Planting, Growing, and Harvesting Sage



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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.

Reader Comments

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Growing sage with tomatoes

What gets can I grow with sage

Fallen sage leaves

I somewhat neglected my spice plants this summer and it is only my second season growing them so I still have many questions. The most important one right now is, can I use the fallen sage leaves? They are clean, but gray. They fell in the pot I have the plant in on my deck. Crushed, the leaves smell great. I am hesitant to store or cook with them until I get some advice. Thanks.

fallen sage

Tough call. Only you know how clean the leaves are—The color sounds normal. Unless they appear moldly or the like, they are probably fine.

If you hesitate to cook with them, crush them to add fragrance to a room. Pick others and dry them yourself for use in cooking.

Planting garden all plants in Kansas City mo64118

Great review on sage plant will plant several

Sage advice

Thanks, Andy! Good luck with your plants!

White sage leaves

I purchased a small white sage plant from a local nursery about 2 months ago. I transplanted it to a large terra cotta pot in my front yard about 2 weeks after I brought it home. The plant seems to be doing well. It has grown several inches since transplant. I noticed though that a few of the older leaves are turning a dark reddish purple. I know some varieties of sage produce some purple leaves. But I didn't think that happened to white sage. Should I remove these or leave them be? There is no yellowing and after looking around the internet for common sage diseases I didn't find anything like what I'm seeing.

white sage

Hmm. We found one source that says the leaves may turn purplish in times of severe drought. This is, however, a drought-tolerant plant, which can be killed if watered too much, so be careful if you want to see if a little water helps; water very sparingly – normally this plant can go weeks without water (just relying on rainfall), although newly planted ones need a little more. Has it been cold out at night? Sometimes that might discolor leaves as well. We’re guessing it likely isn’t due to high temperatures, since the plant is adapted to such. Perhaps leave the discolored leaves as is, unless they start to crinkle, dry, or show signs of disease; if they are healthy looking but just purplish, it might be best to let them be, especially as the plant may still be getting used to its new pot.

Sage flowers

What do I do when sage flowers? Should I cut them off? Will flowering have an effect on the flavour when used as a herb?

sage is flowering

Our sagest (sorry) advice on this is No! Leave the blooms on. You can use them in cooking (e.g., float on a soup), plus bees love them! Thanks for asking!

Strange Black Flecks

My sage plants have strange black flecks/particles all over them. They do not resemble eggs or bugs and honestly look like flecks of soil. I have been monitoring them and they can't be particles of soil. They appear to be the cause of my sage leaves near the base of the plant turning brown at the tips and quickly dying and falling off. I have tried a dishsoap and water treatment as is they were pests as well as manual removal but they keep coming back. I cannot find anything remotely similar in literature or on the internet. Does anyone know what is causing this and how I can remedy it? Thank you so much!

black posts on sage

Hi, Katie, Sorry for getting back you so late.

This could be Southern blight (you did not indicate your home area). You can learn more about it and what to do here: 

Or it could be foliar nematodes: click here then scroll to page 7 (this is a large doc):

That’s about all of our “sage advice” in this case. Hope it helps!

Black flecks on tricolor sage plants

I also have the same black flecks on my tricolor sage plant that I bought a month ago. I live near Philadelphia, PA, and bought my sage plant at a nearby farm. They are tiny, hard specks (like dirt) that sit on the leaves and stems. I reviewed 'Southern Blight' and the nematode advice posted, but it is not either of those things. The 'specks' do not seem to be a bug, or even alive in any way; they are the consistency of dried coffee grounds, or black pepper from a pepper shaker, and can be easily brushed off. I brush the flecks off, and then a few days later those specks are all over the plant again, and on the kitchen counter where the plant sits. Just like Katie said, they are like black specks of dirt. At first I thought they might be seeds, but I honestly don't know anything about sage plants, and I'm sure you are probably all laughing hysterically by now. My plant seems to be otherwise healthy.

Black flecks

I have the same issue in Maryland. Mine is outside, did you ever figure out what this was?

I took cuttings of my sage

I took cuttings of my sage and rosemary and arranged them in a vase on my kitchen window sill...I had mysterious black dusty flecks also. I assumed the cuttings were dying and falling apart. But after looking closely I noticed a worm eating my plants! The flecks were what I assume were it's waste. Not sure if it's the same thing but the description of the flecks sound exactly the same...

