When it comes to growing herbs, you’re often spoiled for choice. However, we can highly recommend sage as being one of the best for you to grow in your garden. Why?
Well, there are a number of reasons!
For one thing, sage is very easy to grow, making it ideal for first time gardeners and experts alike. On top of that, many of them are great for cooking with, giving you brilliant flavors and aromas.
Additionally, other sages will simply brighten up any garden with their colors, as well act as a magnet for pollinating insects. Oh, and sage is a good companion plant too!
As you can see, it’s well worth you growing some sage in your garden.
However, with so many different varieties out there, each with their own qualities and purposes, it can be difficult knowing which sage is the best to grow for you.
Which is why we’ve done the work for you! In our handy guide below, we’ve got 14 of the very best types of sage to grow in your garden(see also: A Guide To Knowing How To Grow Wine Cap Mushrooms In Your Garden).
How Do We Organize Sage?
Before we get to the best 15 varieties of sage for you to grow, (see also: Top 8 Parthenocarpic Cucumber Varieties To Grow)it’s worth explaining how we can organize the different types of sage into different categories, making it easier to understand them and their qualities.
One of the primary ways to organize sage is by their color. Most of you will picture sage as being green, and a lot of the varieties certainly are, but you can also grow sages of other colors.
For example, golden sage and purple sage will really brighten up a garden.
On the other hand, you can also categorize sage based on whether it’s good for cooking with.
Not all sages will be great for culinary use, but varieties like common sage (also known as “garden sage”), broadleaf sage, and Berggarten sage are popular for cooking with.
Additionally, varieties of sages are used as companion plants, grown for ornamental reasons, or even made use of in medical senses.
Best Types Of Sage To Grow In Your Garden – 15 Varieties!
1. Common Sage (Salvia Officinalis)
We couldn’t start our list of the best sage varieties with anything other than salvia officinalis, which is the common sage and the one you’re typically most likely to come across.
A very popular variety, people grow common sage for both culinary and medical reasons.
When it comes to the culinary usage, this is a sage that’s used in cooking all around the world, but especially in Mediterranean cooking.
It’s used either fresh or dried, and it has a flavor that’s somewhere between sweet and bitter. The sage works brilliantly with lots of foods, such as turkey and potatoes.
In terms of medical uses, people have been known to use common sage to help their memory or to fight against digestive issues.
Thankfully, common sage is easy to grow, and it;s a hardy perennial plant.
It can handle the colder areas or harsher climates found in the north of America, and you can grow it with both full sun exposure or some partial shade. However, ensure that it’s got good drainage in place.
2. Scarlet Sage (Scarlet Splendens)
Also known by its scientific name of scarlet splendens, you can guess the color of this next variety of sage! That’s right, this sage is popular for its vibrant scarlet color, with beautiful bright red leaves.
It’s a sage that will work brilliantly at brightening up any garden, making it really pop with color. Better still, it has a very fragrant aroma to it, which pairs well with the gorgeous appearance.
As for its uses, scarlet sage is often used to make herbal products. Additionally, its wonderful aromas make it a natural fit for being dried and crushed into a potpourri.
Thankfully, it’s easy to grow, and it thrives best in full sun.
3. White Sage (Salvia Apiana)
Known scientifically as salvia apiana, white sage isn’t so much pure white in appearance as more of a silver-gray.
It has a very interesting aroma which may not be to everybody’s tastes – with a strong and smokey edge. As a result, it can often smell burned, and this makes it a poor sage to use for cooking with.
However, it is popular for its cleansing and calming qualities, which is why it’s often burned in the form of white sage sticks. For whatever reason, people much prefer its scent in this form.
White sage is easy to grow and thrives in full sun. You can use various types of soil, but they must be well-drained.
4. Berggarten Sage (Artemisia Berggardiana)
Our next pick is the Berggarten sage, known scientifically as artemisia berggardiana, which we mentioned earlier in the article as being one of the best culinary sages.
Its leaves provide a great flavor that goes well with things like meats, soups, and eggs.
On top of that, the leaves of berggarten sage have a very strong aroma.
In terms of appearance, the leaves are a kind of silvery blue-gray, which makes this sage attractive and very popular in ornamental scenarios.
5. Broadleaf Sage
This is another one of the most popular culinary sages, and it’s quite similar to common sage. This particular type is native to the Mediterranean, which is why it’s so commonly used in Mediterranean cooking.
In terms of appearance, broadleaf sage has leaves with silver tints and then flowers of purple. So, not only is it a great sage for cooking with, but it looks great too!
6. Yellow Sage (Lantana Camara)
Known scientifically as lantana camara, our next pick is more commonly known as yellow sage. There are no prizes for guessing what it looks like!
Yellow sage may have hairy green leaves, but it also has plenty of beautiful yellow flowers coming off it.
