SAGE

P. This fragrant herb (Salvia officinalis) is often said to do best on chalky land, but will thrive on any of average fertility, preferably light. Good drainage is essential. Although easily raised from seed, the seedlings are very variable and it is better to buy plants in early April, setting out 1 ft. apart. A top dressing of any complete fertiliser in June after the first cutting will encourage vigorous shoots for the next cut. Sage is best discarded after 3 or 4 years, as the plants become too leggy. Propagation is easy. 2 in. long cuttings from the tips of the shoots will root in a shady corner. Nip out the tops when 5 — 6 in. high to encourage a branching habit. For Jerusalem sage, see PHLOMIS FRUTICOSA. The blue and scarlet sages used for bedding belong to Salvia patens and Salvia splendens respectively — see SALVIA.

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