White Sage, Sweet Grass and Echinacea angustifolia in Zone 7
Answered by: Inge Poot
Question from: Larry Weaver
Posted on: January 9, 2002

I have some questions about white sage, sweet grass, and Echinacea angustifolia. I live in centeral North Carolina, USA, zone 7. I have a love for gardening and would like to try something new this year. I have a close relationship with the Eastern Band of Cherokee here in North Carolina who use white sage, sweet grass and Echinacea angustifolia on a regular basis. They receive these herbs from out West. I would like to try my hand at growing these plants but I’m not sure if growing condition in my area are suitable. What do you think?

Sweetgrass and Echinacea angustifolia will survive well in North Carolina. They need well-drained soil, tolerate some clay in the mix, but the echinacea needs humus in the soil as well. White sage (Salvia apiana), though hardy to zone 7 according to information we have, seems to dislike the overwintering moisture in your area and may not survive. We have a couple of reports of overwintering failure in eastern zones which we wonder is related to the greater amount of rain eastern U.S. zones get compared to California where white sage is native.

It is worth noting that "white sage" can mean two very different plants both used by native Americans for ceremonies. The other is a type of Artemisia most closely identified as the ‘Silver King’ wormwood that we grow. This is much hardier and easier to grow.

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