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Salvia officinalis

You just can't overdo sage in the garden. This perennial herb earns its keep with fast-growing ways, beautiful blooms, and a flavor deer find distasteful. Once established, plants shrug off drought, although it's wise to keep plants well-hydrated through the hottest parts of summer if you want a steady supply of supple foliage.

Some gardeners pinch out flower buds to keep leaves forming, but the blooms are beautiful. If you choose to let plants flower, when blossoms fade, cut plants back to beneath where flower buds formed. Don't cut back to woody stems that have no leaves; those most likely won't sprout again. Sage plants typically require replacing every 3-4 years, as plants become woody and produce fewer leaves.

The uses of sage are beyond measure. Besides its popular use as a culinary herb, sage is also commonly pressed into service in cosmetics, perfumes, and soaps. Some naturalists rub it on their skin as an insect repellent. Hanging dried leaves among woolen clothing deters moths. Burning sage removes unpleasant odors, such as lingering cigarette smoke or cooked fish smells.


Part Sun, Sun



Under 6 inches


24-36 inches

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how to grow Sage

more varieties for Sage

Berggarten sage
Berggarten sage
(Salvia officinalis 'Berggarten') produces large, round gray-green leaves that are more flavorful than common sage. It grows 2 feet tall and wide. Zones 5-8
Golden sage
Golden sage
(Salvia officinalis 'Icterina') is a colorful alternative to common sage and can be grown in an herb garden, a flower border, or a container. It grows 2 feet tall and wide. Zones 7-8
Purple sage
Purple sage
(Salvia officinalis 'Purpurea') offers aromatic, purple-toned leaves Plants reach 18 inches tall and are hardy in Zones 6-9
Tricolor sage
Tricolor sage
(Salvia officinalis 'Tricolor') has foliage splashed with green, cream, and purple; in sunniest locations, the cream deepens to pink. Zones 6-11

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