How to Protect Clary Sage

Overview

Clary sage is an herb whose botanical name is Salvia sclarea. This ornamental plant, aromatic is known as both a biennial and a perennial plant, because it does live beyond two years in some instances. It is easy to grow, and in some areas it is found growing wild. Clary sage is hardy from zones 5 to 9. Hummingbirds and bees are attracted to this plant, and many apiarists grow it as a source of nectar and pollen for their bees. Clary sage needs protection from insects, soil conditions, exposure and pruning.

Step 1

Inspect the plant for spider mites and aphids. If you see evidence of these pests, spray the tops and bottoms of the leaves with water a few times a week. This usually takes care of the problem. If pests persist, spray with a horticultural soap, following the manufacturer's directions.

Step 2

Amend your soil so that it contains organic content. Clary sage likes a well-drained soil. Add compost or mulch to 3 inches deep around the plant to improve drainage. Be sure to pull the mulch away from the stem of the plant.

Step 3

Place your plant in full sunlight and water weekly. Clary sage will grow well in full sun, and it can tolerate drought, so a weekly watering will do just fine.

Step 4

Prune after flowering and prune to maintain shape when required. Pruning the dead blossoms increases vigor and growth. Do not prune extensively in late fall, as this could cause the plant to die in the winter season.

Tips and Warnings

  • Clary sage is a very invasive plant, so you may want to plant it in areas that are bordered by grass or pavement to limit its spread.

Things You'll Need

  • Horticultural soap
  • Compost
  • Mulch
  • Hand pruning shears

References

  • Herbs 2000
  • Alchemy-works
  • Mountain Valley Growers
Keywords: clary sage, Salvia sclarea, clary sage pests

About this Author

Paula M. Ezop’s inspirational column "Following the Spiritual Soul" appeared in "Oconee Today," a Scripps Howard publication. She has published her first book, "SPIRITUALITY for Mommies," and her children's chapter book, "The Adventures of Penelope Star," will be published by Wiggles Press. Ezop has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Northeastern Illinois University and has been writing for 10 years.