How to Plant Salvia Hispanica

images (6) Native to South America, the salvia hispanica is a member of the mint family that grows 4 feet high. The bright green foliage of the salvia hispanica herb compliments the flowers that bloom in July and August. The leaves and stems of salvia hispanica plants taste great in sandwiches, soups, salads and stews. The seeds of the plant contain high amounts of omega-3 and are harvested for use in health recipes and drinks. If you live within USDA hardiness zones 9 through 11, you can successfully grow salvia hispanica in your outdoor garden.

Moderately Easy


things you’ll need:
  • Seed starter tray with lid
  • Peat moss
  • Salvia hispanica seeds
  • Spray bottle
  • Water
  • Grow light
  • Garden fork
  • Salvia seedlings
  • Soaker hose
    1. Fill the individual pots of a seed starter tray in March with peat moss. Place 2 to 3 salvia hispanica seeds in each pot.
    2. Use the spray bottle filled with water to moisten the peat moss. Place the lid on the seed starter tray and wait for the seeds to sprout. Germination should take approximately two weeks. Lift the lid periodically to moisten the soil.
    3. Remove the lid when the seeds begin to sprout, and place the seed starter tray in a sunny window. If you do not have a sunny window, setup a grow light and set it to run for 12 hours per day.
    4. Prepare the soil for planting the salvia hispanica seedlings. Break up the soil with a garden fork, creating a fine planting medium. Salvia plants have no soil pH preferences, so amendments are not necessary.
    5. Transplant the salvia hispanica outside in the late spring or early summer when they develop their second set of leaves.
    6. Dig holes for the salvia hispanica seedlings large enough to accommodate their root balls. Space the holes approximately 12 inches apart. Remove the seedlings from the seed starter tray and drop them in the holes. Backfill the holes and gently pat the soil around each plant to remove air pockets.
    7. Water the seedlings with a soaker hose. Soak the soil 1 inch down, providing at least 1 inch of water per week, especially during times of drought.

Tips & Warnings

  • Harvest the leaves and stems of salvia hispanica as needed for your favorite recipes or health food drinks.

  • Feed the salvia hispanica plants with an organic fertilizer. Check the label instructions for allocation amounts and time frames.

  • If you live outside USDA hardiness zones 9 through 11, you only can grow salvia hispanica indoors. Instead of planting the seedlings outdoors when they develop their second set of leaves, plant them in 4-inch containers. Keep the soil moist at all times and place the plants in bright, indirect sunlight. Maintain a temperature in your home between 65 and 80 degrees F. Switch to larger containers as the plants grow. If you can’t provide the plants with warmth and bright, indirect sunlight, use grow lights and a plant heating pad.

  • Do not over water salvia hispanica. Too much water can cause root rot. Check the soil before planting by pressing your fingers 1-inch deep into the soil. If the soil feels moist, do not water. Instead, check back in a few days.

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