When To Plant Sage: What You Need To Know

If you’re thinking of growing sage in your garden but don’t know when to add it, then you’re in luck.

This article explains when to plant sage seeds and more.

First, we’ll discuss why you should grow sage and its benefits. Then, we’ll talk about different types of sage, when to plant them, and when to plant outside or indoors. 

We’ll also talk about whether sage can survive the winter and if you can plant it at any time during the year. Then, we’ll share some other tips to help sage grow after you’ve planted it at the best time possible to help it thrive.

Why Grow Sage?

Sage is a wonderful herb to add to your garden. Anyone can grow this plant because it’s a hardy herb, and it’s easy to grow. So, once you get the hang of its growing conditions, the sage will grow well on its own with little maintenance.

Not only is sage easy to grow in your garden or indoors, but it can add a lot to your garden too. For instance, it’s a great companion plant for others.

Sage attracts pollinators such as bees and butterflies to help the garden thrive. Also, sage has similar growing needs to other plants to grow well together.

Finally, this herb is perennial in some areas, so you can grow the same plant for a few years and get many harvests from it.

When you harvest sage, you’ll be able to use the fresh leaves in various recipes for a strong, lemony flavor. Alternatively, you can dry out the sage leaves or freeze them so that they’ll last longer for other recipes.

Learn about how to freeze your fresh sage leaves here.

To ensure you get many harvests out of this plant, you need to know the right time to grow sage.

When To Plant Sage

So, when can you plant sage outside? The best time to do so is when the ground’s temperature is about 65 degrees F.

The ground should be this temperature in early spring, about one to two weeks before the final frost of the cold season.

Alternatively, you can begin growing sage at some point in the early fall. Sage is hardy in general, but it’s also a cold-hardy plant.

So, it can thrive through many seasons with the right growing conditions.

Sage plant

When To Plant Texas Sage Bush

When it comes to planting Texas sage, the best time to grow it is about the same time as other sage plants.

For example, Texas sage will do well being planted in early spring or early fall.

When To Plant Russian Sage

But when is the best time to plant Russian sage? Russian sage likes to be planted in the early spring or early fall, about six weeks before the first frost of the cold season.

Like the other sage plants, this herb is cold-hardy but grows best in the summer.

Can You Plant Sage At Other Times Of The Year?

Yes, you can plant sage at other times during the year. While this herb does grow best in the summer months, it is a cold-hardy plant.

Now that we know the best time to plant this herb outside is in the early spring or the early fall, you can plant it during other times of the year.

For example, you can begin planting sage inside a pot indoors at any time. If you’re going to keep the plant inside the house throughout the year, as long as you can give it the best growing conditions inside, then you can begin planting it at any time.

On the other hand, if you decide to plant your sage inside the house to move it outside to the garden later, then you’ll want to time it right.

For instance, you can begin growing sage about six to eight weeks before early spring or early fall. Once the plant is well established in the pot and the temperature outside is appropriate, then you can transfer the plant to the garden.

Alternatively, you don’t need to transfer the plant from the pot to the garden. You can always leave the herb in the pot and put the pot in the garden.

This way, your sage will still grow well, but it won’t run into other plants in the garden if you don’t have the space. However, companion planting will still work this way. 

Will Sage Survive Winter?

The short answer is yes. Sage can survive in the winter.

In some areas, sage will go dormant during the winter. However, it’s still alive and will come back in the springtime to continue growing.

Sage is a perennial herb, which means it will grow back year after year.

On the other hand, sage may continue to grow during the winter in some areas. Believe it or not, this herb can withstand temperatures as low as 15 degrees F.

If you’re nervous about leaving your sage outside in the winter, there are ways to protect it. For example, you can add a cold frame to it so it’ll stay warm or bring it into a greenhouse if you have one.

Alternatively, you can pot your sage plant and bring it inside your house for the winter. Then, if you continue to give it warm temperatures and proper sunlight, it should continue to thrive well.

Read my full guide to sage and winter here.

How Long Does Sage Take To Grow?

This herb will take about 75 to 80 days to reach its full maturity. From the time you plant the seeds to when it’s ready for harvest.

After that, it’ll take about two and a half to three months. 

Tips For Planting Sage

In addition to knowing when the best time is to plant sage, you always want to know its growing conditions.

Where To Plant

You can choose to plant your sage either directly in the garden, in a pot in the garden, or a pot inside your house.

Wherever you choose, you want to make sure that your sage plant has plenty of space to grow. For example, it should have at least 24 inches of space around it and between other plants if it’s in the garden.

If you’re growing it in a pot, the pot should be at least 18 inches wide and 12 inches deep.

When it comes to companion planting, be sure to place it near other plants with similar growing conditions. For example, put it next to plants that want the same type of soil and watering.

You can read more about companion planting with sage here.

On the other hand, it can help other plants such as strawberries or carrots to attract pollinators.

Soil Conditions

Sage prefers to have sandy or loamy soil that drains water well. Its pH levels should be between 6.0 and 7.0.

You can add fertilizer to the soil, but it’s not necessary. If you add fertilizer, keep in mind that it’ll help your sage bush grow faster, but it’ll make the flavor more subtle.

You can find the best soil for sage here.

Watering Conditions

One of the reasons sage needs soil that’s well-draining is because it doesn’t like to have too much water.

If you overwater your sage plant or the soil doesn’t drain well, then its roots will remain wet. If that happens, it could cause the roots to rot, and the plant will die.

During the early stages of growth, you’ll want to water your sage plant often so that it gets well-established.

Then, as your plant gets older and well-grown, you don’t need to water it nearly as much.

Sun Conditions

Finally, sage prefers to have medium to full direct sunlight. So the best way to help it grow is to give it about six hours of full sunlight per day.

So, you plant it in a spot in the garden that receives direct sunlight for most of the day, or you can place the pot in a sunny room of your house.

Alternatively, if you’re growing this sage plant off-season and it’s inside your house, you can buy an LED grow lamp or sun lamp to mimic the sun’s rays.

You can read more about how much sun sage needs here.

When To Harvest Sage

Sage plants take about 75 to 80 days to fully mature. At this time, you’ll be able to harvest your sage plant for the first time.

Then, you should be able to harvest its leaves at least once a week for the season.

Final Words

Overall, you can plant sage at any time of year, depending on where you plant it and the growing conditions you can give it.

However, the best time to plant it is in early spring or early fall, so it’ll thrive.

Want to learn more? Click here to learn how tall sage grows and here for a full guide to how to grow sage from seed. You can also find all my guides to growing sage here.