University of Maryland Extension


Sage leaves
Sage (Salvia officinalis)
Photo: Joyce Browning


Sage is a woody, hardy perennial plant with oblong, wooly, gray-green leaves which are lighter underneath and darker on top. Sage grows 2-3’ or more in height and has a tendency to sprawl.


Start from seed or cuttings. Cuttings or transplants are preferred because growing from seed is a slow process. Cuttings can be taken in late summer, rooted and potted up and moved indoors to a sunny location. Replant outdoors after the danger of frost has past.
Plant sage where it will receive full sun in very well-drained soil. Space plants 2-2 ½ “apart. Plants eventually become woody and should be hard pruned when you begin to see signs of regrowth in the spring. Prune off dead, woody stems but not the new growth. Culinary sage should be replaced every 3-4 years. 
Needs very well-drained soil to overwinter.


Pick the leaves before or at blooming. Can be cut back after blooming.


This aromatic and slightly bitter herb is used in stuffing for poultry, pork, fish and Italian pasta dishes. It also is used to flavor sausage or meat loaves. 

Maintained by the IET Department of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. © 2021. Web Accessibility

University programs, activities, and facilities are available to all without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, marital status, age, national origin, political affiliation, physical or mental disability, religion, protected veteran status, genetic information, personal appearance, or any other legally protected class. If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate in any event or activity, please contact your local University of Maryland Extension Office.