How to grow sage?

Garden Sage is a culinary herb that is often used around the holidays to flavor your stuffing, but I use it all year round as a flavor component of chicken dishes. These tips for sage plant care will help you get the most out of your plant.

Sage is not just for Thanksgiving. This fragrant herb is easy to grow and can be used to flavor all types of meat and bean dishes and the blossoms from sage plants are great tossed into a fresh salad.

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What is sage?

Sage (salvia officinalis) is a widely cultivated herb that is native to the Mediterranean region. It is a member of the mint family. The plant has a powerful spicy and aromatic flavor that is also bitter and astringent.

The flavor of sage varies greatly depending on the variety grown and the growing location. Some different types of sage plants less commonly found are:

  • Greek Sage (salvia triloba) has velvety leaves with a felt gray underside and deep blue flowers. Often used in teas. More hardy than normal sage plants.
  • Clary Sage (salvia sclarea) has very large leaves often used to flavor wine. Also good with eggs and infused in tea.
  • Purple sage (salvia officinalis var. purpurascens) is a small plant with purple leaves and striking bright blue flowers.
  • Tricolor sage (salvia officinalis var. tricolor) is a popular decorative variety that gives a lot of color to a garden. It has a milder flavor and is used less for cooking and more for its decorative look.
  • Mexican Sage (Salvia leucantha) Hardy in zones 8-10. Needs a long growing season and doesn’t start blooming until late summer.

Sage is widely used in Mediterranean cooking and, in particular, Italian cuisine. It is great when used to flavor fatty meats and is well known for its ability to aid in digestion.

The ancient Romans prized sage for its healing properties and as an astringent and disinfectant herb. The botanical name salvia comes from the Latin word salvare which means to heal.

Native American cultures often burn what they consider sacred plants and use the smoke from the herb to remove negative energy and bring peace to their living space.

This practice is done with white sage (salvia apiana), Palo santo, sweet grass and other herbs. This is called “smudging.” Check out this article for more info on sage smudging.

Fresh sage leaves have much more flavor than dried sage, which can have a medicinal aftertaste. The full flavor of sage leaves come out when the herb is cooked with food.

Sage Plant Care

You need just three things to grow garden sage – fresh air, good soil drainage and plenty of sunshine. Sage can be grown from seed, or you can purchase small plants at a garden center to give you a head start.

Follow these tips for sage plant care and you’ll be enjoying the fresh flavor before you know it.

Sunlight needs for Sage

Outdoors, sage likes full sun to very light shade. 6-8 hours of sunlight is ideal, but if you live in the Southern part of the USA, sage will benefit with some relief from the afternoon sun.

You can also grow sage Indoors in a bright sunny window. A south facing window is ideal.

When is the best time to plant sage?

Wait until the ground temperature is about 65º F which is normally 1-2 weeks after the last frost.

Seeds or seedlings should be planted 18 – 24 inches apart. You can also plant seeds or seedlings in patio pots. I once grew my entire herb garden and vegetable garden on my back deck.

I like having my herb garden right out my patio door. It ensures that I will be more likely to use them than if I have to trudge to the garden to get them.

Soil, Watering and Fertilizing Requirements

Plant in sandy, well draining soil. The ideal pH for garden sage is between 6.0 and 7.0. Soil rich in nitrogen is also beneficial.

If your soil has a high clay content, add organic matter such as compost so that it will drain more completely when watered. Avoid over head watering if possible to prevent fungal types of diseases.

Sage is fairly drought resistant and you should avoid over-watering the herb. Just add more water when the soil starts to dry out. Sage grows well in containers as well as in garden beds.

Don’t add too much fertilizer or you will end up with a plant that grows quickly but with a less intense flavor.

Leaves and flowers of sage plants

The leaves of a sage plant are elongated and come to a point at the end. They are a dusty gray green color. Sage leaves have a velvety texture that is pretty in the garden and also feels nice when you pick the leaves.

With soft textured leaves you need to be very careful of over-watering. Sage leaves can turn yellow if the plant is too wet, or if the leaves get splashed with water too often. This makes them more susceptible to developing leaf-spot fungus.

Water from below for best results.

Sage plants have purple or white flowers that appear in the summer time. The flowers are edible and often used in making vinegar or in decorating cakes.

