Its leaves and flowers taste spicy and peppery like its annual relative, summer savory, Satureja hortensis.Some sources say that summer savory tastes milder, sweeter, or more pleasant in cooked dishes.Some studies also suggest that it can be helpful against problems ranging from bad breath to cancer.For details see the Medicinal Uses section of (link to Summer vs. Winter Savory article).Sarah Garland’s Complete Book of Herbs and Spices recommends it for zones 4-9 but says that the plants may need protection in cold weather.Rodale says that winter savory is hardy to Zone 6 and that plants tend to die out after 2-3 years.If your winter savory has spread, you may also make root divisions in either spring or fall.You might spray it with seaweed extract twice or thrice during the growing season for a micronutrient boost.On the other hand, Rodale’s recommends pruning off the top half in midsummer or early fall before flowering.Rodale’s warns that overwatered and under-ventilated seedlings may develop the soft stem rot called damping-off.Overwatered older plants in heavy or poorly drained soils may develop the root rot called Rhizoctonia.Winter savory will grow better if it is cut back in the fall; you can remove 1/3 or ½ of the plant, depending on which source you believe.For best flavor, harvest winter savory in the morning, after the dew is off but before the day turns hot.Winter savory will stay fresh in the refrigerator for several days if you set it in a jar of water and cover it with a plastic bag.Cover the jar—use 2 layers of plastic wrap under metal lids to prevent corrosion.The Colorado Extension urges home cooks to dip herbs in a bleach solution to kill off bacteria, and to heat vinegar near the boiling point before pouring it in.Cream ingredients together with a fork spread them on plastic wrap, roll this into a log, and freeze it.Winter savory is a fairly hassle-free perennial that can please your palate, improve your health, and attract pollinators to your garden.


How to Grow Winter Savory

Kitchen herbs like parsley, oregano, rosemary, sage, and thyme are commonly grown in the home garden, but many enthusiasts miss out on the delights of winter savory.A perennial evergreen, S. montana has a much longer season than its close cousin summer savory (S. hortensis) – which you can read all about here.Low maintenance and easy to grow, it’s also a versatile performer in the kitchen – and year-round convenience is what gives S.

montana its must-have status in my garden.A freshly picked sprig added to a simmering pot of beans or stew makes a cold winter’s day seem just a little bit warmer!The glossy, 1-inch leaves are dense, slender, slightly leathery, and highly aromatic, appearing opposite on the stems.Small, dainty flowers appear on terminal spikes throughout summer in colors of mauve, pink, and white.The closely related summer species, S. hortensis, is a fast-growing annual, with a less intense and fresher flavor than S. montana.Aptly named, savory comes from the from the old Latin root word sapor, which became the Old French savoure – for tasty or fragrant.It was the Roman poet Virgil who recommended planting it near beehives, and in “The Complete Herbal,” Nicolas Culpeper favors it as a stimulant to “quicken the dull spirits.”.Introduced to Europe by the Romans, medieval walled gardens grew both the summer and winter species, and it was used to stuff meats and poultry.The Germans discovered that fresh sprigs added to a cooking pot of beans made them easier to digest.During the economic expansion of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, French and English garden designers of the day recommended planting this herb for its fragrance.When the seedlings have at least four sets of true leaves, transplant to containers or the herb garden – provided there’s no risk of frost.Enrich the planting soil with a mix of 1/3 organic matter such as aged compost or well-rotted manure, and 1/3 coarse sand or grit to improve drainage.Apply a top dressing of organic matter like compost in spring but avoid liquid fertilizers – savory’s flavor is improved when grown in lean soil.If temperatures in your region regularly dip to this mark, select a sheltered planting site and provide cold insulation during the winter months.A thick, 4- to 5-inch-thick straw mulch spread over the crown and out to the drip line will help protect against freezing temperatures and drying winds.Older plants can become woody and benefit from regular pruning to encourage new growth and a full, bushy form.To bring plants indoors for winter, provide a pot measuring at least 12 inches in diameter and with a similar depth.Water lightly when the top inch of soil is dry, and ensure plants are well-spaced in the pot with ample air circulation.To dry, bundle stems with kitchen twine and hang them in a cool, airy spot out of direct sunlight.In the kitchen, flavorful leaves can be used fresh or dried in numerous recipes, typically to season fish, game, meat, and poultry, as well as in soups, stews, and stuffing.And it’s delicious added to herb or cheese breads – it’s what gives a spicy tang to Sue’s Savory Muffins, for example.


