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Sage Smells Like Cat Pee

Posted by lisaemc2 6 (My Page) on
Fri, Apr 1, 11 at 17:38

I've always grown herbs outdoors & made a final harvest in November. This year because I moved, have more space & lots more windows I brought my plants in for the winter. My basil is a bit stunted and the thyme is a bit leggy. That has to do w/ lighting conditions. I love the smell of sage but this one plant smells like cat pee. It's also leggy & the leaves are small & curled. Do I need to throw this out? Is there something better I can do for my sage this coming season? I don't think the type of sage should be in question unless there is a variety of sage that sometimes smells like cat pee & in that case let's assume it's that type of sage.


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RE: Sage Smells Like Cat Pee

There are hundreds of different sages (Salvias), but only a very few of them are edible. The one you want for cooking is Salvia officinalis - you need to check the botanical names on the labels of any herb you buy.

Why not check into the Salvia forum to see if they can help you ID your plant?


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RE: Sage Smells Like Cat Pee

  • Posted by loomis Z5b Western MA (My Page) on
    Sat, Apr 16, 11 at 23:49

I'm inclined to agree, as well. You will need the culinary type of sage. Some of the other sages do indeed, smell awful.

I brought in a small sage plant to overwinter in my south facing window. It seemed to need more water than I imagined. The leaves were much smaller, as I did not supplement it with additional light during the winter.

However, it was nice to be able to pick a fresh leaf or two for winter cooking. And I came across this wonderful recipe for a sage butter sauce, and someone on one of the cooking forums suggested adding it to the butter mixture when making garlic bread. Sounds interesting.


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RE: Sage Smells Like Cat Pee

As for sage when I lived in Michigan we had a sage bush that had to be very old. The trunk and the branches were wooden and very hardy. We had hard winters back then and nothing seemed to hurt that bush. Only picked the new branches but it had a great flavor.


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