Growing Salvia divinorum

A few years ago, as part of my Magickal Plants photography project, I decided I wanted to photograph Salvia divinorum. At the time, the plant was legal to grow in the UK but was fairly scarce and a little on the pricey side. I did manage to source a plant online, however, and paid something like £15 for it. Arriving a few days later, it looked like this:

Salvia divinorum - rooted cutting
Upon receipt, I re-potted the plant-let into a larger container. Salvia divinorum are very sensitive plants and need to be acclimatised to new environments slowly, and so I covered my potted up specimen with  a cut-off bottom of a clear plastic bottle to match its previous humidity levels as much as possible:


Over the course of several weeks, I added holes to the plastic dome, until the plant had fully accustomised itself to its new environment. During this time, the compost was kept moderately moist and the plant itself benefited from the occasional brief spraying of water as well. As Diviner's Sage, aka Salvia divinorum, are sensitive plants, I took the precaution of taking numerous cuttings from it as soon as I felt able to do so. This ensured that I always had a good source of healthy Diviner's Sage plant in my home ready for when I wanted to photograph them. 

Luckily, Salvia divinorum is one of the easiest plants to propagate and they root easily by just dropping a few leaves into a glass of water. Roots should form within a couple of weeks.

Salvia divinorum cutting sprouting roots

Within a surprisingly short period of time I had myself a fair number of the magickal plants:



Over the course growing Salvia divinorum, I became convinced that this species does far better with no direct sunshine at all. To stop the plants from becoming leggy, which they are very prone to doing, I continually pinched out all the growing tips to keep them as compact and shrubby as I could possibly manage:


Pinching out new leaves makes for much bushier Salvia d.
Unfortunately, the introduction of Salvia divinorum to the Western world in the not too distant past, and the sale of insanely x60 strength extractions of the hallucinogenic chemical it contains, put it on the drugs misuse radar. It is currently illegal in the UK.   

Salvia divinorum - grown in its legal heyday in 2012