If you grow white sage you may find at this time of year your plant is getting a bit “leggy”.
The very tall wands that are coming out – if the leaves are tiny at the tip – will flower. Unless you want to save seed, it’s best to cut this out.
This is what the flowers look like if you’re curious.
You can dry the stem you’ve just cut because the base of it should be fairly bushy. Dry it whole with the leaves hanging upside down. If you are drying for the purposes of making a smudge stick, don’t let it dry completely before tying up, wilted really is what you’re after.
On other stems you can tip prune which will encourage more leaves out of the laterals (the bit between the stem and a main leaf) giving you a thicker smudge stick come harvest time.
This is what will happen after some time.
The coast of California is where Salvia apiana comes from. I’ve got a theory that in it’s natural habitat it probably gets blasted by wind and stems breaking is a common occurrence (good news for those that live by the coast). Because if you have it in a sheltered position and don’t tip prune it at all, particularly in the early days~ this is what happens. One long plant.
There’s hope yet for these guys though, find the lowest active lateral and trim from there.
So don’t be afraid to give your plant a wee trim here and there, now is a good time, whilst there’s plenty of growth action happening you’ll get a stronger plant for it. Make sure that any pruning you do is on a fine day with another one forecast for the next day.
Dry upside down, out of sunlight. This picture is blurry (sorry!) but you don’t want them any drier than what it looks here to make your smudge sticks.
Here’s a link to making your own smudge sticks using ingredients other than/as well as, White sage. Please note on what is said about common sage (Salvia officinalis), not to be burnt!