Home > Growing Herbs > Growing Sage

Growing Sage

By: Kate Bradbury - Updated: 31 Aug 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Growing Sage Caring For Sage Harvesting

Sage is a popular herb used to make stuffing and to flavour meat dishes. It is native to the Mediterranean but is a hardy perennial and is easy to grow. Sage enjoys a sunny position in a well-drained, fertile soil. Sage is an attractive plant to have growing in the garden; its velvety leaves and small, purple flowers look spectacular in the herb garden and herbaceous border alike.

Varieties of Sage

There are plenty of sage varieties to try; including purple and variegated-leaved ones, with a range of differently-coloured flowers:

  • Varigated leaf sage – this sage has variegated leaves and lilac blue flowers and a good flavour.
  • Purple sage – this sage has a good flavour and beautiful purple leaves
  • Common sage – this is the original sage, used to make stuffing and flavour meat dishes.

How to Grow Sage

Sage will tolerate most conditions as long as it has plenty of sun. It does best in a well-prepared bed with plenty of organic matter (such as well-rotted animal manure or homemade compost) incorporated into it.

Propagating Sage

Sage takes a long time to grow from seed, so it is best bought as a young plant and transplanted straight into the garden. Alternatively, you can propagate sage from another plant by taking cuttings.

Care of Sage

Sage requires a little maintenance over the year. It enjoys dry conditions so avoid watering it in dry spells. It shouldn’t be necessary for you to feed your sage plant during the growing season if you incorporated plenty of organic matter when planting. Each autumn, a mulch of fresh organic matter will boost the nutrient content and keep the roots protected from harsh frosts.

After the flowers die down sage should be pruned to half its size, using secateurs. Sage looses some of its flavour after about 3 years. After this time it is a good idea to take cuttings from the original plant to grow into new, more flavoursome plants.

Harvesting Sage

Sage eaves are easy to harvest. Simply cut off the leaves with scissors or pinch them off with your fingers. Sage is best used fresh, although the leaves can be placed in a plastic bag and frozen to use throughout the winter months. The leaves can also be dried, simply harvest them on a dry day and store in a warm, dry room until they are crumbly to touch. Then store the crumbled leaves in an airtight container and store out of direct sunlight.

Growing Sage in a Container

Sage does well in a container. Simply grow in normal potting compost and keep the pot fairly dry, in a warm, sunny position. Prune once a year and feed with a liquid feed every fortnight during the growing season.

Sage is a great herb to grow in the garden. It is an attractive plant, with velvety leaves ranging from grey/green to purple (depending on the variety). It is extremely useful in the kitchen and can be chopped up and made into stuffing, used to make a refreshing tea, or used to flavour a wide range of dishes.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • Gav
    Re: Growing Thyme
    I have five Thymes growing in the garden, four variegated thymes and a lemon. The lemon thyme grows like a weed, the others are very poor and thin.…
    10 October 2017
  • HerbExpert
    Re: Growing Bay Leaves
    worldwiser - Your Question:Hi, we bought a couple of bays (approx 2ft tall) in large pots and told to water well once a week. We found that…
    20 June 2017
  • worldwiser
    Re: Growing Bay Leaves
    Hi, we bought a couple of bays (approx 2ft tall) in large pots and told to water well once a week. We found that within a week many of the…
    18 June 2017
  • HerbExpert
    Re: Growing Bay Leaves
    Martin - Your Question:Hi, I've just purchased a large potted bay tree that's about 6 foot tall, to sit to the side of our front door. Can I…
    15 June 2017
  • Martin
    Re: Growing Bay Leaves
    Hi, I've just purchased a large potted bay tree that's about 6 foot tall, to sit to the side of our front door. Can I keep the tree in its pot…
    12 June 2017
  • HerbExpert
    Re: Growing Bay Leaves
    Joeytam - Your Question:Hi, I'm looking at buying some bay trees for our patio and keep them potted. How much will they grow each year if I…
    31 May 2017
  • Joeytam
    Re: Growing Bay Leaves
    Hi, I'm looking at buying some bay trees for our patio and keep them potted. How much will they grow each year if I bought smaller ones? Thanks, J
    28 May 2017
  • HerbExpert
    Re: Growing Rosemary
    New Gardener - Your Question:We moved house last year and have inherited a large straggly mature rosemary in the front garden that we want to get…
    25 May 2017
  • New Gardener
    Re: Growing Rosemary
    We moved house last year and have inherited a large straggly mature rosemary in the front garden that we want to get rid of. But, we also want to…
    23 May 2017
  • HerbExpert
    Re: Growing Basil
    pollad - Your Question:Cut or not to cut the stem when harvesting, evrytime I read a website someone says something different.
    23 May 2017
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the HerbExpert website. Please read our Disclaimer.