Growing Guide
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Summer Savory

Annual Flower, Herb

Satureja hortensis
Lamiaceae Family
Synonym: Satureia hortensis

This aromatic, half-hardy annual herb is best in mass plantings where its small, lilac-pink flowers are most effective. As an ornamental, the bronze-purple fall foliage is also attractive. Preferred as an oregano-like seasoning over Winter Savory because it is less pungent.

Site Characteristics
  • full sun

Soil conditions:

  • tolerates droughty soil
  • requires well-drained soil
Tolerates alkaline soil.
Plant Traits

Lifecycle: annual

Ease-of-care: easy

Height: 1 to 1.5 feet

Spread: 0.25 to 1 feet

Bloom time:

  • mid-summer
  • late summer

Usually flowers until frost.

Flower color:

  • violet
  • pink

Very small, pale lilac-pink flowers borne in widely spaced axillary whorls of 2 to 5 flower clusters

Foliage color: dark green

Turns bronze-purple in late summer.

Foliage texture: fine


Shape: upright

Shape in flower: same as above

Special Considerations
  • frost - Tolerates light frost.
Special characteristics:
  • deer resistant
  • non-aggressive
  • non-invasive
  • not native to North America - Native to the Mediterranean region.
  • fragrant - Leaves have a pungent spicy scent.
  • beneficial insects - Bees.
Special uses:
  • dried flowers - Leaves and flowers used in arrangements.
Growing Information
How to plant:

Propagate by seed - Sow seed in containers or directly in the garden. Cover seed very lightly. It should germinate in about 2 weeks. Plants will withstand light frost. Space plants about 1 foot apart.

Maintenance and care:
Water to keep soil moist during summer. If moisture-stressed, plants will quickly go to seed (bolt). Harvest regularly to promote more vegetative growth. If not grown as an ornamental, pull plants up once they start to flower and dry them for winter use.

More growing information: How to Grow Annuals