Originally from the Mediterranean region, winter savory is an evergreen perennial that is renown for its cold resistance and memorable flavour. Winter hardy in zones 4 to 9 in Canada, the woody plants reach about 2 feet, with small, glossy, dark green leaves. Winter savory will bear tiny white or pink blooms in the summer, excellent for attracting beneficial pollinators. Winter savory has a stronger, more pungent flavour than summer savory, but it is still used to season a variety of dishes like sausage, meats, soups and stews.
- Latin Name: Satureja montana
- Life Cycle: Perennial
- Canada Hardiness Zone: 4-9
- Days to Maturity: 80-90
- Planting Depth: 2-3 mm
- Plant Spacing: 25-45 cm
- Growth Habit: 60 cm tall
A shrubby annual with a mild peppery flavor, summer savory can be used to season any meat or vegetable recipe. Its close relative, winter savory, is a woody perennial herb with a stronger flavor and bushier growing habit. Seeds for both varieties are cared for in the same manner, as they are native to the Mediterranean and will thrive in temperate conditions.
Start seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before the last frost. Gently press seeds into the soil, mist well and keep evenly moist. Access to light and warm 21 degree soil will greatly aid in germination, which should occur in about 21 days.
Seedlings can be transplanted into the garden after the danger of frost has passed and the soil has warmed up. Plant savory in rich, well-drained soil with exposure to full sun. Space plants about 30-45 cm apart. Water young seedlings well, but maintain dryer soil for established plants. Both varieties of savory are low-maintenance herbs that will grow well without additional fertilizer.
Summer savory will grow great alongside tomatoes and beans. Its flowers will attract honeybees and other beneficial insects. Summer savory grows quickly, especially under full sun, and will typically require staking. Leaves can be harvested fresh throughout the season, the flavor will be best before the flower buds open. Summer savory won’t survive a hard winter but can be grown successfully indoors through the cold months.
Winter savory, on the other hand, grows a bit slower on woody stems. Give them a good pruning early on and harvest selectively throughout the season. Winter savory requires less sun and will tolerate colder temperatures than its summer counterpart. It will withstand winter lows down to -5 degrees. In colder temperatures winter savory should be brought inside, or covered with horticultural fleece.
Strip leaves from the stem and dry them for winter storage. Fresh and dried leaves have countless applications in the kitchen, including their presence in many popular herb and spice blends.
- Savory has been used by the Greeks and Romans as far back as 2,000 years ago and was sort of a precursor for ground pepper before it was imported from India due to its similar taste.
- Winter savory seeds will remain viable for 3 years if stored in a cool, dark place, ideally between 4 and 10⁰C. After that, the germination rate may start to go down.
OUR SEED GUARANTEE
You know that a lush, fruitful garden needs good soil, frequent watering, and sunlight to grow, but it’s the seeds that really make the harvest.
Picked and bagged for 2023 the vast majority of our seeds have germination rates of over 85%. The seeds are all-natural, non-GMO, non-hybrid, untreated, and open-pollinated for seed saving.
We have put a lot of thoughts into the design and packaging of our seed packets. Our seeds are all carefully packed in food grade kraft paper/aluminium zipper lock bags, and then are shipped in eco-friendly padded mailers.
We heat-seal each of our seed packet for even more protection from moisture, odour and light, allowing you to store your seeds for up to 3x longer than paper or plastic. Plant them all, germinate some indoors, save some for next season - it’s up to you!