These range in their shades too, with some being pale yellow and others being gorgeous gold, which makes it even more attractive!
These types of sage thrive in hot and dry climates, so make sure that you’re growing them in that type of atmosphere!
7. Italian Sage (Salvia Officinalis “Italian”)
Next up is Italian sage, which is popularly used in cooking, as well as being a common pick for ornamental reasons.
In terms of cooking, the sage has a warm and complex flavor that really pairs well with a lot of different foods: pork, sausage, cheese dishes, onions, tomatoes, potatoes, beans, and so on.
On the other hand, it’s a great fit for ornamental uses thanks to its gray-green leaves and beautiful light purple flowers. Even better, it’s easy to grow!
8. Golden Sage (Salvia Officinalis “Icterina”)
As you can imagine, this type of sage has a golden appearance, with leaves that blend patches of green and gold in a fuzzy texture. It adds a great dash of color to any garden, and its shape is attractive too.
This can also be used in cooking, but its flavor is less intense than many other culinary sages.
The herb doesn’t do well in cold climates, so try to grow it when it’s warm and there aren’t drastic temperature changes.
9. Woodland Sage (Salvia Nemorosa)
This next sage has a dazzlingly beautiful purple appearance, and it’s a great choice to brighten up your garden.
With most woodland sage coming from Central or South America, it’s unsurprising that this is a sage that likes warmer climates to grow in.
With that being said, some other varieties of woodland sage are able to withstand freezing temperatures!
As for its uses, people often use woodland sage to help with colds and coughs.
10. Mexican Bush Sage (Salvia Leucantha)
Scientifically known as salvia leucantha, the Mexican bush sage also has purple flowers, making it especially attractive and ornamental.
However, thanks to the fact that the sage can grow well on steep slopes, it’s often used as a border plant in landscaping.
Additionally, it might also be grown as a low hedge. Not only can it grow on steep slopes, but it also copes very well with hot temperatures – provided it’s getting plenty of water.
11. Mountain Sage (Salvia Regla)
Native to a tiny area of Texas’ Chisos Mountains, as well as some of Mexico, the mountain sage is very ornamental, thanks to its tubular red flowers which will brighten up any garden.
In fact, it’s often grown as a wall shrub, if you were looking to grow it in your own garden.
The sage is going to do best planted in sheltered yet sunny positions, and it’s best to plant it after late spring frosts have gone.
12. Greek Sage (Salvia Fruticosa)
Scientifically known as salvia fruticosa, this is one of the most popular sages out there, accounting for a large percentage of the dried sage that is bought in North America.
However, it’s actually native to the eastern Mediterranean.
In terms of appearance, it’s silvery and bushy, with clusters of leaves and plenty of hairs covering it all.
Its flowers are a cross between pink and lavender, making this a particularly beautiful plant to grow in your garden, (see also: Best Shade Tolerant Tomato Varieties To Grow In Sunless Gardens)which is why it’s sometimes grown as an ornamental flowering shrub.
It’s best grown in full sun.
13. Mealycup Sage (Salvia Farinacea)
Our next pick is the beautiful mealycup sage, which has flowers that are a mixture between violet and blue, along with whitish leaves.
Best grown in fertile and moist (yet well-drained soil), it does well to be in partial shade or full sun.
Naturally, it’s a great ornamental sage that works well as a focal point in flower beds.
14. Russian Sage (Salvia Yangii)
This next type of sage will be at its best just after summer, when it goes into fall and produces plenty of flowers, all of which are lavender colored.
Better still, the stems become aromatic, making this a particularly attractive ornamental plant to have in your garden at that time.
To grow it the best it can be, plant your Russian sage so that it’s in well-drained soil and exposed to full sun.
15. Pineapple Sage (Salvia Elegans)
Our final pick for the best types of sage is the pineapple sage! It’s got a pretty unique name but one that you’ll understand as soon as you encounter one – thanks to its pineapple-like, sweet aroma in bloom.
This makes it a great pick to liven up any garden, and its appearance helps too.
What does it look like? Well, it’s got little flowers that have red-purple petals and yellow centers, providing your color with an array of vibrant colors.
Keeping Your Sage Safe
Of course, growing sage in your garden won’t always be an easy task, thanks to the threat of diseases and pests.
For instance, a disease known as mint rust can afflict your sage. Since sage are a member of the mint family, it makes them susceptible to this common fungal disease.
To see if this has affected your sage, have a look for orange or yellow spots on the leaves. You can try to control the spread by removing and destroying infected leaves or infected plants.
On the other hand, pests can harm your sage. For example, aphids might spread on the underside of your leaves, or spider mites can prove a very common problem.
Sage is one of the best types of herbs, with countless varieties, each with their own uses. Find the 15 best sage varieties with our guide!
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