Cut sage flowers right before they peak. The flowers will be partially opened, but not all the way.

Note on flowering: Most herbs will get more bitter if allowed to flower. If you want the look of flowering sage (which is very pretty) grow some for flowers and others for herbs to get the best of both worlds.

How large does sage get?

Sage grows to about 2 – 3 feet tall and has a spread of about 18 – 24 inches wide. It does well planted as a low background herb plant in a border with other herbs and also in its own bed.

How to propagate sage

Sage can be propagated from cuttings to get more plants for free. Make softwood cuttings in early summer. A rooting powder will speed up with rooting process.

Place the cuttings in well draining soil and keep watered until roots develop and the plant starts going.

You can also divide mature sage plants in spring or early fall every 2 or 3 years. The stems of sage will root well by layering.

To layer sage stems, secure long pieces of the stem along the garden soil with some landscape pins or bent wire, leaving the tip free. Make sure the stem comes in contact with the soil.

Roots will form along the stem in about a month and the entire stem can be removed from the parent and planted up separately.

Older sage plants tend to develop a woody taste to the leaves, so after 4 or 5 years, it’s a good idea to start over with new cuttings.

Companion plants for sage

Sage does well planted near tomatoes, cabbage, carrots and strawberries. The flowers of sage are lovely and attract pollinators. It does not do well near cucumbers.

This aromatic herb will attract honeybees and the cabbage butterfly and repels cabbage flies, carrot fly, cabbage looper and cabbage maggot.

Plant sage in containers with rosemary, thyme, basil,and other Mediterranean herbs, since these flavors are often used together in recipes.

Are you interested in growing herbs but can’t identify them very well? This herb identification chart will be a huge help to you.

How cold hardy is sage?

Sage is a perennial herb that is evergreen and cold hardy in zones 4 through 9. It will also grow in the warmer zones, but the high temperatures and humidity are hard on the plant, so it is often grown as an annual in these zones.

This herb handles the cold well but mulch for winter protection. Most varieties of sage will go dormant in the winter and come back again the following spring.

Prune sage plants back in the early spring each year, cutting out the oldest and woodiest growth to promote new growth.

When to harvest Sage

Garden sage will be ready to harvest in 70-75 days from small plants, or 90-100 days from seed.

Harvest lightly in the first year if you grow sage as a perennial. In subsequent years, you can harvest more often. The woody old sage plants produce the leaves with the strongest flavor.

Sage can be harvested almost all year long. The plant survives even after the snows have fallen. To harvest, cut the top 5-6 inch of the stalks before the plant flowers. Repeat as new growth develops.

Unlike many herb plants, sage leaves are still flavorful and aromatic even after the plant flowers. The flavor intensifies as the leaves grow larger.

Pests and diseases

Be on the lookout for mildew. You can discourage this condition by making sure that the plants are wide enough apart to encourage good air circulation. Check often for mildew on the hottest and most humid days.

Mulching with pebbles around the crown also helps to keep the area around the leaves dryer than normal mulches.

Other diseases and insects that infect sage are stem rot from over-watering, aphids, spider mites and rust.

Sage Plant Uses

Sage is useful in stuffings and stews and is often used to flavor sausages. It is very flavorful and combines best with rich meats such as pork, beef and game.

Combine sage with coarse sea salt to make a flavorful salt that makes a great addition to crispy potatoes.

You can use the herb to make sage butter and it also makes a wonderful herb-infused vinegar. Sage has a very intense flavor, so only a small amount is needed to flavor a recipe.

Sage is also a useful plant to repel mosquitoes. The leaves send out a strong fragrance and produces oils that repel the insect. Find out about other mosquito repelling plants here.

How to preserve Sage Leaves

You may find that you have more sage than you can use at the end of the growing season. One of the best ways to preserve sage is to freeze the leaves. See more tips on preserving herbs here.

To freeze sage leaves, just place them between sheets of wax paper or foil which has been coated in olive oil. The leaves will remain supple even after freezing and you can remove them individually as needed.

You can also chop sage leaves and add them in an ice cube tray with some olive oil. Use the flavored oil cubes when cooking to give both oil and the flavor of the oil to the recipe.

