White Sage in Tennessee
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Linda Rupp
Posted on: April 14, 2001

I’ve recently become interested in ‘smudging’ I understand that white sage is the herb of choice of Native Americans for this. I live in middle Tennessee. And am wondering if I should grow this herb from seeds or start with a plant; or not at all & just buy the dried form. We do have hot/dry summers usually.

White sage is hardy from zones 7 to 9. Tennessee is in zone 6, which means that you would likely have to bring the plant indoors over winter, or grow it as a summer annual like you do geraniums and other garden bedding plants.

White sage is slow to establish from seeds, and the germination rate is naturally low, so you are probably better to try plants. It needs a sunny, well-drained location.

Another, much hardier alternative is the ‘Silver King’ wormwood. This plant is also used for smudging by native Americans. It is hardy from zones 5 to 9.

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