Sage plant

I was growing a sage plant in the UK for a year, then over winter I moved to Spain and wanted to take a few cuttings with me. I have now been here for a year and the cutting is still the same size as it was when I brought it here. It gets new leaves, which are very tiny, but dry out and fall off without getting normal size. What am I doing wrong?

Sage cuttings not growing

Check the PH of your soil and the water you most commonly feed the safe plants ASAP. Sounds like the soil might be too alkaline for the sage plants. When the PH is too high (alkaline) like your's may be, it will generally stunt the growth of plants completely and cause leaves to turn brown and fall off. Happened to several species in my garden after I moved into my new house. I discovered we had hard water (high levels of calcium, lime and other dissolved minerals that cause alkalinity in the water and subsequently the soil) and so now I only feed my plants collected rainwater through two 65 gallon food safe barrels I purchased for $45 a piece. They are fed by bypass lines on my home's gutter downspouts which were under $30 and easy to install with a saw and a screwdriver. Using rainwater has saved my garden and my money.

83 day old indoor sage plants

I have 8 sage plants that have been growing from seeds under four 40 watt (supposedly 200 watt equiv) CFLs in a closet on a 18/6 light cycle. They are 83 days old, and I have been harvesting individual leaves for a few weeks now. They are all between 12 and 18 inches tall.

Should I modify the light cycle or do anything else to simulate winter, or can I just continue them on an 18/6 light cycle indefinitely? Should I ever move them under my HPS grow light to simulate a fall or winter sun?

There is very little information out there about growing sage indoors under artificial lights. Any help is greatly appreciated.

SAGE plants

i have two nice Sage plants in pots sitting on my front porch. What can I do to keep them through the winter. Plant in soil outside? Will they be able to sit out all winter? Should I bring them into my livingroon, there is not much sun and very dry?
I would like to keep them through the winter if I can. I live in the Smoky Mountains in East Tennessee.

Hi Maggie,

Hi Maggie,

Sage is winter hardy and will survive outdoors. You can plant it in the garden and add some mulch around the stems if you like. Sage is evergreen so you may be able to harvest leaves during the winter months. If the leaves die back it will shoot up new growth from the roots in the spring.


Hi Maggie,
I have a lovely sage plant I planted in a flower pot a few years ago its still there it has wintered over all this time, even through a rather cold winter a couple years ago, I live in coastal Va. hope this helps

Moving my sage

I planted several sage plants; however, I have discovered they are too close to my front porch after all the bees came this year. While the bees tend to stay on the flowers, I think it might be better to move the plants to another location in my yard. I started these plants from seeds and planted them in early spring this year. When is the best time for me to try to move the plants to another location?

transplanting sage

For perennial sages, it might be best to wait until early spring to transplant, before they break dormancy.

I live in Florida 10a

I live in Florida 10a planting zone. A friend offered to sell me a Sage tree 3 feet high. Will the tree flourish in my area.

In humid areas like zones 9

In humid areas like zones 9 and further south, sage will be an annual. It does not easily tolerate summer heat and humidity.

We live in the tropics and

We live in the tropics and I'm keeping my pot of sage on my balcony that gives it ample sun (4-5hrs morning sun).

I water when the soil feels dry when I stick my finger tip in (every other day).

The leaves of my sage plant curls downwards though they look all firm and grayish green without drying tips so I am not sure what I am doing wrong to cause the curling.

Could you give me some advice on how to help my sage plant please? ;)

I am having the same prob (I

I am having the same prob (I am in Kentucky, USA - very hot this time of year). I was thinking it was going dormant for the year, but it hasn't flowered yet. Maybe nutrient deficiency? Looks like I won't be getting much of a sage harvest. Hope someone knows the answer to this. Best of luck.

I just planted some May Night

I just planted some May Night Salvia from the nursery in my garden 2 weeks ago. They were vibrant purple in the nursery. Now they look like they're dying. I didn't water everyday, probably every other day. Not sure if the flowers need to be pinched/deadheaded or if they're dying. Help!

Salvia likes dry, poor soil.

