Aromatic savory: growing from seeds at home

Aromatic savory: growing from seeds at home

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Garden savory, or garden savory, is popularly called pepper grass. In Armenia he is called citron, in Moldova - chimbru, and in Georgia - kondari. The spice plant is irreplaceable as a seasoning for meat and vegetable dishes and is often included in a set of natural spices. Garden savory is unpretentious. It is easy to grow it in your backyard.

What does a garden savory look like?

An annual dwarf shrub up to 70 cm in height grows in the Transcaucasus, Crimea and the Mediterranean. The herbaceous flowering plant belongs to the Yasnotkov family. Branched stem, brown with purple tint, covered with linear-lanceolate sharp leaves. Savory root is cylindrical, about 15 cm in length is located near the surface.

The shrub blooms with lilac or pinkish blooms interspersed with flowers, which are collected in loose elongated inflorescences. The hairy cups are up to 4 mm in diameter.

The fruits of the shrub look like small triangular nuts.

Savory annual or perennial

In nature, there are several dozen species of savory. Some of them are perennial. Garden savory is grown as an annual crop.

How garden savory reproduces

Unlike perennial species of pepper grass, the garden species is propagated by seeds. In regions with high summer temperatures and early spring, this fragrant herb can be grown by direct seeding into the ground. In central Russia, in the Urals and in Siberia, it is recommended to grow the plant by seedling method.

It is possible to propagate a semi-shrub by cuttings from a plant that has wintered in a warm room.

Savory species

Lovers of cooking and connoisseurs of traditional medicine are well aware of several types of savory:

  1. Savory mountain (Satureja montana) grows mainly in the Balkans. The perennial lush dwarf shrub is covered with white flowers. The herbaceous plant can reach a height of 80 cm.
  2. Lemon Savory (Satureja biflora) lives up to its name. A perennial shrub with delicate pinkish flowers contains essential oils that give the scent a delicate lemon hue.
  3. Rod-shaped savory (Satureja viminea) has a straight, densely leafy stem. It is called mint because of the special aroma emanating from the leaves.
  4. Cretan savory is often confused with thyme. Unlike their herbaceous counterparts, the branches of the Cretan species resemble twigs.
  5. Douglas Savory (Satureja douglasii) is the most sprawling of all types of this spicy herb. The creeping shrub can reach one and a half meters in diameter. The aroma of its nondescript leaves mixed notes of lemon and mint.

In cultural gardening, all types of savory can be grown from seeds, the peppery aroma of which will enrich the dishes.

How to grow savory in the garden

Fragrant garden savory is a warm and light-loving plant. In order for the bush to please with flowering, it is necessary to choose the brightest place in the garden for its cultivation. Perennial savory species can be obtained from seeds or by cuttings.

What conditions need to be created for plants

To grow a crop on the site, too fertile soil is not required. Garden savory blooms quite luxuriantly on loam and stony soils. It is much more important to choose an area where the groundwater is deep. Pepper grass does not tolerate excessive moisture. The culture is very sensitive to its neighbors as well. The proximity of weeds with a powerful root system inhibits the growth of garden shrubs.

Important! Savory garden can reproduce by self-seeding. With improper pruning and late harvesting, the cultivated plant grows quickly like a weed, taking up large areas and interfering with other crops.

Growing garden savory from seeds

Small seeds of garden savory are difficult to germinate. Often, sprouts appear only after 4 to 5 weeks. To speed up the process of growing savory from seeds at home, it is recommended to pre-soak the material in warm water for a day.

Recommended timing

Planting savory seeds for seedlings must begin in mid-March. In the southern regions, pepper grass grows with direct planting of seeds in the ground. But in regions with a cool climate, you cannot do without growing seedlings.

Preparation of containers and soil

For germination of seeds, containers with a height of 7 - 10 cm are suitable. In order to normalize moisture at the bottom of the seedling boxes, it is necessary to make drain holes and lay drainage.

The soil for growing garden savory requires slightly alkaline or neutral. Seedlings respond well to a fertile air-permeable soil mixture.

Its composition:

  • 2 parts of sod land;
  • 2 parts compost;
  • 1 part sand.

Attention! If you prepare the soil yourself, then it is imperative to disinfect the soil mixture by calcining.

How to plant savory seeds

Sowing of garden savory is carried out almost superficially: small seeds with deep planting may not germinate.

Algorithm of actions:

  1. The heated soil in the container should be moistened with plenty of warm water.
  2. Make grooves no deeper than 1 cm.
  3. Seeds previously soaked and dried to a loose state must be spread out at a distance of 4 - 5 cm.
  4. Sprinkle with light soil.
  5. Then cover with a foil to accelerate germination.

Spicy grass seeds germinate at temperatures not lower than 22 - 24 degrees Celsius. Planting savory seeds for seedlings provides a bountiful harvest of aromatic herbs for the entire season.

Growing seedlings

The first shoots appear in 1 - 2 weeks. If the temperature and humidity level was violated when growing savory seedlings from seeds, then this period may increase.

