Growing Sage

Planting, Growing, and Harvesting Sage


Sage is a hardy perennial with soft, grayish green leaves. Here’s how to grow sage in your garden!

Sage produces a variety of flower colors; they can be purple, pink, blue, or white. Common sage is used most commonly for cooking; it’s a classic in stuffing!



  • Sage can be grown from seeds, but the best way to grow high-quality sage is from cuttings from an established plant.
  • You can start the seeds/cuttings indoors 6 to 10 weeks before the last spring frost. (See local frost dates.)
  • Plant the seeds/cuttings in well-drained soil 1 to 2 weeks before the last spring frost.
  • Plant the seeds/cuttings 24 to 30 inches apart.
  • For best growth, the soil should be between 60º and 70ºF.
  • Plants should grow to be between 12 and 30 inches in height.
  • In the garden, plant near rosemary, cabbage, and carrots, but keep sage away from cucumbers.


  • Be sure to water the young plants regularly until they are fully grown so that they don’t dry out.
  • Prune the heavier, woody stems every spring.
  • It’s best to replace the plants every 4 to 5 years to ensure the best quality.



  • During the first year, harvest lightly to ensure that the plant grows fully.
  • After the first year. be sure to leave a few stalks so that the plant can rejuvenate. If fully established, one plant can be harvested up to three times in one season.
  • Sage’s flavor is best when fresh, but it can be stored frozen or dried. To dry, leave the branches in the sun; once dried, remove the leaves and store them in an airtight container.

Recommended Varieties

Wit & Wisdom

Anyone who has sage planted in their garden is reputed to do well in business.

For other greens to use in your cuisine, see the Leafy Greens: Health Benefits page.

Planting Times

Growing Sage

Botanical Name

Salvia officinalis

Plant Type Herb
Sun Exposure Full Sun
Soil Type Loamy, Sandy
Soil pH
Bloom Time
Flower Color
Hardiness Zones 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
Special Features