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.
Winter Savory (Satureja montana) - Key Growing Information.Cut back the plant in the autumn, and pinch out new shoots in the spring to encourage a full habit.Winter Savory can also be propagated by root division in autumn or spring. .
As winter approaches, grow your own Winter Savory
Sweet food tastes like sugar or honey, while savory dishes are stronger flavored or spicy.Pliny called the genus “Satureja,” from the word "satyr," the half-goat and half-man beast that delighted in all things decadent.Winter Savory is a hardy perennial with tiny white flowers that bloom in late summer.Use the leaves to add a bold, spicy flavor to beans, mushrooms, stuffings, and roasts, and to season meat, fish or vegetables.Its strong aroma repels pests such as mosquitoes, yet attracts beneficial insects such as bees and other pollinators.Winter Savory grows best in full sun, in poor soil that drains well.As with all herbs, it is best to pick Winter Savory in the morning when its essential oils are strongest and most concentrated. .
Growing Winter Savory
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. .
Satureja montana Winter Savory
We prefer the durability and ease of perennials, or in this case, Winter Savory.Winter Savory is a one-foot, dark green, semi-woody, herbaceous perennial that is hardy in zones 5 to 11.Easy to grow, it makes an attractive border plant for any culinary herb garden.In the photo to the left Winter Savory (front right) grows nestled on two sides by the soon-to-be giant Syrian Oregano.Winter Savory's growth cycle starts in early spring as it emerges from the ground with lush, flavorful, rapidly-growing stems.If left on the plant, they reach about 12 inches long and produce clouds of small white flowers.Supple sprigs that push up from the ground and new side shoots off the older woody stems are perfect for fresh or dried use.Older leaves along the arching woody branches should be left behind; they have more chance of unsightly damage from insects and weather and can become a bit like shoe leather.Removing old branches back to the ground a couple of times a year keeps the plant clean and open to the sun and air, and produces more lush growth.It blends well with different culinary oreganos, thymes and basils and can be added to meat, poultry or fish.Its small leaves are the perfect compliment to herb cheeses or as last-minute additions to sautés.Famous for making its mark on beans, dried Savory also perks up stuffings and can be mixed with Sage, Thyme, and Bay.Add to ground Turkey or Pork with Fennel Seed, Cayenne Pepper, and Thyme.Change the herbs to French Tarragon, Lemon Thyme or Rosemary or any combination of those.Toss together chicken, celery, pecans, olives, salt and pepper, pasta and peas.Turkey can be basted with more melted butter and Burgundy wine (combined) which will make a delicious tasting gravy. .
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.You do not need to cover the seeds with additional soil because they need to remain exposed to the light for germination.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.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. .
Satureja montana (winter savory or mountain savory), is a perennial, semi-evergreen herb in the family Lamiaceae, native to warm temperate regions of southern Europe, the Mediterranean, and Africa.It has dark green leaves and summer flowers ranging from pale lavender, or pink to white. The leathery, dark green leaves are opposite, oval-lanceolate, (or needle-like,  1–2 cm long and 5 mm broad.The flowers appear in summer, between July and October, and range from pale lavender or pink to white.The herb was first published by Carl Linnaeus in his book Species Plantarum on page 568 in 1753.Satureja montana is native to temperate areas between Europe, the Mediterranean, and Africa. It can be found growing in old walls, on dry banks and rocks on hillsides, or rocky mountain slopes.There is evidence of its use about 2000 years ago by the ancient Romans and Greeks.Easy to grow, it makes an attractive border plant for any culinary herb garden.It requires six hours of sun a day in soil that drains well. In temperate climates it goes dormant in winter, putting out leaves on the bare stems again in the spring – do not cut the plant back, all those stems which appear dead will leaf out again.It can be added to breadcrumbs, as a coating to various meats including trout.Winter savory has been purported to have antiseptic, aromatic, carminative, and digestive benefits. It has also been used as an expectorant and in the treatment of bee stings, or insect bites, by the use of a poultice of the leaves. The plant has a stronger action than the closely related summer savory.Taken internally, it is said to be a remedy for colic and a cure for flatulence, whilst it is also used to treat gastro-enteritis, cystitis, nausea, diarrhoea, bronchial congestion, sore throat and menstrual disorders.Therapeutic-grade oil has been determined to inhibit growth of Candida albicans.The plant is harvested in the summer when in flower and can be used fresh or dried.The essential oil forms an ingredient in lotions for the scalp in cases of incipient baldness. An ointment made from the plant is used externally to relieve arthritic joints. French herbalist Maurice Messegue claimed that savory was 'the herb of happiness'. .
How to Grow and Care for Summer Savory
Botanical Name Satureja hortensis Common Name Summer savory Plant Type Annual herb Mature Size 12-24 in.tall Sun Exposure Full sun Soil Type Loamy Soil pH 6.6-7.5 Bloom Time Summer Flower Color Pink, lilac, or white Hardiness Zones 1-11 (USDA) Native Area Eastern Mediterranean, the Caucasus.An easy-to-grow plant, summer savory is a perfect starter herb if you live in a temperate climate.It can be sown directly into the garden soil in the spring, or germinated from pots set up in late winter.Having come originally from the Mediterranean, it shouldn't come as a surprise that summer savory needs bright conditions to thrive.Once it's well established, it won't be a problem if the soil is on the drier side, although daily watering when temperatures are high will still be beneficial.Originally found along the Eastern Mediterranean, summer savory grows best in warmer climates.Summer savory has simple pruning needs: You can pick leaves while the plants are still small (4- to 6-inches tall), and then pinch back the stems to right before the first leaf node to encourage growth.Although summer savory can reseed itself in a garden setting, they are also easy to propagate from cuttings if you want to offer some to friends or move them to a new location.Summer savory seeds, generally planted in spring, grow best in a loamy soil.If you plan to grow these seeds in your garden, you should wait until late spring when a hard frost is less likely. .