Growing Sage - Fresh Tasty Leaves For
Your Cooking All Year Round!

Growing sage yourself is an excellent way of ensuring you have a continual supply of the freshest tastiest leaves at all times. There are a few ways of cultivating this popular, pretty herb; from seeds, cuttings, layering and root division.

And with an estimated nearly 750+ varieties available, you're sure to find some you like. 

picture of sage plants

Do note, whilst there are many edible varieties of sage plant: common, pineapple, purple and narrow leaved, for example, there are also inedible types.

Others like the Mexican bush variety is for decorative and ornamental uses only. So when buying decide what you want to use them for.

Read more about the plants.

Some varieties grow better from seed than others. An easy and reliable one is common sage...

How to Grow Sage In the Garden & Pots

Growing Sage From Seeds Indoors...

A month before the average date of the last frost in your region...

  • Sow the seeds a ¼ inch deep (1cm) in seed trays or 2 to a small pot. Use a standard potting compost
  • Water and leave to germinate in a warm place (15-20°C) (60-70°F) which takes 2-3 weeks
  • After the last frost, plant out the seedlings 18-24 inches (45-60cm) apart in full sun or nearly full sun in prepared well draining soil

Growing Sage Outdoors...

  • After the last frost, sow the seeds 8-10 inches (20-25cm) apart ¼ inch deep (1cm) directly into prepared well draining soil in rows 18-24 inches apart
  • Water and thin out once germinated to about 16-18 inches (40-45cm) apart
  • If you have bought young plants, plant out after the last frost
  • In both cases, to protect from frost damage over their first winter, add some mulch, straw or protective fleece to the young herbs

Growing Sage From Cuttings...

In late spring or early summer, take a cutting of 3-4 inches (10-12cm) from a new growth. Insert into a pot in using a standard potting compost, water and leave in a warm place. Once roots have set (about 3-4 weeks), plant outside in a sunny spot 18-24 inches apart.

Container Growing...

Placed in full sun, this herb is ideal for pots or containers. Cuttings or young herbs from a nursery or garden centre are best. Use a standard potting compost and feed only after flowering, don't overwater.

Pests and Diseases...

Like most herbs, it doesn't really suffer from pests or diseases. It may suffer from rot if planted in a damp spot, so make sure it's in a dry spot in full sun.


Early Spring: Sow seeds indoors. Spring: Cut back older plants to encourage new growth. Sow seeds outside. Late spring: Take cuttings.

Summer: Cut back once they've flowered. You can now give a feed.

Autumn: If you have an older, established plant you can layer some of the mature but not too woody branches.

Winter: Add mulch, straw or protective fleece to the younger plants.

Harvesting Sage...

It doesn't like metal, so only pick the leaves with your hands. When preparing to cook with it, tear the leaves rather than using a knife.

Like a lot of herbs, it can get a bit woody and start to lose its flavour after 3-4 years, this is the time to start anew.

After you've harvested the leaves, why not try my super healthy sage tea recipe?

A Few Varieties to Grow...

CommonTexas and black sage

Return to the main Growing Herbs page.

Links to Other Growing Herbs Pages You May Enjoy

Growing Mint

Cultivating Fennel

Growing Basil

Return to Sage Herb 

Return to Home

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Homemade Herbal
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Jason Pitcher

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