How to Grow Winter Savory: A Toronto Master Gardeners Guide

Winter Savory (Satureja montana). Winter savory is an evergreen perennial, hardy to Zone 5, that grows 30 to 45 centimetres tall. Winter savory is considered more pungent than its generally preferred relative summer savory, but winter savory has the advantage of being evergreen and can be harvested at any time of the year.  Both are used in bean and meat dishes.

Cultivation: Start winter savory from seed or cuttings and plant outdoors when danger of frost has passed. Winter savory requires full sun and must have well-drained soil to avoid rot in winter. It is tolerant of poor soil and drought. Winter savory can also be grown successfully in containers. It has attractive white to purple flowers in summer. The plant may go dormant in the winter but will regrow in the spring.

Pruning out old wood will promote a bushy form and stimulate growth of new, tender leaves that have the best flavour. Leaves can be harvested at any time of year and are typically used fresh but can be dried for future use.

Disclaimer: Toronto Master Gardeners does not advise or recommend herbs for medicinal or health use. Any information in the recommended resources should be regarded as being for educational purposes only and should not be considered as a recommendation or an endorsement of any medical or health treatment.

For more information:

Herb Society of America Essential Guide to Savory https://www.herbsociety.org/file_download/inline/01ceb540-a740-4aa5-98e7-0c40b1f36c21

Missouri Botanical Garden https://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?taxonid=281431

OMAFRA http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/CropOp/en/herbs/culinary/wsav.html

RHS Grow your own herbs: Savory https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/grow-your-own/herbs/savory

University of Illinois Extension https://web.extension.illinois.edu/herbs/savory-winter.cfm

Date revised: December 2021

Prepared by the Toronto Master Gardeners, these Gardening Guides provide introductory information on a variety of gardening topics.  Toronto Master Gardeners are part of a large, international volunteer community committed to providing the public with horticultural information, education and inspiration.  Our goal is to help Toronto residents use safe, effective, proven and sustainable horticultural practices to create gardens, landscapes and communities that are both vibrant and healthy.

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