Skip to content.

Some features of this website require Javascript to be enabled for best usibility. Please enable Javascript to run.


Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

Savory (Summer)

Other Common Names Include:

Pepper-wort, garden savory, bean herb

Latin Name: Satureja hortensis

Plant Family: Lamiaceae

Close Relatives: Mint, oregano, thyme, rosemary, winter savory

Uses and Markets: Culinary (e.g. flavouring meat and bean dishes, soups and stews); Essential Oil (e.g. personal care products); Medicinal (e.g. relieving bee stings, digestive issues)

Summer savorySummer savory beginning to flower
Production Life Cycle in Ontario


Hardiness Zone


Special Notes

Summer savory has different cultural requirements than winter savory and the two crops should not be confused.

Propagation method

Most commonly by transplants from seeds; less commonly by direct seeding. Savory seeds are small and require light to germinate. Field seeding is difficult.

Greenhouse Seeding/Propagation Dates


Field Seeding Date:


Field Transplanting Dates


In-row spacing

30-45 cm

Between row spacing

60-80 cm

Optimal Soil temperature at planting



No current Ontario fertility recommendations exist. Research and recommendations from outside Ontario do not necessarily apply to Ontario growing conditions. Research from Iran showed an optimal nitrogen rate of 100 to 150 kg/ha. Click here for phosphorus and potassium application guidelines and for more information on specialty crop fertility.

Soil type

Sandy or sandy loam, well-drained.

Soil pH


Special requirements for growth habit


Optimal Temperature Range


Temperature sensitivity

Frost tolerant.

Irrigation requirements

Irrigation usually not required.

Days to harvest

70 days (direct seeded); 40 days (transplanted).

Specialized equipment:


Harvest Scheduling

Multiple harvests from the same planting.

Hand harvest or machine harvest

Hand harvest

Quality parameters/grades

No established grades; Quality is determined by the market.

Additional Harvest Notes

Optimal quality occurs at or just before flowering, but savory for fresh use can be harvested at any time of year. Savory harvested for essential oil extraction is usually harvested once at the beginning of flowering. Harvest during cooler parts of the day to reduce moisture loss and cooling costs. Remove field heat as soon as possible after harvest.

Post harvest
Special handling/


Storage Conditions

Relative humidity (RH): >95%

Temperature: 0°C

Duration: 2-3 weeks

Specific pests observed on this crop in Ontario (observations based on limited experience with this crop)

Insects and Invertebrates: Leafhoppers

Diseases: None

Other Potential Pests: The following pests have not been observed on this crop in Ontario. However, they are either significant concerns for closely related plants in Ontario, or are reported on this crop in other production areas. This is not a comprehensive list of all potential pests. Not all of these pests will necessarily survive Ontario’s climate, but could potentially survive in a protected environment (e.g. greenhouse, storage facility).

Insects and Invertebrates: Spider mites, aphids, four-lined plant bug, leaf rollers, spittle bugs

Diseases: None


To date the following pests have been the most significant in Ontario: none. This crop is in Crop Group 19: Herb and Spice Crop Group and subgroup 19A: Herb Subgroup.  This crop group is being revised and may change in the near future. For more information on Crop Groups, refer to the Pest section.  Always refer to product labels, and follow all directions specified on the label, before applying any pest control product.  For more information, consult an OMAFRA specialist. For pest control products registered on this crop refer to OMAFRA Publication 838.

White speckling damage caused by leaf hoppers on winter savory.
Additional Notes


Ontario Research Projects Used to Create This Profile
  1. McKeown, A.W., C.J. Bakker and J. Schooley. 1998-2002. Herb Demonstration Garden, University of Guelph Simcoe Research Station, unpublished.
  2. Westerveld, S., Elford, E., Filotas, M. and J. Todd. 2010-present. OMAFRA herb demonstration garden. OMAFRA Simcoe Resource Centre, unpublished.
  1. McVicar, J. 1997. Jekka’s complete herb book. Raincoast Books, Vancouver.
  2. Sahzabi, A.A., Ashorabadi, E.S., Shiranirad, A.H., Bigdeli, M. and B. Abaszadeh. 2007. The effects of different methods and levels of using nitrogen on some quality and quantity characteristics of Satureja hortensis L. Iranian Journal of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants 23: 416-431.
  3. Sahzabi, A.A., Ashoorabadi, E.S., Shranirad, A.H., Abbaszadeh, B. and H.A. Farahani. The methods of nitrogen application influence on essential oil yield and water use efficiency of summer savory (Satureja hortensis L. ). Journal of Horticulture and Forestry 2: 52-56.
  4. Small, E. 2006. Culinary herbs, 2nd Edition. NRC Research Press, Ottawa.