Sage (Common Sage)

  • Plant Type: Perennial zones 4 to 7
  • Sun: Full sun
  • Plant Size: 1 to 3 feet tall, 15 to 24 inches wide
  • Culinary Use: Leaves for poultry seasoning and stuffing, sauces, pork and sausage

The aroma of sage recalls cozy winter holiday meals—that’s because it’s the essential ingredient in traditional turkey stuffing. Sage’s rich fragrance and velvety, evergreen foliage make it a nice companion for winter vegetables, too.

Sage prefers cooler, drier conditions. Grow as a hardy perennial in zones 4 to 7, until the plant becomes woody (3 to 5 years); in the hot and humid zones 8 and further south, treat sage as an annual. Plant in spring and fall. Little pink and purple flowers bloom in late spring.

Plant Spacing: 18-24 inches. Plants Per Person: 2 to 3.

Secrets to Success »

Sage needs very good drainage; plant in a raised bed, on a slight slope, or in a container. Keep the soil moist, but don’t overwater or let it dry out. Thin the plants often to promote air circulation and prevent mildew. Mulch with pebbles to keep leaves dry.

Harvest and Use »

Harvest lightly the first year, stopping in early fall, but in following years, harvest any time. Cut entire stems or pinch a leaf at a time; harvest in the morning after the dew has dried. Don’t wash the leaves or you’ll lose the aromatic oils. Use fresh or dried in holiday recipes, pork, poultry, sausage, stuffing, and vegetables. Preserve in oil, vinegar, or butter. To dry, hang bunches of stems upside down, then strip the leaves and store in an airtight container. Dip the leaves in oil and bake them for a short time until crunchy as a garnish or to sprinkle over chicken.

Try these garden companions »

  • Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbages, collards.
  • Thyme, Sweet marjoram, rosemary, oregano, parsley.
  • Sweet potato, potato, turnip, topped with sage butter.

From Our Library