It's time to prune those woody herbs

There is a lavender at the bottom of my street that has grown so wild it sprawls through the fence; you can see a line along the flowers where passersby can’t help but caress its fragrant blooms.Woody herbs such as lavender, thyme, rosemary and sage, as well as the less-woody-but-still-woody-enough oregano and winter savory (Satureja montana) do need pruning.In the Mediterranean heat, these herbs are clipped by nature – thin soils, baking summers and strong winds will keep them neat enough.In our wetter, milder climate they grow in a different manner, so it’s important to prune them regularly – once or perhaps even twice a year – to keep them in a nice shape.If your lavender suddenly turns into an awkward leggy teenager, then it is possible to cheat and do the “dropping” trick if it is not too big. .

How to Plant and Grow Winter Savory * The Homesteading Hippy

There are two main types of savory, winter and summer, but both are relatively uncommon in most peoples’ backyard herb beds.Winter savory, or Satureja montana, is a herbaceous perennial that is hardy to USDA zone 6.While there are a few small differences between summer and winter savory, they are, for the most part, similar in terms of their care and growing conditions.Savory helps provide and enhance flavor in your dishes without requiring the use of salt and pepper.You can use savory fresh in a variety of recipes or you can also use it dried (the leaves are frequently added to potpourri, vinegar, butters, and tea).A small semi-evergreen bush, winter savory produces woody stems and dark green leaves.It’s native to the Meditrrneanregion and grows low to the ground, going dormant during the winter months.Once the seedlings each possess three to four sets of healthy leaves, they can be transplanted to the garden as soon as the danger of frost has passed.Prepare the soil before planting by adding a mixture of organic matter, like aged compost, and some sand.Many gardeners use winter savory in vegetable and flower beds to help repel pests, but since it tolerates drought than poor quality soil well, it can also be planted on a slope or rocky bank.Its ornamental and aromatic flowers also make it a good candidate as an edging species.To do this, take cuttings from the plant (the tips of new shoots will work) in the late spring and put them in pots of wet sand.As a general rule of thumb, you should water your plants when the top inch or so of soil is dried out.Winter savory requires very little fuss and care, but it’s a good idea to apply a top dressing like compost in the spring.In fact, the tall, spreading nature of winter savory will prevent many weeds from growing nearby at all.Winter savory also helps to repel cabbage moths, so it’s smart to plant this herb near cruciferous vegetables.Not only did it help bees stay healthy, but it can add a wonderful piney flavor to honey as a result, too.Something as simple as a five-inch thick layer of mulch can help protect against freezing temperatures.In fact, due to its strong aroma and flavor, most pests are encouraged to steer clear.There are occasional issues with spider mites and spittlebugs, along with leafhoppers, but usually, these pests cause insignificant amounts of damage.Winter savory, like other herbs, is remarkably easy to grow in a container.Before you plant, fill the container with potting mix and a bit of loose sand to encourage drainage.Put your container in a cool window that receives plenty of sunlight – six hours per day is ideal.When consumed, winter savory is believed to be a remedy for various digestive ailments like nausea, diarrhea, and sore throat.You can do this by bundling the stems with some twine and hanging them in a cool spot out of direct sun, like the garage.It’s not only beautiful to look at, but its flavorful sprigs can be used when cooking all kinds of foods, from peas and beans to chicken.Grow a few winter savory plants in your garden this spring, and you’ll enjoy its piquant, spicy flavor all year long. .

