Growing White Sage

White sage thrives in the heat image by Eugene van der Pijll,


White sage is native to the desert of the southwestern United States and Northwestern Mexico. While it has been used by Native Americans for generations for its fragrant leaves and smudging abilities (it leaves white smudges when the leaves are rubbed), it is also a favorite of desert gardeners since it is easy to grow and maintain, requiring little care in the right environment. If you live in a hot and dry area, white sage is the perfect perennial for you.

Step 1

Choose a spot in your yard for the white sage. Full sun is recommended since it is a desert plant.

Step 2

Dig a hole for your white sage bush. The hole should be as deep as the roots in the planter and twice as wide, about 6 to 8 inches deep and 6 inches in diameter.

Step 3

Place the white sage in the hole so the plant sits at ground level. Fill the hole with soil and pat it down around the base of the plant.

Step 4

Water the white sage for 3 to 5 minutes every other day for a week, until the plant is established. Water it for 3 minutes three times a week once it is older. If the soil is still wet around the white sage, do not water it. Wait for the soil to dry out before watering this desert plant again.

Step 5

Pinch off any dead flower stems in the fall or winter. Otherwise, no pruning is necessary.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not over water your white sage. Too much water will kill it.

Things You'll Need

  • White sage seedling in planter
  • Shovel
  • Water


  • White Sage Plant Guide
Keywords: white sage, desert plants, sage plant

About this Author

Hollan Johnson is a freelance writer and contributing editor for many online publications. She has been writing professionally since 2008 and her interests are travel, gardening, sewing and Mac computers. Prior to freelance writing, Johnson taught English in Japan. She has a Bachelor of Arts in linguistics from the University of Las Vegas, Nevada.

Photo by: Eugene van der Pijll,