Gardening · Herbalism · Homesteading · Urban Homesteading

The Value Of White Sage Plants

White Sage (Salvia apiana) is a sacred plant native to Southern California and the northern part of Baja, Mexico. It craves an arid existence. Seeing it wild is pretty amazing, and well worth traveling to see it (no touching though, do not harvest wild).

I always try to grow at least one White Sage in our greenhouse. I picked up a new one as soon as the plants showed up at a local plant nursery this winter. I view it as an every-other-year purchase here in the chilly PNW. I get 2-3 years out of each plant before we get a deep freeze/or water-logging episode. It just happens. Thankfully I can replace them.

The local plant nursery got a lot in this year. At around $25 a plant, it’s a money maker for them.

My other White Sage, it is a few years old, and lives full time in the greenhouse.

A fresh cutting that I delivered to a friend who was in need of it. I never sell my White Sage; as an herbalist, I believe it must be given freely. To those who need it. Blessed with love.

When working in the greenhouse, I periodically take cuttings and let them dry inside. The pungent aroma clears the air, especially nice in winter on rare blue-sky days when it warms up inside.

Why You Should Grow It:

There is much angst over buying commercially dried White Sage, as much of it is taken illegally off public and private lands, leading to issues with the plants’ futures. By growing your own, you can know your supply is ethical. Provide for yourself.

Deer don’t like it. It is too intense with essential oils.

The large plants grow to between 4 and 5 feet tall and are covered in beautiful seasonal blooms; during bloom time, they put on arms that can grow 10 feet high. Bees cannot resist visiting, so it is a great plant that encourages more bees.

There are many medicinal uses for the leaves. It is consumed as a tea when needed.

It is used in sage smudging.

The seeds are edible. By both humans and birds (quail love them).