Salvia likes dry, poor soil. Do not water too much. Only water when the sub-surface soil is on the dry side. Also, keep water on their leaves and water at the soil level. Finally, ensure the planting area has good drainage (and tons of sun!).

Hi I tried the propitiation

Hi I tried the propitiation get from a cutting from my sage plant and dipped it in root tone planted in the soil and the cutting has turned brown looks like it is dying should this happen? Will it root and grow new leaves?

Hi Ashley, Your cutting is

Hi Ashley,
Your cutting is probably dying. Try again. Best time to start a sage cutting is in the middle of the summer before the plant blooms. Cut off a young shoot below the leaf crown. The cutting should have at least three pairs of leaves. Plant the cutting into a pot with mixed soil and compost. Make sure to keep the soil moist. You can also put a cutting into a glass of water to root. It will take about 2 weeks for the roots to develop.

My sage plants seem well

My sage plants seem well established. The plants are putting out flowers. Should I remove the flowers?

Hi, Pat: Our sagest (sorry)

Hi, Pat: Our sagest (sorry) advice on this is No! Leave the blooms on. You can use them in cooking (e.g., float on a soup), plus bees love them! Thanks for asking!

Ive just transplanted a sage

Ive just transplanted a sage plant,4"
tall. lots of leaves doing well.
salvia "berggarten"
Is there a preferred method to pinch leaves, or harvest to cause the plant to grow more fully and productively?
I live in zone 9b


Hi, Don: The best thing to do

Hi, Don: The best thing to do at this stage is just to leave it alone and let it continue to get established. When you do pinch leaves, remember that the plant will normally branch from the bud. For this reason, be sure to always take leaves from all around the plant rather than just the top, lest it become top-heavy from new growth. Obviously you will want to harvest before it flowers, but otherwise you just want to spread out your pinchings to help retain its bushy shape. Thanks for asking!

I want to start growing some

I want to start growing some sage. I have the seeds but not the pot. How big/deep should I buy the pot to plant the seeds?

Hi, Sebastian, Sage plants

Hi, Sebastian,
Sage plants can grow to be 24 to 36 inches high/wide, so space accordingly...when the plants mature. If you plan to transplant them, you can start them in a pot of almost any size. BTW, one source suggests that sage germinates poorly, even with fresh (ready) seeds. If you seed, cover lightly, with 1/8 inch of soil and keep moist until they sprout. (This can take as long as 3 weeks.) Transplant the seedlings two to three weeks before the last frost date.
We hope this helps!

sage pot?

Hi, when I started my sage from seeds I first put the seeds in the freezer for 24- 48 hrs, then placed them in the potting mix lightly covered, they sprouted very quickly that way. But do yourself a favor get a bigger pot than I did because mine is very large and needs to be transplanted into a larger pot.

I have a tricolor sage plant

I have a tricolor sage plant that I've grown from a cutting off last year's plant. Right now it's just in a 4-inch pot, and it's been doing pretty well but I'm pretty sure it's ready to be repotted and taken outside pretty soon (it's about 8 inches tall and has a good number of branching stems). What size container do I need? Will I have to go up a size again? Terra cotta or plastic? It seems like repotting it only once would be best, so I want to make sure I get it right the first time. Thanks!

It sounds like your plant can

It sounds like your plant can go into its main pot at the next transplanting. Put it outdoors after the last expected frost. You might want to harden it off, since this cultivar is a bit sensitive to cold. Introduce it to the outdoors for increasing periods (such as 2 hours, then 3 hours, etc.; in a protected spot, then a less protected spot closer to where it will be, etc.) each day for about a week or so.
You can use a deep, 12- or 14-inch-wide pot to give your plant lots of room when it spreads (on average, sage will have a 12-inch-wide spread at maturity). Tricolor isn't as hardy as some sages, so you'll need to bring it indoors in winter. Therefore, consider the weight of the pot as well. Plastic is lighter than terra cotta (be sure, though, that it has a drainage hole in the bottom). Terra cotta, although beautiful, wicks away moisture faster, so you should monitor watering more closely with these pots.
A sage plant usually gets woody after a few years, so people often replace it then.

