Will Sage Survive Winter? [Full Guide]

You might have heard that sage is a cold hardy herb. You’d be right, but there’s more to sage than that.

For instance, sage still needs your help and the right growing conditions to thrive. Also, depending on which plant hardiness zone you’re in, sage can be a perennial plant or an annual herb.

So, will sage survive winter? That’s what we’ll talk about in this article.

First, we’ll explain what a plant hardiness zone is and which zones sage falls into. Then, we’ll discuss all sage plants in the winter, including Texas sage and Russian sage in winter. 

Then, we’ll detail the lowest temperature sage can survive in. We’ll also share how you can protect your sage from the winter and how to prepare it for the colder months. Finally, we’ll touch upon growing sage in winter. 

Plant Hardiness Zones

Hardiness zones are a map of the average temperatures per region. There are 13 zones in total in the US, with one being the coldest region and 13 the hottest region.

You can look at this map to see which hardiness zone your region is in. From there, you’ll be able to tell whether or not it’s a good idea to plant sage in your garden or if you should keep it indoors.

This will also help you determine the average temperature of your region so that you can plant other herbs and the like.

For example, sage can grow in many different zones. However, that will determine if it’s a perennial herb or an annual herb.

Sage can grow well in zones five through eight, which will be a hardy perennial. This means it will simply go dormant in the colder months and then grow again in the spring.

On the other hand, sage can grow in the southern regions, such as zone nine, but it will be an annual herb. This means the plant will only last one year for harvesting and won’t grow the following spring again. 

Will Sage Survive Winter?

The short answer is yes. Sage can and will survive winter, depending on which zone it’s planted in.

Overall, sage is a cold-hardy plant. While it grows best in the summer months, it can grow well in the winter.

Or, in some cases, your sage plant will go dormant during the winter and then grow back again in the spring.

sage plants in winter
Sage plants in winter

Will Russian Sage Survive Winter?

Russian sage can also grow well in winter.

This is another type of sage plant that may go dormant in the winter and then grow again in the spring.

Will Texas Sage Survive Winter?

In addition, Texas sage can also survive in winter.

While it’s not as cold-hardy as the other types of sages, it can withstand temperatures as low as 15 degrees F. 

What Is The Lowest Temperature That Sage Can Survive?

Sage can survive temperatures as low as 15 degrees F.

With the right growing conditions, sage plants are hardy all year round. So, if it’s matured by the time winter comes around, you can be sure that your sage plant will continue to survive in the cold weather.

However, you’ll still want to take caution and do your best to protect the plant in the colder weather to give it its best chance at survival. 

Should You Bring Sage Inside In Winter?

One way to protect your sage plant in the winter is to bring it inside your house for the season. Is this necessary? No. There are other ways to protect the plant during the winter, and it can survive well being left outside.

However, if you’re nervous that your sage plant won’t grow back in the spring, you can bring the plant inside for the winter.

In your house, you can provide this herb with its normal growing conditions as if it were a normal growing season.

If your sage is growing in a pot outside in your garden, you simply need to pick it up and bring it inside a sunny room in your house.

Alternatively, if your sage is growing in the ground in the garden, you can replant it in a pot with fresh potting soil.

However, there are other ways to protect your sage plant in the winter.

How To Protect Sage In Winter

In zones, five through eight, sage plants will most likely go dormant in the winter and grow again in the spring.

However, whether it still grows in the winter or not, you need to be careful of harsh weather conditions (such as snowstorms) and below-freezing temperatures.

So, one way to protect your sage in the winter is to bring it inside for the season, as mentioned above.

Alternatively, you can do the following…

Use Cold Frames

Cold frames are like shields, in that they cover the plant, protecting it from wind, rain, and snow. They can be reflective as well so that it absorbs the sunlight and keeps the plant warm even when the temperatures are colder.

You can buy cold frames at your local garden center, or you can create DIY ones. 

Bring Your Sage Plant Into A Greenhouse

On the other hand, if you have a greenhouse handy, you can put your sage plant in there for the winter.

The greenhouse will protect your plant from various weather conditions, and it will also keep the plant warmer in the winter.

This is a great alternative to bringing your sage inside your house. However, if you want it to continue getting fresh air, putting it inside a greenhouse is a great option. 

Pruning Sage For Winter

Finally, you can also prune this bush during the winter months.

You simply need to cut back some of the branches to do this. If you notice any of them are looking yellow or dead, you can trim them down to promote new growth when the time comes. 

How To Prepare Sage For Winter

Preparing your sage plant for winter is similar to how you would protect it during the colder months. However, before the cold truly sets in, you’ll want to get it ready.

Protect It With Cold Frames

As discussed earlier, you can use cold frames to prepare your sage for the winter. When you notice the winter beginning to set in and you want to get ahead of the season, you can add cold frames to your plant.

You can make cold frames yourself or buy them at your local garden center.

Even if the weather hasn’t turned too cold yet, you can add the cold frames to your sage plant to ensure it works well.

Repot Your Sage Plant

Another way to prepare your sage plant for winter is to repot it. For example, if it’s growing in the garden, you can move it to a large pot with fresh potting soil.

Once you do that, you can bring your sage plant into a greenhouse for the winter. The greenhouse will keep it warm, allowing the plant to get some fresh air.

Also, it will be around other plants in the greenhouse, so it’ll be like it never left the garden in the first place.

On the other hand, you can bring it inside your house once you repot the sage plant. You’ll be able to control the growing conditions better inside.

For example, you can buy an LED grow lamp or sun lamp to give your plant as much sun as it requires to grow well. In addition, you can keep an eye on its soil and watering needs.

Know When To Plant Your Sage Plant

Finally, the best way to prepare your sage plant for winter is to know when and where to plant it. 

For example, the best time to begin planting sage is when the ground is about 65 degrees F. This will usually happen about one to two weeks before the final frost of the winter season.

At this time, your herb plant will have enough time to grow since sage takes about 75 to 80 days to reach full maturity.

Then, when winter comes along, it’ll be big and strong enough to withstand the cold, with your help.

Does Sage Grow In Winter?

Yes, sage can still grow in the winter, depending on which zone you plant it in. Sage is cold-hardy and can thrive in the winter. As long as it’s protected enough and has the right growing conditions, then it’ll be fine.

Final Words

So, can sage survive winter? In a nutshell, yes. However, you need to take certain precautions to ensure that it can grow well and thrive in the winter.

For example, it still needs the right growing conditions, and you’ll need to help protect the plant during the harsh weather.

In addition, depending on which hardiness zone you’re in, you might need to allow your sage to bolt and grow a new plant again the following year.

Want to learn more? Click here to find out how much sun sage needs or here for the best soil for sage. You can also find all my guides to growing sage here.