Salvia - Clary Sage Seeds
(Salvia sclarea) Biennial. Hardy in zones 4-9
Clary Sage offer up stunning pink and white and blue flowerstalks and has a pleasant aroma very reminiscent of balsam. The plant grows tall 3 to 5 feet with leaves that are uniquely wrinkled and covered with a soft downy. Native to Southern Europe and the regions of the Mediterranean.
Clary sage is also called Cleareye or Eye Bright! Medicinally the leaves and flowers have traditionally been used to flavour teas while the seeds are mucilaginous, and when placed in the eye the seeds will swell adhering to any foreign matter in the eye, which is then followed by a gentle wash with water to it clean out! **This is not a recommendation, please do your own research if you're intending to pursue this herbal remedy.
Timing: Start indoors 6-8 weeks before last spring frost ( 2 weeks before beginning seed sowing, place your seed pack in a plastic bag and leave in the freezer for two weeks). A cold/dry period will improve germination. Seeds should germinate after 14 days.
Sowing: Sow seeds in tray cell or container containing moistened soil, place seed 1/2" deep. Clary Sage requires darkness to germinate. Bottom heat is not required but it is beneficial for germination to have a soil temperature ranging 18-20 degrees. Nighttime temperature should be allowed to go down to 15 degrees, ideally.
** Clary Sage is a Biennial meaning first years it will grow a downy rosette of leaves, and year two will grace you with its beautifully flower stalks.
Transplanting: After the risk of frost has passed. Space 12 inches apart.
Sun: Quick to grow and establish when placed in full sun. Clary Sage will re-seed once established in year 2.
Soil: Well-draining soil is very important for Clary Sage, poor drainage will cause its roots to rot.
Harvesting in 2nd year: Flowers usually bloom June until late August, harvest fresh flowers and leaves during that period.
Overwintering: Year 1: after first fall frost, cut back to 1 inch from soil and mulch over.