My sage is young. We just

My sage is young. We just started it and a few other plants inside. The sage plants are small and all stem with only a few leaves, If more than one on each stem. It does seem healthy. If i cut back 1/3 of the plant like I read on other comments, would it hurt the plant? It has had no blooms yet. Should I wait to harvest until it has grown a little larger and we have transplanted it, or go ahead and harvest? I've always done well with growing flowers but we are new to herbs and veggies.

Hi, Betsy,  It sounds like

Hi, Betsy,  It sounds like your plant is too small to cut back at this time and too small to have blooms. You want to have enough overall growth—stem strength, leaves—for it to survive any cutting (harvesting). (It's impossible to give you a height and leaf count recommendation, btw.) You also want it to be hearty enough (same factors) to survive transplanting.
There are several types of sage; some are tender plants that should be treated like annuals. If you know or can find out the type you have, you might get specific advice from your local garden center or send it here and we'll see if we can clarify the matter.

I live in a flat, on 12th

I live in a flat, on 12th floor and have a balcony. I would like to grow sage, but it gets very windy. Would you know if a sage plant will tolerate these conditions.


On a windy balcony, your best

On a windy balcony, your best bet is probably short, shrubby plants. Sage would fit into this category. Rosemary, mint, and lavendar might work well, too.

I just received a year old

I just received a year old sage plant (Oct. 7th) that was in a pot with other herbs. I'm in zone 5 and don't know whether I can safely transplant to the garden as the plants are crowded and lanky. Can I leave in the garage over the winter or do they have to be inside with light. I have a cat and I'm afraid of it chewing. Thanks for your response. Unsure

I have three cats and none of

I have three cats and none of them mess with mine. However the cat hair sticks to the leaves.

Sage is winter hardy and will

Sage is winter hardy and will survive outdoors in zone 5. You can plant it in the garden and add some mulch around the stems if you like. Sage is evergreen so you may be able to harvest leaves during the winter months. If the leaves die back it will shoot up new growth from the roots in the spring.

My sage isn't even a year

My sage isn't even a year old. I bought it this summer. I was curious about its woody stems at the bottom. Is it common for the stems to get woidy/hardwood early? It's a very healthy plant. Also I was wanting some different sage to grow any suggestions?

Hi, Lennox: It's perfectly

Hi, Lennox: It's perfectly natural for your sage to develop woody stems, although you will want to keep them cut back to just above any growth buds. Depending on where you live, you might try a multicolor sage as mentioned above. Good luck!

my new sage plant did really

my new sage plant did really well, we had a frost (in the 20s ) last night I had it covered but something knocked the cover off, can I still use it this year can it be saved

Your sage will be fine. In

Your sage will be fine. In the spring, you will need to cut back any dead pieces. You may need to reshape it. I've moved and reshaped several over time. Even if they are cut back within a hair of their life in the very early spring, they always come back and seem to like the hair cut!

My sage plant has started

My sage plant has started showing signs of small red dots on the leaves as of late, and I am not sure if I am dealing with a fungus that needs sprayed or possibibly a disease. I would appreciate any advice on this matter. I am located in Southwestern Pennsylvania. Thank you. TW

Red blisters on the

Red blisters on the undersides of leaves (sometimes yellow or white corresponding spots appear on upper side of leaves) can mean rust fungus. In this case, remove the infected leaves and avoid getting the leaves wet. Provide good air circulation. 
Small reddish brown dots on the tops of leaves might mean other fungal diseases, such as alternaria leaf spot, or perhaps insect feeding injury. For best advice, we'd recommend that you take a sample to a horticulturist in a nearby garden center, or to your county's Cooperative Extension. For contact information, see:

I live in MA and bought 2

I live in MA and bought 2 varieties of small pots of sage in late July this year. Is it too late to plant them now in late August? Should I keep them indoors for the winter and then plant in the summer?

It's better to transplant

It's better to transplant sage in the early spring.

I tend to transplant as many

I tend to transplant as many perennials as I can in the fall. If you plant them in August, you will just need to make sure they have enough water. My rule of thumb is to gage timing of transplanting based on the average time of first frost and when the soil in that area freezes. The microsystems in the yard are important. Transplanting a month before average frost allows the plant to get started on establishing. This can be extended if it's in a warmer area of the yard.

