As a culinary herb, sage is indispensable in the kitchen. It's also a colorful and fragrant addition to the perennial garden. Purple sage (Salvia officinalis purpurea) is a low-growing evergreen shrub that grows over two feet in height and three feet wide. It has fragrant purple-gray leaves and is hardy in zones four to eight.
Plant container-grown plants in the spring in a sunny location. Soil should be well-drained. Plants should be placed at least two feet apart. Dig a hole larger than the root ball, place the plant in, cover with soil and compact, so there are no air pockets. Water generously.
To grow from seed, you can start them indoors and transplant the seedlings outdoors in spring, spacing as in Step 1.
Provide sage with mulch in the winter in colder climates.
Cut leaves for culinary purposes at any time. For dried leaves, snip sprigs in late morning, after dew has dried. Place bunches of sprigs in a dark, dry place, hanging them upside down. Check weekly.
To refresh your purple sage the following year, cut back to the plant's base in early spring before any growth appears. This will encourage a fuller, bushier plant come summer.