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Summer Savory

Satureja hortensis

Also known as

Somer Boontjiekruid (Afr.), Savory

Full Sun
Easy care
Moderate watering
Frost Hardy


USDA zone


Minimum temperature

Expected size









  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has a mild fragrance

Summer Savory Overview

Satureja hortensis is famous for its peppery-thyme flavoured leaves. It is a multi-branched annual plant from the Lamiaceae family, with narrow dark green leaves and very pretty spikes of white to purple flowers. Commonly known as Summer Savory or Summer Thyme. It is more delicately flavoured than the perennial Winter Savoury (S. montana). Also called "the bean herb", because it both enhances the flavour of broad beans, and it reduces flatulence. International Herb Association's 'Herb of the Year 2015'.

Common problems with Summer Savory

This is a tough plant, with no notabe pest or disease problems. Rather, it is known to keep pests away with its strong scent.

    Summer Savory Companion Plants

    A photo of Bean


    Phaseolus vulgaris

    A photo of Broad Bean

    Broad Bean

    Vicia faba

    How to harvest Summer Savory

    Harvest leaves throughout the growing season, as soon as plant is about 15cm high. Pinching back will give you continuous harvests. For distiling oils, leaves should be harvested just when flowering starts. To harvest seeds, wait for flowers to mature and seeds are brown. The entire plant may be cut and dried.

    How to propagate Summer Savory


    Sow in situ in late Spring; Spacing 40 - 50 cm; Sowing depth 4mm; Germination time 7 - 14 days, thin out to 15cm apart. They do not transplant well.


    Softwood cuttings in summer.

    Special features of Summer Savory

    Attracts useful insects

    Butterflies and Bees

    Repels harmful insects

    It discourages cabbage moths, Mexican bean beetles, sweet potato weevil and black aphids.

    Crop rotation

    Light feeder

    Pot plant

    Will flourish in a well-drained pot, feed lightly and do not over water. The plant has thin, weak stems that need support.

    Other uses of Summer Savory

    Culinary, soil conditioner, insect repellant Culinary, soil conditioner, insect repellant and aphrodisiac.


    Traditionally believed to cure several ailments, esp beestings. A "cure-it-all" according to dr N Culpeper (1600's). Said to increase sex drive when an infusion is massaged onto the lower back.


    Gives a delicious taste to a wide variety of food, esp beans, soup, stew, meat and vegetables. Can be used fresh, cooked or preserved in vinegar. Tea with savory is said to control diarrhea.


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