My sage is about two years

My sage is about two years old now. It is woody and lanky, but there are still quite a few leaves on it and a lot of new growth. The problem is is that the leaves continue to turn blue/black or yellow. It loses a lot of leaves because of this. I live in North Carolina and the plant is in a smart pot with a mixture of coco husks and perlite. My garden is a hydroponic garden. I have tried leaving it in full sun, bringing it to a shady area, watering it more, letting it dry out for a few days before watering.... I feel like I have tried everything but it is still losing leaves. I am new to gardening so I never pruned it drastically...I didn't know if I needed to do that. Is there anything I am missing, or something I can do to save this plant? I love Sage and love cocking with it so would hate to lose it. I also tried to take a cutting of it to grow another plant, but it failed, I tried to grow the cutting in water as well as the coco/perlite mixture but neither method worked.

How can I save this plant? How can I grow a cutting of it as well? What exactly do I cut off the plant and where is the best place to cut for the cutting too?

Thanx u all for your help!!!

Sage needs about 12 hours of

Sage needs about 12 hours of light, so if you don't have that, provide full-spectrum artificial lighting to compensate. If you do have a light, it could be that it is too close, causing leaves to blacken--try raising it a bit.
Check the air temperature and make sure the room isn't too hot or cool (day about 75-80, night about 60-80).
Yellow leaves are often due to a nutrient deficiency. Check that the pH is appropriate for sage (about 5.5 to 6.5) and adjust as necessary, so the roots are getting enough nutrients from the medium.
Sage plants are usually replaced after about 4 to 5 years, when they become too woody. Meanwhile, you can prune it back in spring, by removing 1/3 of the top growth. During early to mid summer, prune lightly back, just above a leaf or bud, or just above where a stem branches. Make your cuts at an angle. Remove any dead or diseased branches.
To take a cutting, choose a healthy stem with several leaves. Cut just below the third set of leaves from the top. The area where the leaves come out is called a node (so you cut just below the third node). The node is where roots are more likely to develop. Remove the top (apical) bud, where new leaves emerge. Remove the bottom leaves at the third node. Remove all other leaves along the shoot except two to four at the top. Place the cutting in rooting hormone, shake off the excess, then place the cutting in rooting medium, making sure the bottom node is buried about 1/2 inch. Place in suitable light, temperature etc., and keep moist. The shoot should grow roots in a few weeks.

My sage is out doors and gets

My sage is out doors and gets full sun ☀ it's on a balcony south facing. Still it has lost its leaves.

I have inherited an herb

I have inherited an herb garden with a very leggy, woody stalked sage plant. New growth on the ends of all stems & flowers just now blooming. To harvest the sage do I cut down to where the green growth begins or further down the woody stalks?

Do not prune it too severely

Do not prune it too severely or it won't come back. Prune back by about 1/3 growth. Keep in mind that a sage plant tends to get lanky as it gets old (3 to 5 years). It's fairly easy to grow sage from seed so you may need to start new plants soon.

Hello, I just bought a well

Hello, I just bought a well developed, healthy sage plant at my local nursery and was just wondering when I can safely add it into my garden? I am in zone 5

Sage is pretty hardy. You can

Sage is pretty hardy. You can put in the ground in the spring 1 to 2 weeks before your last frost. Soil temperature should be 60 degrees.

My sage plant has grown so

My sage plant has grown so much even in this cold weather ,the leaves have a purple tinge to them,Can I still harvest leaves in Feburary?

Lots of sage has a purplish

Lots of sage has a purplish color; that may be natural.

Wonderful! Pick sage leaves

Wonderful! Pick sage leaves before or at blooming. Cut back the stems after blooming.

Greetings, I have 2 4 year


I have 2 4 year old California White Sage plants - Beautiful both of them. my question is that I would like to share this wealth and take some cuttings to propagate for new plants and don't know how or where to make the cuts to do this? Can you help! :-) Thank you!

Sage is easy to propagate

Sage is easy to propagate from tip cuttings. Take a 3-4 inch cutting at a node (where the leaves attach) on a stem. Remove the lower leaves and insert the cut end into moist soil mix that includes peat or perlite. Cover the container with plastic careful not to touch the leaves and place in a warm location. Check in 2 weeks to see if the cutting has rooted.

Thank you ~ VERY MUCH! I

Thank you ~ VERY MUCH! I will get busy now Sharing the wealth of my beautiful California white sage!

