Purple Winter Savory
Satureja montana var. illyrica
Purple Winter Savory
(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)
Height: 6 inches
Spacing: 14 inches
Hardiness Zone: 3
Other Names: Creeping Winter Savory
Brand: Plant Select
A low growing variety with a compact, mounded habit; will cascade over container edges or garden walls; can be used as a groundcover but will die back in winter; a mildly flavored culinary herb
Purple Winter Savory is a perennial herb that is typically grown for its edible qualities, although it does have ornamental merits as well. The fragrant narrow green leaves which emerge light green in spring can be harvested at any time in the season. The leaves have a savory taste and a pungent fragrance.
The leaves are most often used in the following ways:
Features & Attributes
Purple Winter Savory is bathed in stunning purple tubular flowers from mid summer to mid fall. Its fragrant narrow leaves emerge light green in spring, turning green in color throughout the season.
This is an herbaceous perennial herb with a spreading, ground-hugging habit of growth. It brings an extremely fine and delicate texture to the garden composition and should be used to full effect. This plant will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, and can be pruned at anytime. It is a good choice for attracting butterflies to your yard. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;
Aside from its primary use as an edible, Purple Winter Savory is sutiable for the following landscape applications;
- Mass Planting
- General Garden Use
- Herb Gardens
- Container Planting
Planting & Growing
Purple Winter Savory will grow to be only 6 inches tall at maturity, with a spread of 18 inches. When grown in masses or used as a bedding plant, individual plants should be spaced approximately 14 inches apart. Its foliage tends to remain low and dense right to the ground. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 5 years. As an herbaceous perennial, this plant will usually die back to the crown each winter, and will regrow from the base each spring. Be careful not to disturb the crown in late winter when it may not be readily seen!
This plant is quite ornamental as well as edible, and is as much at home in a landscape or flower garden as it is in a designated herb garden. It should only be grown in full sunlight. It is very adaptable to both dry and moist growing conditions, but will not tolerate any standing water. It is considered to be drought-tolerant, and thus makes an ideal choice for a low-water garden or xeriscape application. This plant should not require much in the way of fertilizing once established, although it may appreciate a shot of general-purpose fertilizer from time to time early in the growing season. It is not particular as to soil pH, but grows best in poor soils. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. This species is not originally from North America.
Purple Winter Savory is a good choice for the edible garden, but it is also well-suited for use in outdoor pots and containers. Because of its spreading habit of growth, it is ideally suited for use as a 'spiller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination; plant it near the edges where it can spill gracefully over the pot. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.