The Native American smudging practice is hugely popular now, especially with sage. Common sage (Salvia officinalis) is considered an acceptable—if slightly less potent—white sage alternative. However, white sage seeds are notoriously bad at germinating. Sages, in turn, are members of the much larger mint family. White sage is a type of bush that is well known in Native American culture. You will want to keep the soil lightly moistened initially for your young plants, and then wait until the soil begins to dry out before moistening it again. Older, heavily-branched sage plants may produce quite a lot of sage, but younger plants may only produce a couple bundles’ worth. If the soil in your region is too rich for sage, mix in some cactus potting mix to make your plant feel at home. Arresting silvery white lance-shaped leaves are held stiffly on 2’x5’ base branchy stems. Viewed as a sacred plant, it was also used for food, medicine, and many other purposes. Plants grow quickly during the summer and may be trimmed back in the fall, after flowering is complete. Both of those businesses are based in California, and have access to wild growth plants. This would help relieve congestion and ease cold symptoms. Its name comes from the leaves, which have a grey-green tinge to them when fresh and which turn a greyish white when dried. Source: briweldon, A wild white sage plant. And, of course, there’s always the spider mite itself. At this point, it’s time to get your plants accustomed to sunlight. That said, white sage is by no means the only herb in Native traditions. You should be able to easily crumble a leaf between your fingertips when it is dry. This plant can grow to reach heights of 6′ tall, and can easily spread out over 3-4′ or even wider. Whiteflies are another pest which can wreak havoc on your white sage. Ohlone people use it as part of the preparation for and during their bear dance, for example. It grows in spiky clusters in sandier soils, often in foothill areas of southern California and down into Mexico. Your sage plant should have at least 2-4 sets of true leaves, but I actually prefer to start seeds in the spring for plants I plan to transplant in the fall, as it gives them more time to develop. The Cahuilla bird singers often use it before they sing the traditional songs. Don’t water if rain comes, as it will get plenty from the rain. If you have an established white sage plant that’s at least a couple years old, you can opt to take a young cutting and try to coax it to take root. Most gardeners just grow white sage on its own, but it companion plants well with the following plants: There’s a few tricks to keep this plant around, both in storage and in the world around us. Once your plant is established, you will have a neverending source of sage at your disposal! Lightly water your new transplant in, and give it a little extra water initially, but no more than 1/2″ to 1″ a week. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Our White broadleaf Sage is the freshest available! You can choose to water it sparingly during periods of drought or in extremely hot weather, but once established, it shouldn’t need much water if any at all. Really, neem oil is a great preventative for nearly any pest problem that salvia apiana may develop. A: This is a tricky question to answer, because it depends on the size of your plant and how long you’ve been trimming it to encourage more branching out. Since it naturally flourishes in areas where it’s also extremely popular, this has depleted stands of white sage to the point where it’s becoming difficult to find in unprotected areas. White sage absolutely insists on full sunlight—it can’t abide shade. Young white sage appreciates a bit more water than established plants. As a result, salvia apiana is rapidly becoming an endangered species in its natural environment. For medicinal or food purposes, white sage could be harvested at any time of year, but its flavor or medicinal properties would vary. Root rot is another problem which white sage is susceptible to. To create sage bundles, be sure that your harvested sage leaves are completely dry to the touch. White Sage. Aphids, whiteflies, flat mites, spider mites. White sage leaves are petite in size and have a silver to frosted green color. Used heavily amongst California tribal people for centuries, this plant has many names given by the tribes who used it. The White sage plant produces light purple and bluish flowers that are highly aromatic. To Kumeyaay peoples who were in the area around modern-day San Diego, it was known as shlhtaay. Because of this, you will need to plant far more seeds than you expect to eventually plant out. If you do have to harvest wild sage, be proactive. In places where white sage refuses to grow, common sage is a fantastic choice. The leaves were also used as a poultice and given as a tea or tincture. Since sage likes hot conditions, any humidity that accompanies that heat can spawn an outbreak, as can moisture that remains on the leaves. They need room for both the roots to expand and for the plant to grow! Called “grandfather sage” by the Native American tribes of southwest North America, it grows naturally among smaller, darker sages like a silvery-green tower of wisdom. Source: scott.zona, Happy little white sage plants. Occasionally shake the bag to see if you hear rattling inside. In fact, the use of white sage was only truly common traditionally amongst the tribes in the desert southwest, since it did not grow elsewhere. Again, this is related to how much water the plant might have stored in its leaves. This plant also hates the cold. Growing your own white sage for personal use is a great way to reduce the environmental impact of over harvesting. Make a special mix of 1/3 perlite, 1/3 medium-grained sand, and 1/3 seed starting compost. Wrap your string around the bundle multiple times from base to tip to secure the leaves in place, finishing by tying off the string at the stem end. White Sage Live Plant in 1 Trade Gallon Container - Salvia Apiana known as California White Sage- USPS Priority Mail 1-4 Days Drseedsla. I created Epic Gardening to help teach 10,000,000 people how to grow anything, no matter where they live in the world. Before we can discuss the uses of white sage amongst tribes, it’s important to realize that it is not even close to the only type of sage which was used traditionally by tribal peoples. The smoke produced was used to purify or cleanse objects by fanning it across the object. While no white sage seeds are going to have a phenomenal germination rate, I’ve found the salvia apiana seeds from West Coast Seeds to be relatively reliable, as are the seeds from Peaceful Valley Farm Supply. It’s helpful if you can have a fan lightly blowing on them to reduce the moisture in the bundles more quickly. It is one of the many species of foliage available in Planet Zoo. Once your plants have started to grow, water no more than once a week, but only if the soil feels dry. A: There’s a number of places online to order white sage seeds, and you may actually be able to find white sage plants at local garden centers if you’re in California. This plant grows in the northern plains area of the United States, and is hard to find outside of that region. While an individual salvia apiana plant can survive for many years in the wild if the surroundings are right, most people find it a bit more complex to grow in the garden. But if it’s just not compatible with your life, climate, and garden, there are other options. It’s not uncommon to have a germination rate of 20-30%. Plant your sage in sandy, poor soil, with excellent drainage. If there’s any herb that has a long and storied history, it’s the white sage plant, also called salvia apiana. The leaves were used as a spice in cooking, but also offered medicinal value both as a poultice or a tincture as well. Sage is hardy and determined, but a regular watering schedule and nutrient-dense potting soil help this scrappy plant to thrive. Let the plant establish itself in ideal conditions before getting to know the wide, wet world outside. However, it can grow in partial shade instead of full shade. “White Sage” Make your own smudge-sticks rather than buying them from folks who cut and destroy these plants in the wild. 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