Dry sage by hanging bunches of the stems upside-down to dry. Strip the dried leaves from the stem and store in an airtight container.

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Would you like a reminder of these tips for growing garden sage? Just pin this image to one of your gardening boards on Pinterest.

Active Time 50 minutes Total Time 50 minutes Difficulty easy Estimated Cost $5


  • Sage Plant
  • Fertilizer
  • Well Draining Soil


  1. Sunlight needs: Full sun outdoors, very sunny window indoors.
  2. Watering requirements: Fairly drought tolerant. Avoid overwatering.
  3. Soil pH: 6.0 – 7.0
  4. Size of plant: 3-4 feet tall and 18-24 inches wide.
  5. Propagation: Stem Cuttings and layering.
  6. Cold Hardiness: Zones 4-9
  7. Pests and Diseases: Powdery mildew, stem rot and rust. Be on the lookout for aphids and spider mites.

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A Handy Guide to Take Good Care of Sage Plants

Sage is a hardy plant and can be easily grown in containers or in the garden soil. You can add this herb to your kitchen garden and enjoy cooking with fresh sage flavored delicious stuffing and meat curries. Here are some important tips on caring and growing sage plant.

Before you buy a sage plant, getting to know the different varieties of sage plant can help you choose the plant. Many sage plants are used for gardening, but each variety has various purposes. If you wish to use sage for culinary purposes then grow the variety Salvia officinalis which is the original sage that has been used for hundreds of years. There are many uses of sage herb. This herb is used for flavoring dishes, flavoring meats and flavoring stuffing. You can also use this variety to make sage tea. Another variety which is Salvia officinalis Icterina has variegated leaves and during spring season it bears lilac blue colored flowers. This herb is the traditional herb sage. This herb has aromatic foliage and can be used for edging or to attract butterflies. This herb can also be used for culinary purposes. Another traditional sage herb is Salvia officinalis Purpurascens which has a beautiful purple colored foliage. There are many other varieties of sage plants too, but these three are some good choices.

Sage Plant Care Instructions

You can buy small sage plant in containers at any nursery. Or you can grow it from seeds. Growing sage herb from seeds is more satisfying. Though, it has some disadvantages. Growing sage from seeds can be quite challenging, as it takes time for sage to establish itself. Also, if you grow sage from seeds then you will need to wait patiently for a long time till you see the plant. You will be able to harvest the plant grown from seeds only the next year. So, if you want to save time you can grow sage from small plants. Once the frost has passed away, you can plant the herb from container into the garden soil if you want.

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Sage is a very hardy plant and you won’t have to tend much to it. As sage can resists almost all harsh conditions and grow in any kind of soil. All you need to do is a bit of pruning, provide it a bit of water and some fertilizer once a while, and this herb will reward you with aromatic and flavorful leaves. But, there are some ideal conditions for this plant care that you can follow.

The best soil for sage is a well dug medium soil. Also, make sure from time to time that the soil is well drained. This herb should be planted on a site where it can receive full sun. If you are keeping pots then keep them on a site where it will receive at least six hours of sunlight every day. Also, avoid watering the herb too much. Even during dry spells avoid over-watering. Sage prefers dry and sunny conditions. You will also need to give liquid feed to the plant every month.

If you are growing sage in pots then make sure the pot is well drained. Make a hole at the bottom of the pot for water drainage. Then place a thick layer of stones at the bottom of the pot to aid drainage. Finally mix potting compost with the soil and plant the herb in it. You will need do some pruning of the plant to maintain its shape and growth. After the flowers are gone in the spring, cut the herb with pruning shears or sharp scissors to half of the height. Or simply break the sage twigs with your hands. You can harvest the plant any time you like and add it to your recipes. But, you can also dry off sage leaves or store fresh leaves in an air tight bag or container for a long time.

This was some general information on sage plant. After every 4 years you will need to replant sage as it tends to lose its quality after three to four years. For replanting you can always store plant cuttings or seeds, and use them to regrow sage.

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Growing Sage in Pots allows you to have this aromatic herb available year-round in your urban home without a garden.

