Berggarten Sage

Growing Berggarten Sage in Northeast Florida Herb Gardens

(Salvia officinalis ‘ Berggarten’)

 Uses and Origins for Berggarten Sage Herb Plants / Salvia officinalis ‘Berggarten’ For Northeast Florida:

Berggarten Sage / Salvia officinalis B. St. Augustine Florida 

Salvia Officinalis herb plants are natives of the Mediterranean and Asia Minor.

Sage is a strongly aromatic and flavorful herb, usually a single leaf will do for any kitchen creation. Salvia Officinalis has deep roots in medicinal uses, and is still being researched today to uncover it’s healing qualities.

Many forms or varieties are available today, each with their own unique characteristics and common uses.

Use sage leaves fresh or dried.

Berggarten Sage is a selected cultivar of the culinary herb Salvia Officinalis. Selected and propagated for it’s decorative, large, rounded leaves. Berggarten sage makes a beautiful landscape plant for the Northeast Florida, Jacksonville, and St. Augustine area garden.

Growing Season for Northeast Florida Berggarten Sage:

Berggarten sage herb plants are an evergreen subshrub, developing woody stems in their second season of growth. A short lived perennial herb selection, salvia may need rejuvenation pruning or replacement every few seasons in the Jacksonville and St. Augustine area herb garden.   

Sun Exposure for Berggarten Sage / Salvia Officinalis ‘Berggarten’ in Northeast Florida:

Plant Berggarten sage in an afternoon sun with morning shade or morning sun with afternoon shade location in the Jacksonville and St. Augustine area gardens. Salvia Officinalis Berggarteen’s leaves will take on a purplish hue in full sun.

Filtered sunlight near tall neighboring pine trees seems to work as well.

Soil Preference for Berggarten Sage Herb Plants in the Jacksonville and St. Augustine area gardens:

Salvia Berggarten Sage herb plants do not require extremely fertile or moist soils to grow and thrive, but Florida’s sandy soils will still benefit from amending the soil with a good quality compost when planting.

Avoid using cow manure or Milorganite, as these will help the soil to retain moisture and Sage prefers to be a bit on the dry side.

In Northeast Florida, unless you have a sandy garden spot, planting Sage into dry soils may prove to be a bit difficult during our rainy seasons. If planting your Sage herbs into the ground, consider adding some sand to areas where water will stand after rains, or planting your sage herb plants into raised beds, elevated mounds, or into containers.

Berggarten sage makes an ideal container garden herb as it does not mind drying out. I like to use a clay pot planted half way into the ground and filled with 50 percent sand and 50 percent good quality garden compost.  

Water and Fertilizer Requirements of Berggarten Sage Herb Plants / Salvia officinalis ‘Berggarten’:

Berggarten Sage herb plants do not require heavy watering, they tend to like the soil a bit on the dry side. Weekly watering for in ground plants and weekly to biweekly for raised bed or contained plantings should be sufficient for the Jacksonville and St. Augustine are landscape.

In general, herbs require little in the way of fertilizer. To much fertilizer with herbs can be worse than not enough. Over fertiliztion can lead to lush green growth with a reduced quantity of volatile oils in the leaves. Reduced oils, means reduced flavor and aroma in your herbs.

However, in Florida’s sandy soils you may find your plants in some need of som help, particularly if compost wasnt added to the soil when planting. Try fertilizing with a mixture of fish emulsions and seaweed at one ounce of each per gallon of water. Put into a sprayer and water every other week or as needed with the mixed solution.

If you find your plant struggling at any point, make up a batch of compost tea and water generously. Repeat as needed weekly or biweekly.

Size of Berggarten Sage Herb Plants When Mature:

Berggarten sage is a compact form growing only 2 feet high and up to three feet wide.

When planted in the ground from a 4 inch or larger S & J Nursery container pot in early fall or early spring, plants should be large enough to begin harvesting leaves by summer.

Harvesting Berggarten Sage Herb Plants in the Northeast Florida Landscape:

Berggarten sage can be trimmed for harvesting any time during the year. Use leaves fresh or hang a cluster of stems upside down to dry and remove dried leaves. Store in an airtight container out of direct light.

Blooms of Berggarten Sage Herbs for Northeast Florida Landscape:

Berggarten Sage will have flowers a little later than other salvia officinalis selections. Expect the plants to have their characteristic salvia bloom stalks in mid to late summer. Flowers of Berggarten sage are a beautiful bright lavender blue color that is striking in combination with the silvery gray green leaves.