Growing Savory: Winter or Summer Seasoning

This salty, spicy herb has been used in cooking and medicine since Roman times when it was used as a salt substitute to flavor food.Known by the Romans as the ‘Herb of Love’, its powers were believed to be so strong that monasteries in Europe banned growing savory, for fear the monks would become bewitched by its pungent aroma.The popularity of growing summer and winter savory declined with the introduction of the Eastern spice routes trading all kinds of new and interesting flavors, in particular black pepper.Fortunately, savory is making a bit of a come-back in recent years and is being used more in home and restaurant cooking.Savory is especially good for using in spicy meat rubs with the added benefit that it doesn’t lose its flavor with long cooking times like other herbs.Used fresh or dried, savory is one of the key ingredients in Herbes de Provence along with marjoram, thyme, oregano, and rosemary and makes a great growing partner alongside its Mediterranean cousins.Summer savory: Satureja hortensis Days to Harvest Summer savory 60-65 days, winter savory all year round Light Full sun Water: Moderate Soil Loam to sandy loam Fertilizer Organic soil amendments and mulch Pests No notable pest problems, but may harbor aphids & spider mites Diseases No notable diseases.Savory comes from the mint family, Lamiaceae, originating from southern Europe, the Mediterranean, and south-west Asia and is grown for its highly aromatic leaves.Summer savory grows as an annual herb sown in spring and harvested until autumn, dying back with the first frost.Its flavor and aroma is spicy and peppery with notes of thyme, marjoram, and mint and it is much more subtle than winter savory.Its leaves are dark, grey-green, lance-shaped, and stiffer compared to its summer counterpart and grow on woody, brown-green stems.Both winter and summer savory are low maintenance herbs and easy to grow in your garden, taking up very little space but giving back loads in flavor.Grow savory in containers along with other perennial Mediterranean herbs like its mint family cousins, thyme, marjoram, and oregano.Winter and summer savory can be started off indoors from seed in early spring and planted out after the last frost.Seeds can also be sown directly in the garden when all risk of frost has passed along with well-rooted transplants or a storebought savory plant.In lower temperatures, plants should be brought inside if grown in pots, or protected with horticultural fleece if they are in beds.Savory is a drought-tolerant plant, but it benefits from regular watering to keep its foliage fresh and hydrated, especially during the hot summer season.Regular harvesting will encourage branching and create a nice bushy growing habit.Winter savory benefits from a light prune at the start of the growing season, taking out any old or damaged shoots and stems.Alternatively, sow seeds directly outside once all risk of frost has passed and soil temperatures have reached 60°F (16°C).Sow into prepared drills and thin seedlings to 6 inches apart and again to the strongest plants approximately 6-18inches (15-45cms) apart a few weeks later.Prepare small pots with a mix of 50:50 ratio of compost and perlite or horticultural grit to aid drainage.Insert the cuttings evenly spaced around the edge of the pots up to the leaves and firm in to ensure good contact with the compost.Leaves picked in the colder months may be a little tough, but they are perfect for slow cooking in stews and casseroles.Store fresh savory leaves in the fridge for up to a week wrapped in damp paper towels or in a zip lock bag.In fact, they are reputed as an excellent companion plant to repel or lure away pests such as bean weevils and aphids and to reduce mildew on roses.The main growing problem associated with both summer and winter savory is the soil becoming too wet and resulting in the development of fungal root rot.As a general rule, most pests and diseases don’t cause significant harm to savory no matter which type it is.A: The young leaves are delicious added to salads and pasta dishes for a spicy kick or use in dry rubs along with other herbs on grilled meats. .

How to Prune Woody Herbs

But perennial herbs—such as lavender, oregano, sage, thyme, and rosemary—often develop woody stems and need some seasonal maintenance pruning.This type of mid-season pruning increases the plant's vigor, as it diverts its energy into growing fresh leaves and expanding its root system.Discontinue pruning efforts in late August, as cutting the plant after this time can weaken it enough that it won't survive the winter.Larger herbs, such as rosemary, sage, and thyme, don’t require much additional pruning during the growing season unless they’ve become leggy or overgrown. .

WINTER SAVORY: Overview, Uses, Side Effects, Precautions

Sanchez de Rojas VR, Somoza B, Ortega T, et al. Vasodilatory effect in rat aorta of eriodictyol obtained from Satureja obovata.Sansalone S, Russo GI, Mondaini N, Cantiello F, Antonini G, Cai T. A combination of tryptophan, Satureja montana, Tribulus terrestris, Phyllanthus emblica extracts is able to improve sexual quality of life in patient with premature ejaculation.Gomes F, Dias MI, Lima Â, et al.

Satureja montana L. and Origanum majorana L. Decoctions: Antimicrobial Activity, Mode of Action and Phenolic Characterization.Hudz N, Makowicz E, Shanaida M, et al. Phytochemical Evaluation of Tinctures and Essential Oil Obtained from Satureja montana Herb.



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