Sage is one of the most popular perennial kitchen herbs and used in many of the lip-smacking delicacies made using pork, cheese, and beans. You can grow it easily in pots in a limited space, both outdoors and indoors. It only needs the right combination of soil, sunlight, environment, and little care. This article will showcase everything that you need to know on How to Grow Sage in Pots Indoors or Outdoors.

Botanical Name: Salvia officinalis.

USDA Zones: 4 to 10

Soil pH: 6 to 7, Slightly Acidic to Neutral

Propagating Sage

You can propagate sage by cuttings, division, seeds, and layering. They’re explained below:

Growing Sage from Cuttings

If you’ve got an existing plant, cut its 3-4 inches long “new growth” cuttings just below the root node, which you’ll find on the opposite of the leaf stem. Remove the lower leaves and flower buds (if present) and leave only 2-3 pair of leaves. Plant these cuttings in separate pots or use a single wide pot. Keep the soil evenly moist to help the new roots emerge. For better success rate, dip your cuttings in the rooting hormone before planting.

Growing Sage from Division

One more straightforward way to propagate sage is by division. You can dig up your existing mature plant and divide it in many, using a knife. Depending on the size of the rootball, divide it in two, three, or four, and plant each in individual small pots. The best time for the division is spring or autumn when the soil temperature is warm.

Growing Sage from Seeds

Growing sage from seeds is also an option, but it’s a time-consuming process, so it’s better to *buy a couple of healthy transplants from any nearby nursery and multiply them following other methods. Sow seeds shallowly, 1/4 inch deep, when the soil temperature is around or above 60 F (15 C) for best results. Seeds will germinate within 2-3 weeks. You can also start seeds indoors in spring if the expected last frost date has not passed yet.

Growing Sage from Layering

Growing sage from layering is an easy way to multiply this aromatic herb. For this, select a long trailing stem that can be bent, remove its lower leaves, and create a small wound with the fingernail on the stem part that you’ll bury in soil. Bury it 2 inches deep near the mother plant and cover with soil. It’ll root in several weeks. Once it does, disconnect it from the parent plant and plant it in a new location.

Note: If you’re growing sage in pots for the first time, it’s better to buy healthy sage transplants from a nursery rather than trying these propagation methods.

Choosing a Container

A clay pot would be the best for growing sage. In the beginning, select a container that is a minimum 8 inches deep and wide similarly. Later, you can repot this herb into a bigger pot once it outgrows the current pot and become root-bound. Ensure your pot has sufficient drainage holes to avoid waterlogging.

Also Read: How to Grow Rosemary in Pots

Requirements for Growing Sage in Pots


While you can grow sage in part sun, the most aromatic and healthy sage plant grows in full sunlight. Hence it is essential to place the plant in a position that gets 6-8 hours of direct sunlight daily. If you live in a hot climate, save the plant from the intense afternoon sun, especially in summer.

Most suitable position for growing sage indoors is either South or West facing window. If you don’t receive proper sunlight indoors, use grow lights for this purpose.


Never use regular garden soil for growing sage in pots. Either make your own soilless potting mix or buy it from a garden center or online. Your growing medium should be well-drained and loamy. To enrich it, add 20-25 percent compost to the potting mix.


Water a young and newly transplanted sage plant regularly for the first few weeks until it’s establishing without overdoing it. Once the plant gets an excellent growth and develops a healthy root system, start keeping it on a drier side–Water only when the topsoil seems dry to touch. Avoid overwatering and overhead watering to prevent root rot and diseases like leaf spot and powdery mildew.

Also Read: Growing Chives In Pots & Its Care

Sage Care in Pots


Sage, like other herbs, doesn’t like a strong fertilizer dose. Also, fertilizing a lot reduces its intense flavor. You can mix aged compost or well-rotted manure at the time of planting in the potting mix and side-dress it again after 6-8 weeks interval. If you’re not using compost, feed it with a general-purpose liquid fertilizer diluted in half or quarter-strength.

If you’re not using compost or other organic fertilizer, fertilize sage with a general-purpose liquid fertilizer like 20-20-20, once in 4-6 weeks during the growing season. Don’t feed in winter unless you live in a warm climate.


Pinch off the top tips, when your young sage plant is 4-5 inches tall and has grown several sets of true leaves, using shears or fingernails. This will induce new bushier growth.

