S. montana. This little known herb resembles its summer cousin but is a perennial with thicker leaves that are sturdier and stronger flavoured. The little bush will grow in alkaline soil. Plant Winter Savory seeds for a lovely aromatic edging for the herb garden. Winter savory goes dormant in winter, but don't be tempted to cut back the bare stems and branches. In early spring a fresh batch of leaves will emerge over the whole plant all at once. This herb has a strong, herbaceous aroma when crushed, and it matches particularly well with mushrooms and in potato salad. Try a small amounts sprinkled into salads. Winter savory seeds can be planted as a companion plant to beans in order to repel weevils. It is also grown near to roses to repel aphids.
Summer savory is a half hardy annual. Winter savory is perennial. Both are well suited to container growing. All savories prefer full sun and well-drained, rather poor soil. Summer savory wants a warm, protected spot in the herb garden, while winter savory is less fussy. Do not feed with liquid fertilizer. Pick leaves as needed, and cut back if the plants begin to appear leggy. Continue reading below for more details on how to grow savory from seed.
Summer savory: Satureja hortensis & Winter savory: Satureja montana
Season & Zone
Exposure: Full sun
Zone: Summer savory: Grow as an annual. Winter savory is hardy to Zone 5.
Sow the very tiny seeds indoors about 4-6 weeks before the last frost. They should sprout in 10-15 days.
Sow seeds on the surface of prepared starting mix. Do not bury them as they need light to germinate. Don’t bother using bottom heat, as the seeds will sprout well without it. When seedlings are large enough to handle, delicately pot them on or transplant out to the herb garden once all risk of frost is past. Both varieties benefit from careful hardening off to reduce transplant shock.
This herb attracts honeybees, and repels cabbage moths. Planting it near beans and onions will improve the flavour of both.
More on Companion Planting.