Sage is a perennial herb that you can grow in your garden or in small pots that you can place inside your house. The plant will not only give you edible leaves to season your favorite dishes, but in the summer the plant blooms spikes of violet flowers that add beauty to your landscape.
Sage is low maintenance and can tolerate poor growing conditions. Being native to the Mediterranean region, this plant can tolerate heat and drought. Even an arid condition is not a problem for sage. Does sage grow in Virginia? If you recreate its native habitat, then certainly yes! Keep reading to find out more.
The climate of Virginia
One great thing about Virginia is that it has a very desirable climate. It is not too hot nor too cold in Virginia. The state has a mild, humid subtropical climate. This means hot, humid summers and cool to mild winters.
The climate varies from the west to the east, depending on whether you are near the Atlantic Ocean or live in the mountain area. Those in the southern and eastern parts have a humid subtropical climate. Those in the mountain area enjoy a humid continental climate.
The average temperature in the summer is 75 degrees F, while the average winter temperature is 36 degrees F. In Virginia, it is rare for temperatures to go below -24 degrees F and above 85 degrees F.
In terms of planting zones, Virginia is in USDA hardiness zones 5a to 8a. It is much colder in the western mountains than on the eastern shore. It is much more humid on the eastern shore than in the western mountains. It is mostly sunny all year round, and rain happens a lot in summer.
Does sage grow in Virginia?
Given the climate of Virginia, do you think sage will grow here? Why not? Sage is hardy in USDA hardiness zones 4 through 8. This means that the lowest temperature it can withstand is -30 degrees F.
The plant will not be able to survive winter temperatures in zones 3 and lower. It also won’t grow healthy in zones 9 and higher due to the hot summers prevailing in these zones. Virginia is in zones 5 to 8, and this alone is enough to back up the claim that sage grows in Virginia.
What does sage need in order to thrive? Sage is not picky when it comes to growing conditions. If you think the climate in your area is undesirable for sage, then you can always grow the plant in containers or small pots.
Sage can only grow up to 2 feet tall and 3 feet wide, so growing them in pots is possible. One advantage of growing sage in pots is that you can move the plant indoors when the temperature becomes too cold or too hot for the plant. You also have full control of the growing environment. Sage likes full sun.
Place the plant where it can get 6-8 hours of bright direct light every day. If you want to grow from seeds, grow the seeds indoors 1 to 2 weeks before the last spring frost in your region. You only transplant the little plant in your garden once the soil becomes warm or after the threat of frost has passed. The plant thrives well when the temperature is somewhere between 60 and 70 degrees F.
Too much humidity and too hot summers are two challenges you’ll face when growing sage in Virginia. Afternoon shade will benefit the plant when summers become too hot. Sage is drought-tolerant and doesn’t like to be watered too much.
Root rot and powdery mildew happen in wet conditions. There are two ways to address this. Give the plant well-drained soil and only water it once the top 1 to 2 inches of the soil becomes dry. To combat high humidity levels, provide good air circulation around the plant and make sure that it receives plenty of sunlight.
Sage variety that grows well in Virginia
It is a bit challenging to grow sage in Virginia because the plant doesn’t like very humid conditions. However, there are things you can do to help the plant thrive despite this. Look for sage varieties that grow well in hot and humid climates. Salvia lyrata, or Lyreleaf sage, is one variety that will grow well in Virginia.
Does Sage Grow In Virginia?: Final thoughts
In fact, this sage grows wild in the eastern part of the US, so it will definitely grow in your area. The leaves are deep green or burgundy in spring. The plant produces spiky lilac blooms in the summer.
The flowers and leaves are both edible and can be brewed into tea. The leaves have a slightly minty flavor. Caring for a Salvia lyrata is the same as caring for a typical sage plant. Provide full sun, well-drained soil, and water, especially during the hot summer months. Provide good airflow to avoid mildew brought on by too much humidity.