shells or ritual plates. You can also light the end of sage and hold it in your hand. When it burns, the holder moves around in that position, blowing smoke over their heads and toward objects that need protection or cleaning. You can clean people and places. Experienced practitioners suggest you clean people before cleaning places.

To clean a person, move the cigarette around the person's body, starting from one foot, up, up, down, down, and ending at the other foot. Then clean the back of the body, move to the front, and end at the heart.

To clean the room, start from the far corner and try to get out of the room so as to push the negative energy out.

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When finished, gently press the tip of the applicator into the housing or container to extinguish it.

Salvia is becoming more and more endangered in the wild. Because many people are interested in dyeing with leaves, you will not only improve your garden by planting Salvia, but also help the environment. You can even sell white rat tail grass at the local farmers' market to earn some money. Are you ready to try the growing Salvia apiana? Be sure to share your experience with us in the comments.