University of Maryland Extension


Sage (Salvia officinalis)

Sage leaves
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. Needs very well-drained soil to overwinter. Plant sage where it will receive full sun. Space plants 2-2 ½ “apart. Plants eventually become woody and should be renewed every 3-4 years. Cuttings can be taken in late summer, rooted and potted up and moved indoors to a sunny location.


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. 

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