Pruning and Deadheading

Like other perennial herbs, a sage requires hard pruning once in a year. The best time is when new growth starts to appear, young leaves unfurl, and new buds form in spring. Trim all the dead, decaying, and crossing woody stems. You can do a slight pruning again after flowering ends in summer.

Also, divide the plant once every 2-3 years to help it maintain its life and vigor. For the leaves to retain their best flavor all year round, always prune the flower buds before they start to bloom.

Keep in mind that sage tends to become woody and its growth starts to fall after 4 years or so, and it is recommended to replace the plant once you notice the same. To learn about pruning sage and other herbs, check out this article.


If you’re growing sage in a hot and windy climate, do mulching with organic matter. It’ll keep the soil cool and help in retaining moisture. Leaves or straws from your garden should be fine, or else, add a layer of pebbles.

Pests and Diseases

Mildew can affect your sage plant in a pot. To prevent this, provide good air circulation, don’t grow this herb in the shade and avoid wetting the foliage. Be extra careful in hot and humid conditions. In pests, beware of aphids, whiteflies, and spider mites. If you identify them, spray mild insecticidal soap on the plant. Learn how to make homemade insecticidal soap here.

Sage Plant Care in Winter

Rosemary, Sage, and Thyme

Sage is a cold-hardy herb but to prevent any damage, start keeping it indoors in winter before the freezing temperature occurs. Keep the plant near a bright window that receives some sunlight. Protect it from cold drafts, reduce water, and avoid fertilizing until the weather starts to warm up.

Also Read: How to Grow Lavender Plants | Growing Lavender

Harvesting and Storage

Harvest sage lightly in the first year, whenever you need it. You can also dry the harvested sage for future use. For this, hang the stems upside down in a warm and dry spot that doesn’t receive the intense sun, once the leaves are dry, strip and store them in an airtight container. You can also keep the stems with flowers attached, as they work really well with arrangements that have dried herbs. Learn more about harvesting herbs here.

6 Steps For Growing Sage In A Container

Sage, like most herbs, can easily be grown in a container. Harvesting Sage in a container is simple as the container can be located where it is convenient. Follow these six steps to produce healthy and happy Sage plants.

Choose the Correct Container Size

Decide if you want one plant or more than one in your container. Read the label or talk to your local garden center experts to see how large your plant will grow. Common Sage plants grow to 2 feet high and need a foot of space in between. Choose containers that will accommodate your plant or plants nicely without crowding and with room for roots. Make sure there is at least one drainage hole in the bottom of the container.

Prepare the Container

Use a new container. Before use, wash the container out with mild soap and water and air- or sun-dry. If you want to use an old container, make sure it is empty and clean. Wash out any residual dirt out with mild soap, water, and a brush. Rinse and air- or sun-dry. Then spray the inside and rim of the used container with a bleach-water mixture of 7 parts water to 1 part bleach and air- or sun-dry.

Fill the Container with Good Potting Soil

You can use store-bought or homemade potting soil in your container as long as it is clean and sterile. Use a mixture that contains nutrient material to feed your plant and particles that provide good drainage and aeration. You may choose a mix that is specially made to grow vegetables. Or you may find container compost to provide nutrients that you mix with the potting soil. Fill the container with the soil to within 1½ to 2 inches of the rim.

Plant Your Sage

Dig a hole or holes in your container to accommodate the roots. Place the plant in the hole and hold it up so that the bottom of the plant is even with the top of the soil. Make sure the roots hang down and are not bending at the bottom. Fill in the hole with the potting soil. Press down around the top of the soil to firm and settle the plant.

Sage Plant Maintenance

Water the newly-planted Sage thoroughly, slowly and deeply until water runs out the bottom of the container. Water again when the soil has dried out. If you live in a hot, dry area, water more frequently in the summer. Feed your Sage twice during the growing season with a good liquid or granular fertilizer for easy application. Pinch off the flowers to promote fuller, bushier growth.

Find a Good Location and Enjoy Your Sage

Place the container with the Sage in a sunny location. Sage needs at least 4 hours of full sun a day. If you are in a dry or arid climate, you may want to place the container where its leaves won’t get burned. Harvest Sage when you need some for cooking or cut sprigs to release its refreshing, woodsy fragrance in your home or car.

by Jodie Perry

Have you ever seen a sage plant that just LOVES the spot where it grows?

