About Fringed Sage: Fringed Sage grows prolifically in the mountains and prairies of the United States, providing high quality winter forage for wild animals such as pronghorn, grouse, and elk. It also survives the harsh climate of the steppes of Canada, Siberia, and Mongolia; the first recorded mention of this species in the wild occurred in Siberia in 1803. Its unusual root system enables it to adjust to the moisture level of the soil, growing either a deep taproot or branching roots near the surface. Native Americans and early settlers used the foliage of this plant medicinally to treat infection, coughs, and indigestion; because of its softness and fragrance, pioneer women would stuff pillows with dried bunches of fringed sage. When burned on a campfire, the dried leaves repel unwanted insects such as mosquitoes. However, its appearance alone makes this plant valuable; its silvery beauty won it the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit.
Fringed Sage Germination: In late fall or early spring, direct sow the seed on the surface of loose soil; thin or transplant seedlings to 12-15” apart. This plant grows best in dry soil and full sun. To start the seed indoors, sow it on the surface of a flat; keep the soil lightly moist and at a temperature of 65-70 degrees F until germination, which should occur within 10-14 days. As soon as the plants grow big enough to handle safely, transplant them 12-15" apart.
Growing Fringed Sage Seeds: Fringed Sage tolerates drought very well, and does not need watering. Excess moisture can cause root rot, and high humidity may damage the plant’s growth. The plant may be lightly pruned to tidy its growth, but do not prune in the fall. The foliage will remain green throughout the winter in warm regions. This plant produces an abundance of seeds, reseeding itself easily if left to drop its seeds. Mature plants can be divided after several years of growth. This plant makes an excellent ground cover, and helps control erosion; deer and rabbits avoid it.
Harvesting Fringed Sage: As soon as the plant grows to its mature height, stems can be harvested for fresh use or drying.
Saving Fringed Sage Seeds: When the flowers ripen into seed heads, watch them carefully to determine when the small seeds mature to a dark color. Strip the seed pods from the stem as soon as they fully ripen. Spread them out to dry, then thresh them carefully, taking care not to lose the tiny seed. Store the seed in a cool, dry place.
Detailed Fringed Sage Info: Origin: US Native Other Common Names: Silky Wormwood, Fringed Sagebrush, Fringed Sagewort, Pasture Sage, Prairie Sage, Prairie Sagewort, Fringed Wormwood, Sweet Sage, Northern Wormwood Duration: Perennial Bloom Time: Summer Height: 9-18 inches Spacing: 12-15 inches Light: Full Sun Soil Moisture: Dry USDA Zone: 3a-10b Seeds Per Oz: 225,000 Produces a mat of feathery, silvery green foliage and clusters of tiny yellow flowers.