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Sage is a perennial with an average lifespan of four years. It loves the sun and, once established, is drought-tolerant. Sage has woody square stems with velvety leaves.

Sage leaves and its flowers are edible and can be used both fresh and dried. It has a bitter, lemony taste when dried, and is more pungent when fresh. The younger leaves have the most flavor. Often used as seasoning for stuffing, soups and more, sage is an aromatic herb that also works well as potpourri.

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  • Location: Sage prefers full sun. Choose a spot that gets at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight each day and protected from the wind.
  • Soil: Plant sage in well-drained soil. It doesn’t like wet feet, so sandy or loamy soil is ideal. If your soil is heavy clay, consider planting in raised beds or containers.
  • Spacing: Space plants about 18-24 inches apart to allow for good air circulation.
  • Watering: Water newly planted sage regularly until it is established. After that, water only when the top inch of soil is dry. Water at the base of the plant to avoid wetting the leaves, which can lead to mold and mildew.
  • Fertilizing: Sage doesn’t need much fertilizer. In fact, too much nitrogen can reduce the concentration of essential oils in the leaves. A light application of compost in the spring is usually sufficient.
  • Maintenance: Plants should be cut back in early spring to promote bushiness.

Popular Varieties

  • Common or Garden Sage: Grows up to 24” – 30” with grey-green fragrant leaves. Flowers in summer are a bluish-purple color. Chopped leaves can be mixed with water and frozen like ice cubes for storage.
  • Purple Sage: Purple-red leaves
  • Tri-Color Sage: Foliage has cream, purple and green leaves
  • Pineapple Sage: Four feet tall with red flowers in the fall. Great for tea and flavoring jams and jellies. Attracts butterflies and hummingbirds.

Possible Uses

  • For cooking to flavor sausages, stuffings, chicken, turkey, soups, tea, bread, fish and more
  • Attracts bees
  • Deer and rabbit resistant
  • Moth repellent
  • Great as a medium height plant in containers or herb gardens
  • Potpourri

Just for Fun

Note: We do not support medicinal uses of herbs and are not suggesting they should be used as such. Contact your physician for further information.

  • Romans used sage to cure snake bites, depression and promote long life.
  • Sage is native to the Mediterranean.
  • It is related to the mint family.
  • Highly regarded as a medicinal herb, sage is known to help with sore throats, relieving arthritis, excessive sweating, hot flashes, menstrual problems and deters milk production when weaning a baby.
  • Sage has also been used to kill bacteria.