I’m talking about sage that grows wildly in all directions. Sage that sprouts huge, succulent leaves. Sage bursting with purple blossoms that look like it’s putting on a fireworks show?

If you have, then you have experienced one of the great pleasures of being a gardener.

Sage is truly an amazing herb. I want to share with you some surefire methods to growing a plant that will return all the love you put into it come harvest time.

When you rub a leaf between your fingers, feel that tacky texture and inhale that aromatic medicine, you’ll know it was well worth the (very modest) effort you invested.

Sage Advice: How to Grow a Monster Sage Plant

Sage plants like sandy, well-drained soil with a pH level between 6.0 and 7.0. They also like a lot of sunlight.

A lot of your success in growing sage is because of what you DON’T do. Don’t over-water your sage plants. They only need to be watered at all during dry spells. And don’t over-fertilize them. Sage plants don’t really need much fertilizer. Over-fertilizing makes them grow faster but they have a weaker flavor, defeating the purpose of growing it. Once or twice per year is enough for mature plants.

Plant your sage with other compatible herbs and vegetables. Sage grows well with rosemary—another herb that prefers dry conditions—as well as cabbage. Sage repels some insects that feed on cabbage and it actually improves the flavor of the cabbage! It also grows well with carrots, strawberries and tomatoes.

If you find a sage plant you like, take a cutting. You can grow a sage plant from cuttings and that’s the preferred method because growing from seed can take years. Prune the plants back in the spring just as they begin to grow. Because they like well-drained soil, sage does well in containers as long as you have a location with enough sun.

Unlike most plants, you don’t have to worry much about pests. Sage is impervious to most garden pests and it’s flowers draw beneficial bees in droves.

Health Benefits of Sage

Sage has been used in herbal medicine for thousands of years. It has natural anti-bacterial and preservative properties, which is one reason it’s often used in preparing meat. It’s chock full of a variety of vitamins and minerals, as well as fiber.

1) Improved brain functioning – Sage is also great for your brain. One study found that sage can significantly and immediately improve cognitive functioning in young, healthy adults. (Are you college students listening?)

2) Fewer hot flashes – The second amazing benefit is in treating the symptoms of menopause. Researchers found that hot flashes decreased by 50%-100% over eight weeks of treatment.

3) Skin conditions – The third little-known benefit of sage is that it’s great for your skin. Using a topical salve or tincture can help with skin conditions like acne, eczema and psoriasis.

With so many benefits, I think we can all agree that you’d be crazy not to grow some sage this year. So I know you will.

The only problem you’ll have then is what to do with the huge pile of sage you’re harvesting. Fear not, we have you covered. As a bonus, I created this great list of home remedy recipes to help you exploit all the health benefits of sage.

Are you going to grow some sage? Have any tips of your own? Let us know in the comments below!


9 Impressive Benefits of Sage

Salvia officinalis

Common (culinary) sage, Salvia officinalis, is a Mediterranean herb in the mint family.

This shrubby perennial has aromatic, grayish-green leaves and lavender flowers. It’s used fresh or dried by cooks and herbalists around the world, and its flavor has been described as astringent, and sweet/bitter.

You may know it best from its role in flavoring traditional turkey stuffing. The leaves are also used in homeopathic preparations.

Other edible salvia species include bee (S. apiana), chia (S. columbariae), and pineapple (S. elegans).

Be sure to read seed packets and plant labels thoroughly so you know what kind you are buying!

How to Grow Culinary Sage – What You’ll Learn

  • Seeds, Seedlings, or Cuttings
  • Where to Buy
  • Harvesting
  • Recipe Ideas

Seeds, Seedlings, or Cuttings

S. officinalis grows from cuttings, plants, or seeds. Average soil is good enough, provided it drains well. If it’s slightly sandy, all the better. Some folks mound the soil as you would for squash, to prevent ponding and promote run-off. Full sun is essential.

Start seeds indoors a few weeks prior to the last frost date or sow them directly outdoors after the date has passed. The seeds are tiny, so sprinkle them on damp soil and tamp lightly.

Garden center seedlings may be planted outdoors at this time as well. Refer to seed packets and seedling tags for specific information, like days to maturity.