When sprouts appear, place the seedling pots in a bright, warm place. Diving plants is not worth it. Before planting on a permanent place in the garden or vegetable garden, it is necessary to water the garden savory with water at room temperature.

To obtain powerful seedlings, plants should be fed with humic fertilizer 1 or 2 times with an interval of 7 to 10 days.

Planting and caring for savory outdoors

Planting seedlings in open ground can be started after the weather has been established. Although aromatic garden savory can tolerate short-term drops in temperature, spring frosts will kill young plants.

For growing spices in the open field, you must carefully prepare the site. To do this, dig up the soil and remove the roots of the weeds. Apply organic fertilizers at the rate of at least 5 liters per plant. When growing on heavy soils and digging, add sand or wood ash.

Plants are planted at a distance of at least 30 cm from each other. This requires:

  1. Make holes about 25 cm deep.
  2. Lay out drainage (vermiculite, expanded clay or charcoal) at the bottom.
  3. Fill the wells with nutritious soil.
  4. Drizzle with warm water.
  5. Water the soil in a pot with seedlings and dig up a plant with a clod of earth.
  6. Install it in the hole and sprinkle it with soil without damaging the roots.

Drainage is especially important when growing mountain savory, which is accustomed to the stony soil of mountain slopes.

Fragrant savory, grown from seed by direct seeding into the ground, produces good greens in warm climates. Thanks to the mild winter and early spring warmth, the seeds germinate together, and the plant has time to bloom by mid-July.

With the emergence of planting shoots, it is necessary to thin out several times. To do this, first remove the plants, leaving a gap of 7 - 10 cm. The second and subsequent thinning should bring the distance between the bushes to 20 - 30 cm. A similar procedure should be carried out if the bushes have grown by self-seeding.

Watering during the growing season should be regular. Long-term drying out of the soil and excessive moisture should not be allowed. In hot dry weather, water the plants - not more than once a week. In August-September, the frequency of watering should be reduced.

Important! It is important to regularly loosen the soil between the rows to provide air access, but not damage the roots.

When growing perennial species of garden savory (mountain, lemon, rod-shaped) in the open field, care must be taken to take care of the shrub before wintering. The delicate roots do not tolerate frost well, therefore, shelters from spruce branches or dry foliage should be arranged.

In the spring, the overwintered perennial pepper bush is cleared of foliage and old damaged branches are cut out.

Diseases and pests

The plant rarely suffers from disease. Root rot and powdery mildew can infect shrubs if soil moisture is exceeded. Properly arranged drainage and adherence to the irrigation regime helps to avoid the disease.

When white spots of powdery mildew appear on the leaves, it is recommended to treat the plant with the fungicide "Skor", "Fundazol" or any other special agent. When using chemicals, consider the time before collecting the herb.

Experienced gardeners recommend using safe remedies against powdery mildew on savory leaves. A solution of soda with the addition of laundry soap is no less effective than industrial fungicides. In this case, the grass can be harvested for drying in a couple of weeks.

To prepare an infusion for powdery mildew, you need to dilute 2 tablespoons of soda with a liter of warm water. 50 g of soap should be crushed and stirred in boiling water. After the liquid has cooled down, mix. With this composition, treat the leaves and stem of the garden savory using a sprinkler. Thanks to the soap, the soda solution sticks well to the leaves. Savory should be sprayed in dry weather. The downside to this home remedy for powdery mildew is moisture sensitivity. If necessary, you can repeat the procedure after a week.

When root rot is affected, the culture withers very quickly. Fighting the disease is difficult. Signs of damage often become noticeable when the plant can no longer be saved. To avoid the spread of rot, the diseased bush must be removed and the topsoil is sprayed with a fungicide. At the same time, it is imperative to loosen the aisles to evaporate excess moisture.

Pests bypass garden pepper grass. Its strong scent repels insects.

Advice! This spicy crop can be used to protect other plantings from pests.

When to collect and how to dry

Leaves and flowers are used for seasoning. You can use fresh grass as a spice throughout the garden season. The plant acquires a special aroma at the beginning of flowering. Culinary experts note that the grass, collected during the period of intense color, acquires a slight bitterness.

In garden savory plants, which are grown specifically for food use, branches can be cut, leaving no more than 10 - 12 cm. In ornamental garden plantings, the grass should be collected selectively so as not to disturb the flowering.

The basic rules for collecting and drying spices are the same for all types of herbs:

  1. Collect the grass in sunny dry weather.
  2. Rinse the raw materials with running water and dry in the shade in the open air.
  3. Dry the grass in bunches of several branches in a ventilated area.
  4. It is forbidden to dry in direct sunlight.

Dry leaves and flowers of garden savory must be removed from dried branches and chopped. Store in glass jars or paper bags away from the sun. Dry grass retains its aroma for a long time.

Attention! It is not advisable to use the seasoning after a year of storage.


Garden savory is ideal for creating alpine slides and borders. Lush bushes with delicate flowers will not only decorate any garden plot, but also provide a unique taste of dishes with aromatic spice.

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