Clary sage originated from Northern Mediterranean. The botanical name is Salvia sclarea and is a member of the Lamiaceae–mint family. This plant is a biennial plant, although it grows as an annual in some regions and also as a short-lived perennial in other regions. The growing season is summer. Clary sage actually grows best in Zones 5 to 8. This plant prefers hot dry weather. 

This plant is an upright plant and it has a branched plant that grows about 2½ to three feet tall with square stems and broad, oblong, aromatic leaves. This plant has small lavender, pink, or white flowers that look like garden sage. This plant blooms in mid- to late summer after the 1st year. The plant leaves has gray-green leaves that are six to nine inches long.

Steps on how to plant Clary sage

The best location: You can plant the Clary sage in full sun.

The soil preparation: You can grow the Clary sage in average to sandy, dry, well-drained soil. This plant actually prefers a soil pH of 4.8 to 7.5.

Starting the seed indoors:  You can start Clary sage seeds indoors about eight weeks before the last spring frost. The Clary sage seed will germinate in 14 days.

Transplanting the Clary sage to the garden:  You can transplant the Clary sage seedlings to the garden about a week before the last expected frost.

The outdoor planting time: You can sow the Clary sage seeds outdoors in mid-spring once the soil has warmed to about 55° to 60°.

The planting depth: Make sure you sow the seed ½ inches deep. Freeze the Clary sage seeds for 3 to 5 days before planting. The Clary sage seeds require darkness for germination.

The spacing: Make sure you space Clary sage plants 10 to 24 inches apart.

How to care for Clary sage

The watering of plant: Make sure you allow the top inch to dry before watering the Clary sage again.

The feeding of plant: You can side dress the Clary sage plant with aged compost or feed them with compost tea during their growing season. Make sure you avoid high nitrogen fertilizers.

Pruning and mulching: Immediately after the first frost you can cut the stems of the first-year plants to 1 inch above the soil. You can also mulch the Clary sage plant heavily to protect the roots over the winter.

Pest control: The Clary sage plant can be attacked by two-spotted spider mites. You can easily wash the plants with water to remove mites. The mites can also be controlled with the use of insecticidal soap.

Disease control: The Clary sage plant is susceptible to root rot in poorly drained soil. Make sure you add aged compost to the planting beds often to keep the soil well-drained.

How to harvest Clary sage: You can easily pick or snip the Clary sage leaves as needed any time the plants are about 8 inches tall or taller. You can pick the leaves in the morning for best flavor.

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