Water when the soil is dry and never over-water.

S. officinalis is not prone to disease or pest issues, and unless you over-water and rot the roots, this is an easy plant to grow. In addition, beneficial insects like bees and butterflies are drawn to the blossoms, making it a sound environmental choice.

Plants grow in a clumping fashion and may reach a height and breadth of two and one-half feet. Mix into beds and borders with other herbs, flowers, and foliage of the same growing culture, like rosemary, thyme, and marigolds.

Place your sage away from cucumbers, as they often fail to thrive in the presence of fragrant herbs. You may like to grow it in a container, as it is shallow-rooted and easy to maintain.

Where to Buy

Salvia officinalis is available from Burpee.

Common Sage via Burpee

Purchase a packet of 200 seeds, or a set of three plants. Maturity is in 90 days.

Broad-Leaved Salvia officinalis seeds are available from True Leaf Market in packages of 1-ounce, 4-ounce, 1-pound, and 1-gram packages. Maturity is in approximately 75-80 days.

Broad-Leaved Salvia officinalis Seeds via True Leaf Market

Packets of seeds grown with organic methods are also available at a slightly higher price.


Culinary sage can be harvested all year around in areas where the herb is perennial (zones x-x).

It’s better to harvest younger leaves by pinching them off the plant at the spot where leaves meet. You can also take an entire stem off at the base using hand snips.

It’s better wait until after the dew has evaporated off for a more concentrated flavor.

You can harvest up to half the plant at one time during its growing season and doing so actually encourages a more rounded and bushier plant and slows the flowering and seed producing process.

In zones where the herb is a perennial, many folks will retire the pant after four or five years of harvest, as it eventually becomes woody tasting. You can usually extend this by judicious pruning.

You can preserve your sage using drying or freezing techniques and the instructions can be .

Recipe Ideas

Sage Hasselback Potatoes

Do you love potatoes, but need to change things up a bit? If so, you’ll want try these delicious Sage Hasselback Potatoes!

Slits are cut into the top, which allows the lovely taste of real butter, salt, and sage to work its magic in the interiors, making for a crisp and soft spud full of rich flavors.

Get the details on Foodal!

Sage-Rubbed Spatchcocked Smoked Turkey

Are you tired of dried out, chewy turkey?

If so, you really should take a look at this recipe that incorporates various techniques such as butterflying, dry brining, and dry rubbing to lock in flavors and juices.

Get the the instructions now on Foodal!

Sesame Sage Roasted Vegetables with Barley

Sesame Sage Roasted Vegetables with Barley is the perfect vegan main dish for fall, or it makes a delicious holiday side dish.

With fennel, carrots, Brussels sprouts, cherry tomatoes, and pomegranate, you’re going to love these grain bowls. And don’t forget the flavorful dressing!

Get the recipe on Foodal now!

And to find even more delicious recipes with sage, .

Sage Rocks

You may be familiar with the renowned parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme foursome, popularized by Simon & Garfunkel’s hit version of the classic English Folk song, “Are You Going to Scarborough Fair.”

This is a reference to the widely acclaimed herbs’ extensive folk history. Native Americans have long used sage in traditional rituals that celebrate, heal, and purify.

Common sage is a classic when it comes to herb gardening, and where it can’t survive a cold winter, it is often cultivated in containers that are brought inside until the growing season resumes.

In warmer climes, it may grow so big and bushy that its stems become woody. If so, replace your plants every few years for a steady supply of not only leaves and blossoms, but palatable stems as well.

And finally, if you’re in a temperate zone and are looking for a lawn alternative, consider sowing herbs as groundcover, where every footfall fills the air with fragrance.


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Recipes photos via Mike Quinn and Raquel Smith © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Product photos via True Leaf Market and Burpee. Uncredited photos via .

About Nan Schiller

Nan Schiller is a writer with deep roots in the soil of southeastern Pennsylvania. Her background includes landscape and floral design, a BS in business from Villanova University, and a Certificate of Merit in floral design from Longwood Gardens. An advocate of organic gardening with native plants, she’s always got dirt under her nails and freckles on her nose. With wit and hopefully some wisdom, she shares what she’s learned and is always ready to dig into a new project!

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