Growing Sage

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

HANE Tincture 101 June 2024

Just imagine row after row of amber and cobalt blue bottles lining the shelves of your herbal dispensary, each neatly labeled and filled with various shades of yellow, green, and brown herbal tinctures that you’ve crafted for a specific purpose. In the online, self-paced Tincture Making 101 Mini Course, we explore the craft of tincture making from the ground up, giving you a solid foundation that will prepare you to make, use, and formulate tinctures confidently! 

This is the perfect time for the tincture course - plants are growing abundantly and you ought to take advantage of that, to harvest and prepare your herbal preparations ready for the winter. 


golden sag

Growing sage is relatively straightforward in most parts of the world.

It is a hardy evergreen shrub but can be short lived. It will sometimes die after three or four years, so it is important to keep a supply of new stock.

In the past I have 'earthed up' (check out Rescue Remedy below) the sage bush in the winter and in the spring, divided the resulting plants.


Save the Planet - urban bees are doing better than country bees - read how you can help the 'cause' - all is not lost!

  • cultivation tips
  • herbal cosmetics
  • herbal remedies
  • preserve herbs
  • 150 bee friendly plants
  • cope with bee stings
  • gardener's glossary

All this and more - available now via Amazon (Kindle version as well as paperback)

Liz Alderson Herbs to Feed Bees book cover

Growing Sage Outdoors

Sage is a virtually hardy evergreen in the northern hemisphere and can grow to about 2 feet (60cm)

Broad Leaved English Sage is the best for culinary use, but it can't be grown from seed.

Golden Sage (it's the picture at the top) is a lovely ornamental plant as well.

Sage needs a sunny aspect in well drained light soil. If you have heavy soil, then either mix some bark chippings, compost or peat into the planting hole.



In its second year - round about early Spring - take some cuttings - just tear gently so that you have a 'heel'. Pop these cuttings into rooting powder and then into a pot - leave to establish.

The sage herb, although it is a shrub, has a tendency to die off after three years or so - if you take cuttings, then you will always have plants growing.

A bit of manure - horse is best :-) - aged soot or some straw mulched around the roots will help the sage bush over winter.

Growing Sage Indoors

Sage is quite a large plant - so you will have to either keep a succession of cuttings going to transfer indoors for winter use or find a dwarf sage.

There are one or two if you look hard at the garden centers - pineapple sage or dwarf garden sage are best suited for bringing indoors.

Take a few leaves as you need them and then in spring, once the frosts have gone, put the plant back outdoors until the following autumn.

Rescue Remedy for Sage

Well - sage is lovely - one of my favourites as I use it in cooking often and for a cough medicine.

If you're lucky enough to come to a garden with a growing sage bush, then follow the usual guidelines.

Weed thoroughly and then assess the condition of the plant.

It may be quite old - as I have already said, sage can die down for no reason after three or so years - so it might be best to assume that you have an old sage bush.

Earth it up - either in early winter or early spring - in the northern hemisphere, that's October or March.

Just cover it to its tips in soil and leave it - in late spring/early summer - May/June time Northern Hemisphere - it should have started to root from the stems.

You will be able to tell it's rooting by fresh growth from the tips - don't worry if it's not rooted - you can always bury it again and leave it a month or two ;-)

At this point, you can lift the whole bush and divide it up with some feathery root to each plant.

This also works if the sage bush is 'leggy' - it can totally revive an old plant and give vigorous growth. You can treat this plant as a one year old established plant - cut the leaves for use and take cuttings.

What would you like to see next?

ingredients for sage stuffing

Sage Stuffing Recipe

newsletter sign up box

I may receive a commission if you purchase something mentioned in this post. See more details here  This will not affect the amount you pay.