(Satureja hortensis 'Summer')
Summer Savory is an annual herb that is native to the Mediterranean but can be commonly found growing in gardens throughout the United States. At maturity, this plant reaches the height of 12-18” and features multi-branched reddish stems, aromatic, narrow, needle-like, dark green leaves, and tiny purple and white flowers. This plant can be grown in a container, attracts bees, repels bean beetles and cabbage moths, is resistant to deer, is rabbit safe, tolerates drought, is used to flavor perfumes, the leaves are used as an insect repellent, makes essential oil, and is both edible and medicinal!
International Herb Association's 'Herb of the Year 2015'.
Harvesting & Storage
Culinary & Medicinal
Nutrition & Health Benefits
Variety: Summer Savory
Native to: Albania, Altay, Italy, Kazakhstan, Krym, West Himalaya, Xinjiang, Yugoslavia.
Introduced into: Baleares, Bulgaria, Central European Rus, Corse, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, Dominican Republic, East European Russia, France, Greece, Gulf States, Illinois, New York, Portugal, Primorye, Spain, Texas, Ukraine, Vermont, Wisconsin.
Ease of Growing: Moderate
Grown as: Annual
Maturity (Blooms): July to August
Hardiness: Tender. Unlike its close relative, Winter Savory, Summer Savory will not tolerate frost.
Crops: Spring Transplant, Spring
Growing Season: Short, Long
Growing Conditions: Cool, Warm, Hot.Summer Savory is adaptable to a wide variety of conditions but will do best in a rich, loamy soil in the sun.
Outdoor Growing Temp: 55°F - 85°F
Min Outdoor Soil Temp: 60°F. Plant outdoors once the soil reaches 60˚ F.
Start Indoors: Yes
Start Outdoors: Yes
Light: Sun: min. 6 hours daily (Cool, Warm, Hot). Summer Savory prefers to be planted in full sun. It cannot grow in the shade.
Water: Low. Summer Savory grows best if the soil is moist, but is quite drought tolerant.
Feeder: Moderate. Summer Savory grows best in a fairly rich soil.
Suitability: Drought tolerant, High heat
Small Gardens?: Yes
Attracts beneficial insects?: Yes
Containers?: Yes. Summer Savory does exceptionally well in containers. Provide it a good amount of fertilizer in the container before planting or sowing seed. Be sure to keep the soil moist, especially on hot days. Harvest tips often, but never harvest more than 1/3 of the plant if you want it to continue producing.
Sow Depth: ¼”
Produces: multi-branched reddish stems, aromatic, narrow, needle-like, dark green leaves, and tiny purple and white flowers.
USDA Grow Zone: 5-8
Garden Uses: Best in herb garden. Has ornamental value that can be useful in rock gardens or border fronts. Surprisingly good edging plant which may be clipped for a formal effect.
Soil pH: 6.0-8.0, Ideal 6.5-7.0. Summer Savory prefers a rich, well-drained light, loamy soil with lots of organic matter.
Standard Mix, 0.25 cups per plant, regularly, 1 time: Incorporate 1/4 cup standard mix per plant into the top 6" of soil. This is a mix of various amendments intended to supply all of the nutrients plants may require. It is usually incorporated into the soil prior to planting. The mix consists of:
- 4 parts cottonseed meal (this is high in nitrogen and relatively inexpensive)
- 2 parts colloidal phosphate or bone meal (for phosphorus)
- 2 parts wood ash or 3 parts greensand or granite dust (for potassium)
- 1 part dolomitic limestone (to balance pH and add calcium and magnesium)
- 1 part kelp meal (for trace elements)
Mix these together thoroughly. You can do this all at once, or you can store them separately and mix as needed.
Water Needs: Low. Summer Savory grows best if the soil is moist, but is quite drought tolerant.
Fertilizer Needs: Moderate. Summer Savory grows best in a fairly rich soil.
Watering, regularly: Water, 0.5 inches, regularly, 2 times a week. Summer Savory produces more leaves of higher quality when grown in moist soil. If the soil becomes dry Summer Savory won't die - but production will be set back and leaves will not be as fragrant. Watering also depends on your local weather; don't water if it's raining, or water more frequently if it's dry. Just be sure to keep soil moist but never soggy for the best crop. The best way to know how much moisture is in your soil is to feel 2" below the soil line. If it's dry, water.
