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Purple Flower on a Sage Plant

Question:

I planted a Sage plant last year in the ground. I cut it back and mulched it last year before freezing. Now this year when it came back -- it is doing great, but now it has a purple flower on top. Why is that I never seen this before? It is pretty.

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Hardiness Zone: 5b

Joyce from Wis

Answer:

Joyce,

The purple flowers are what you want to see-a great sign! It isn't unusual for the common varieties of sage plants to skip flowering the first year after being planted. There are also perennial species of sage, like Clary sage (S. sclarea) that don't bloom until the second year. More than likely, your sage was just focusing all of its energy on putting down healthy roots and becoming established. The fact that it has flowered this year indicates that it is healthy, happy, and right at home in its new environment.

To keep it that way, keep it watered consistently (but don't over water), provide it with good air circulation, and pinch it back several inches at least once during the growing season. Pinching it back will encourage young shoots and prevent your sage from getting tall and leggy.

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You can use sage fresh or dried. To air-dry bundles of leaves and stems, hang them upside down or lay them out on racks. Chop up fresh leaves and place them in ice cube trays with water to freeze and use later. (This is a handy way to add sage to soups and stews).

Have fun!

Ellen

About The Author: Ellen Brown is an environmental writer and photographer and the owner of Sustainable Media, an environmental media company that specializes in helping businesses and organizations promote eco-friendly products and services. Contact her on the web at http://www.sustainable-media.com

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By guest (Guest Post)
June 25, 20080 found this helpful

You may have cut it back too early last year and missed the bloom. I grow sage for the leaves AND the pretty flowers for my kitchen table. Enjoy!

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By guest (Guest Post)
June 25, 20080 found this helpful

Same thing happened with mine. It is just about to bloom right now. I guess it is time for it to reseed. Seems early though.

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By guest (Guest Post)
June 25, 20080 found this helpful

I have sage plants also, and they bloom purple too. This is common for this plant. Since it is a perennial it might not have been old enough for it to bloom the first year. A lot of perennial plants do not bloom the first year. I also have salvia plants that bloom purple. I think sage and salvia are from the same plant family. They both look alike to me.

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June 25, 20080 found this helpful

My sage is about 2 years old (or maybe even three) and has blooms for the first time right now. They are purple and much taller than the rest of the greenery.

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By guest (Guest Post)
June 26, 20080 found this helpful

I do absolutely NOTHING to my two. One still lives in a badly broken 10 gallon clay pot totally covered in a Poly/Cotton pillowcase, never gets food. Why? Because they require almost no care and still bloom. There are several varieties, so try to find out. I've espaliered mine twice while in the pots, but moved them one time years ago and haven't gotten around to planting them in ground, but they still bloom their leaves out. I love the silver foliage. I also have several varieties of fragrant sage.
Love them. The ones in the full sun, least care do the best. I prune them back 1/3 each fall. They faithfully return and love to be with other plants.

God bless you. : )

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