The Earthy Herb You’ll Want To Plant Next To Lavender In The Garden

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The Earthy Herb You'll Want To Plant Next To Lavender In The Garden

Before planting lavender, it’s important to keep in mind certain factors, such as companion plants that can help it thrive in your garden. Sage is a perfect companion plant for lavender, and it can help ward off pests and critters that may damage your plants. Whether you prefer growing lavender plants in the ground or in pots around your outdoor space, planting sage next to them can double up their fighting power.

Sage is not only a fragrant herb, but it’s also delicious and can be grown for culinary use. Some varieties of sage are used for medicinal purposes, while others add an ornamental touch to your garden. As a perennial plant, it’s worth growing it every year, especially if it’s placed beside lavender. Sage produces green leaves with a grayish tinge and flowers in shades of blue, pink, purple, and white. However, to see this growth, you need to make sure that you’re planting and growing your lavender-benefitting sage in the right conditions.

What growing conditions do lavender and sage prefer?

close up of sage

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As you might expect, lavender and sage appreciate similar growing conditions. Just consider that sage grows best in USDA hardiness zones 4 to 10, while lavender will thrive in zones 5 to 10. On top of that, both should get a spot in your yard that receives full sun for 6 to 8 hours a day, and they need to be placed in soil that drains well and doesn’t become too wet. For the area around the lavender, you will also want to make sure to remove any weeds that pop up and potentially add mulch to keep the unwanted plants from growing back. Just be sure that the mulch doesn’t touch the base of the plant, as it can make it too moist, which isn’t ideal for its growth.

Another aspect that lavender and sage share is the fact that when planting them, you should keep them at least 2 feet apart so that they don’t become crowded. If you want to add a few more companion plants in the area, then you can choose from a few popular options, including cabbage, carrots, cucumbers, and rosemary. You can also opt for different kinds of sage to grow with your lavender.

Different kinds of sage to accompany your lavender

purple sage blooming outside

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Growing sage alongside your lavender as a companion plant may sound simple, but first, you need to decide which kind to grow. There happens to be a wide range of varieties to choose from, including common sage (Salvia officinalis), which you can use in your savory meals. If you like the idea of culinary options, you might also be interested in purple garden sage (Salvia officinalis Purpurascens), golden sage (Salvia officinalis Icterina), and tricolor sage (Salvia officinalis Tricolor).

Although many of the over 900 species of sage have been known to ward off harmful fungal and bacterial diseases in plants, if your interest is piqued by purely ornamental sage, then you still have plenty of options. You might want to opt for Pineapple sage (Salvia elegans) that produces radiant red flowers or Grape-scented sage (Salvia melissodora), which may not actually smell like the fruit it shares a name with but does have lovely little purple-blue blooms, or possibly Scarlet sage (Salvia splendens) that grows flowers in that exact color. You surely don’t want to forget about Mealycup sage (Salvia farinacea), which will impress you with its blue, purple, and white points, and Mexican bush sage (Salvia leucantha), which sticks with purple and white shades. Each option is just as gorgeous as their companion plant, lavender.

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Dr Heidi Parkes

By Dr Heidi Parkes

Senior Information Extension Officer QLD Dept of Agriculture & Fisheries.