Storage Req: Dry
Storage Temp: 60-75°F
Storage Length: 1-180 days
Seed Viability in Years: 1 years
Germination Percentage: 75%
Peppery thyme flavor. Not as strong as Winter Savory, making it more suitable to be eaten fresh on salads. Taste is often considered to be superior to Winter Savory.
Summer Savory pairs excellently with snap beans and is commonly used to spice other dishes including stuffings, soups, and salads.
Leaves: raw or cooked. An aromatic, slightly peppery flavor, they are used mainly as a flavoring for cooked foods, especially the more difficult to digest foods such as beans where they compliment the flavor and reduce flatulence. They are also used as a garnish for salads etc. The leaves can be used fresh or dried. A herb tea is made from the leaves. The leaves are harvested just before the plant comes into flower. A tangy, marjoram-like flavor. The flowering shoots contain about 0.5% essential oil, this is used as a food flavoring.
The Health Benefits of Savory
Natural Antiseptic Herb: The savory leaves contain volatile-oil phenols that make it an exceptional natural antiseptic. Savory oil contains 30 - 45 per cent carvacrol, 20 - 30 percent Thymol, and Cineol, Cymene and Pinene. Studies have shown that Carvacrol may have the potential to inhibit and fight certain bacterial such e.g. E. coli and Bacillus. Carvacrol oil is used as antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial. Additionally, Thymol oil in savory holds antiseptic, anti fungal and antibacterial qualities. This makes savory tea excellent for general health and assist in preventing infections in the body. Moreover, savory's volatile oils are useful in aiding respiratory health. In recent studies scientists have suggested using this oil to reduce sinus infections.
Rich sources of Vitamin, Mineral and Fiber: The leaves of the savory plant are rich in mineral e.g. potassium, iron, calcium, magnesium, zinc, and selenium. This plant also contains many vital vitamins such as vitamin C, B-complex, and vitamin A. Savory also has a high source of fiber too. The fiber in savory leaf and shoot can help to lower the bad cholesterol and increase the good cholesterol levels in the body. The rich sources of mineral, vitamins and fiber in savory can help and strengthen your total health.
Immune System Support: The rich sources of vitamin in savory are able to ensuring good health and improving our immune system. Savory might help and protect your body against common illnesses and infections. Furthermore, the antiseptic qualities of savory offer protection against intestinal infections and parasites. Savory's powerful antiseptic action can improve liver and kidney functions too. Savory can reduce a headache and helps to regulate the GABA levels in the brain to handle the stress.
Home remedies for cold and flu: Savory can be used as a tea during the cold and flu season. This herbal tea can reduce the chance of catching a cold or flu. The soothing oils in savory can reduce the cold and flu, sooth sore scratchy throat and cough. You can also mix savory with chamomile, mint leaf and black currant to strengthen the fighting cold and flu power. Mixture between black currant and savory can help you to sooth convulsive cough.
Support Digestion: Savory tea used to relieve digestive upset, flatulence, diarrhea, and support digestive tract. You can use savory as a tonic to help prevent and cure diarrhea. Since savory has a mild diuretic, it can treat conditions that affect the urinary track and even tuberculosis. Besides, drinking savory as a tea can help maintain a healthy liver, bladder and good internal health.
Natural anti inflammatory: Savory can be used to treat abdominal pains, menstrual pains or abdominal cramps. You can infuse 200-250g of savory in3 hours for making herbal bath. Put the boiled savory in the bath water and take a regular bath for 15-20 minutes though.
Rheumatoid patients who suffer from high fevers can dab savory on the affected areas to cure the painful symptoms.
Nature remedies for stronger skin: Savory alcohol can act a good disinfectant and can be used to treat skin infections and wounds. People with oily skin can use savory in facial steams and baths for stronger skin. You can infuse 20 gram of savory in 500ml of water for treating greasy complexions. Used the water in small amounts and applied to the skin for 15-20 minutes.
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