How to Plant Sage


Sage resembles a small bush in the garden. It has soft, gray-green leaves and produces small purple blooms on long flower stalks. Sage is well suited to any well-draining, sunny garden bed. This perennial plant is drought-tolerant and often grows in desert-area landscapes, needing minimal maintenance. As an herb, sage leaves are dried or used fresh as a seasoning in a variety of dishes, ranging from soups and sauces to meat. Sage is also quite aromatic and is used in sachets and dried plant arrangements.

Step 1

Start sage seeds eight weeks before the last expected spring frost. Fill individual seed pots with a well-draining potting mix. Moisten the mix thoroughly.

Step 2

Sow two seeds per pot, planting them 1/2-inch deep in the soil. Mist the top of the soil mix with water to moisten, then cover the pot with a plastic bag. Place in a warm room to germinate, which takes from seven to 14 days.

Step 3

Remove the plastic bag once sprouts appear. Move the pots to a sunny, warm window sill and water as needed to keep the soil moist but not soggy.

Step 4

Prepare a well-drained, full-sun garden bed for planting. Remove old plant material from the bed and loosen the soil to a 10-inch depth with a spade or tiller.

Step 5

Plant the seedlings outdoors to the same depth they are at in their nursery pots, once all danger of frost has passed. Space plants 24 inches apart.

Step 6

Water once a week during the first year after planting, providing approximately 1 inch of water weekly. Starting in the second year, water only during extended dry periods.

Tips and Warnings

  • Sage is both pest- and disease-resistant. Overwatering and poor air circulation are the primary concerns for keeping sage healthy. Always plant in well-draining soils and space plants correctly to avoid these issues.

Things You'll Need

  • Seed pots
  • Soil mix
  • Plastic bag
  • Spade
  • Power tiller


  • University of Wisconsin Extension: Sage
  • West Virginia University Extension Service: Growing Herbs In the Home Garden
Keywords: planting sage, perennial herbs, growing sage plants

About this Author

Jenny Harrington is a freelance writer of more than five years' experience. Her work has appeared in "Dollar Stretcher" and various blogs. Previously, she owned her own business for four years, selling handmade items online, wholesale and via the crafts fair circuit. Her specialties are small business, crafting, decorating and gardening.