Growing Sage in Minnesota Gardens

culinary sage

‘Iceterina’ is an attractive variegated form of culinary sage.

Culinary sage (Salvia officinalis) is one of the hardiest herbs. Though not 100 percent reliable as a perennial in Minnesota, growing sage is relatively easy — and it has so many uses in the kitchen and beyond.

Of course, we are all familiar with sage as an flavoring in Thanksgiving turkey stuffing, but it also adds great taste to egg dishes, vegetables, salads and is a beautiful accent in this Italian pasta dish. Chewing on a sage leaf is said to freshen your breath and some people put dried sage leaves among linens to discourage insects.

In warmer climates, it becomes a woody shrub, but here sage is best grown as a container plant. It likes full sun and well-drained soil. A little fertilizer in the spring and you are good to go. With its fuzzy leaves, sage adds a textural element to the garden, and it comes in several varieties, from plain green to a green with a purplish hue to this pretty variegated sage.

You can learn more about sage and other herbs at the MSHS Educational Display at the Minnesota State Fair.


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