My husband has been dying to

My husband has been dying to find CA white sage, but in NY, terrible luck. Yours is the first I have seen mentioned- do you have a seed source?

White Sage

Try out of Williams, Oregon ( I have a healthy plant at about 4" now)
or out of Charles City, Virginia. They are finicky to get started as they need
it very warm, sunny and with very good draining soil. Good Luck!

I purchased a sage plant in a

I purchased a sage plant in a planter pot last summer. The pot included parsley and other herbs. All the other herbs died, but the sage thrived. In late Autumn before the frost, I brought it in the house for the winter. It had wonderful big leaves and was thriving when I brought it in the house. Now, several months later the stems are long and lanky and the leaves are small. I can't find any pests on it. What should I do?

A lanky plant with small

A lanky plant with small leaves suggests that your sage is not getting enough light. Ideally, something like 6 to 8 hours of daylight per day is needed; a plant may not get enough if it is just sitting by a window (south-facing is best). You might want to provide artificial lighting: Set up grow-lights (such as two fluorescent tubes, one cool, one warm type) and place the plant under them (about 4 to 6 inches away from the lights) for about 12 to 14 hours per day. Ask your garden center for options--there are several bulb types and setups available.
Also, keep your plant away from cold drafts (such as by a window), and away from heating vents. A temperature around  65 to 70 degrees is good. Mist regularly.

My sage plant had lots of

My sage plant had lots of leaves now it is completely void off leaves but has healthy stems. Will the leaves return.

i grow sage on a regulab

i grow sage on a regulab basis, and i have yet to find a plant that even smells like sage. i can remember when i was growing up mother would put sage in sausage and other food and you could smell it all over the house. the sage i have you can boil the leaves and you can not get a sage smell.

There are so many varieties

There are so many varieties of sage. Some are good for the kitchen and others are not--and more ornamental. Salvia officinalis or the common sage is the primary sage used in stuffings. To use sage in stuffing and other foods, just chop up the fresh leaves. Sage is best in its first year. After a few years, it gets woody and needs to be replaced.

i started to grow sage from

i started to grow sage from seeds and it was growin great until ive started noticing some kind of bug is eating the leaves and it has not grown since. im not sure what i can put so it can kill whatever bug is eating it. im afraid its getting the root and it wont grow anymore. Please help im looking forward to continue watchinng my sage grow.

It would be helpful to find

It would be helpful to find out--winged thrips? Spider mites? A general insecticidal soap spray is usually useful. Blast the plant, including the underside of the leaf, with the spray which you can find in a garden store or make yourself.

Do you have a recipe for a

Do you have a recipe for a homemade insecticidal soap spray? If so, what other pests does it repel? Thanks for all the great information.

Mix 1 tablespoon of soap per

Mix 1 tablespoon of soap per quart of water, or 4 to 5 tablespoons of soap per gallon of water. Use a very clean, sterile bottle!

I've begun growing sage from

I've begun growing sage from seed, and I planted them in pots so I could move them around. The plants grew really, really well, but I was worried they were too close together and thinned them out. The plants are only about three inches tall. WHat should I do to ensure that they continue growing strongly?

Some thoughts . . . Sage can

Some thoughts . . . Sage can be picky about temperature. When you germinate seeds, temperatures need to be between 60 and 70 degrees. We're not sure where you live, but sage doesn't tolerate the middle of summer well.  It's good that your sage has space. You want 18 to 20 inche bbetween sage and other plants for the roots to do well. Also, be sure not to overwater. Let the soil dry out between waterings.

A few months ago I planted

A few months ago I planted three small sage plants near each other. One has grown exponentially, one is healthy but slow-growing, and one is dying. All are on the same watering schedule. any thoughts?

It's hard to say. Some seeds

It's hard to say. Some seeds simply geminate better than others. Also, it could be related to spacing. They should be spaced about 20 inches apart for good growth. 

Are the leaves what you use

Are the leaves what you use in cooking?

Yes, you pick the sage leaves

Yes, you pick the sage leaves off the stem. Pick leaves that aren't wilting or brown. Wash them and pat dry. Use whole or chop up.

