White sage (Salvia apiana) is a small evergreen shrub native to the Southwest, particularly California. It grows as a perennial in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 8 through 11, but can also grow as an annual in other zones. The plant has a history of use by Native Americans. It also attracts beneficial insects to the garden with its spring and summer flowers and provides food to native wildlife. White sage grows easily from seed and requires little maintenance once established.
Start seeds indoors in early spring. Fill a planting tray or small pots with a seed-starting potting mix. Spread seeds on top of the potting medium and mist with water.
Place the seed tray or pots in a location that is room temperature. The seeds need a temperature range between 68 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit to germinate. White sage also needs light for germination.
Check the seeds regularly for moisture levels and sprouts. Water when the potting mix dries, but avoid making it soggy. Germination should take approximately 14 to 21 days.
Transplant seedlings to larger containers when they form true leaves. Keep the plants in a sunny location and water them when the soil dries completely. Allow excess water to drain from the containers.
Choose a location with well-drained soil and full sun for transplanting outside. Improve soil drainage as needed with amendments such as sand and compost mixed into the dirt. White sage will not grow well in soggy locations or in the shade.
Plant the white sage outside in the fall. Dig a planting hole with a trowel twice as wide as the root ball. Place the sage in the hole and backfill it with soil. Water thoroughly to settle the soil.
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