I have a sage plant that

I have a sage plant that looks old it was planted in a raised bed that I acquired. I trimmed it back earlier and now it's going nuts it's blossoming like crazy. But it's taking over the part of the bed it's in. Can I move it while it's blooming?

Unfortunately, this is a poor

Unfortunately, this is a poor time to transplant sage. It's in bloom and the weather is warm. In general, sage can be a challenge to move because you can not easily dig up the plant; when you do, the soil falls off because the roots are woody. It's best to move the plant in small sections in early spring. Since your sage has spread too much, you could dig up part of it and discard it now, then wait until next spring and move new little plants that you may find or other small parts of the plant, which you can easily separate.

Thank you for answering my

Thank you for answering my post. My plant is so well established I don't know how to take part of it LOL Thank you for your time.

I have a sage plant that is

I have a sage plant that is well established and large that I need to move. Will it transplant well?

It's best to move the sage

It's best to move the sage plant in the spring just as growth resumes.

Cuttings from an established plant

What is the best way to start a new plant from a cutting of an established sage plant?

Make a soil mix from equal

Make a soil mix from equal parts sand and compost (or peat moss). Fill a few small pots with the mix. Take cuttings from your sage plant and remove the bottom leaves. For better chance of success, dip the bottom of the stems in a root-inducing hormone powder before putting the cuttings into the pots. Water and cover each pot with a plastic bag. When the cuttings have established roots remove the bags.

drying herbs

I have harvested my herbs, and they dry very fast, other times I have harvested my herbs and they take days to dry. I have failed to take note of those days harvested, so I am at a loss when they dried faster. What phase of the moon is better?

Advice on Drying Herbs

It will depend on the type of herb, how much moisture the herbs contain, and how much one is drying at once. Drying time is also affected by the environment (humidity, temperature, air circulation, etc.), the method used for drying, etc. A warm temperature, low humidity, and good ventilation will dry herbs more rapidly. If it is a muggy few days, the herbs will take longer to air dry. (Keep them out of direct sunlight.)
If using a dehydrator, oven, or microwave, times may still vary with moisture content of individual herbs.
If rinsing the herbs before drying, be sure to pat dry fairly well. If drying on the tray, be sure to stir the leaves every so often for even drying.
Best time to harvest herbs for drying is just before they flower. Cut them in the morning, after any dew has dried.
There are several interpretations as to when it is best to harvest herbs according to lunar gardening. One suggestion is to harvest them when the Moon is both in the Fire signs (Aries, Leo, Sagittarius) and full or waning.

Drying herbs

I live in Northern Virginia , just outside of our Nation's Capital, where it gets hot and humid. I've had my current sage plant for about 2 years now. The previous one died one winter, after a snowy and cold 3 months. That plant was about 4 years old. When it's hot and humid, be sure you keep your soil moist. I use egg-shell water for all my herbs and it works wonders. The amount of direct sunlight affects the plants as well. When you buy young starter plants be sure the instruction spikes are included. Drying herbs upside down in a brown paper bag does the trick. They remain fragrant and maintains their fresh flavor. Once they dried just crumble them by hand, and store in pantry or cabinet in air tight glass jars. Baby food jars are perfect! After 14 years of growing and harvesting fresh herbs, I've gotten pretty good at it. If I could be of any help just ask.


I am so excited to learn I can grow more from a cutting!

Blue Steel Russian Sage

Hello there. I just purchased a blue steel Russian sage plant that is about that is roughly a foot tall or more in length. How do I go about planting this and upkeep? I am completely new to gardening and would love to know how to do this the correct way.

growing Russian sage

Russian sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia) is a beautiful bushy perennial plant that grows 3 to 5 feet tall, in zones 4 to 9. It appreciates full sun and well-drained, sandy or loamy soil. Drought tolerant, although appreciates consistent watering the first year. Deer resistant. It flowers in summer. In early spring before new growth emerges, cut it back to about one foot. It will often die back in northern winters, but resprout in spring; provide winter protection in northern climates.

Please note that this is not the same as culinary sage–do not eat the leaves. The flowers are said to be edible, but try just small taste at first, if desired, to make sure there are no allergic reactions.

Botanical Name: 

Salvia officinalis

Plant Type: 

Sun Exposure: 

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Hardiness Zone: 

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