July 4, 2010

Grow your own Sage 2010

Sage seedsPLANT: ‘Broad leaved’ - Salvia Officinalis

Highly aromatic perennial plant that is winter hardy. Grows to 1-2 feet and produces purple-blue flowers. 

A lot of butternut squash recipes call for sage, so I thought I’d have a go at growing it.


Sow under cover: February – May 1st Mar
Sow direct:    
Germination time: 10-21 days 13th Mar
Plant out: When no risk of frost  
Time from seed to plate: 75 days  



  • 2.5cm apart and 6mm deep. Keep the soil damp but not soaked.
  • Not all the seeds will germinate and the ones that do may take up to 6 weeks to germinate.


  • Transplant when 4-5cm tall, thin to 30cm.
  • Plant out 45cm between rows and 30cm between plants when all risk of frost has passed.
  • It is well suited to growing in containers and will grow indoors if given sufficient light. The best place for planting sage is in full sun. Sage should be put in a well draining soil as it does not like soil that is moist all the time.


  • A feed every month with general purpose liquid plant food will be enough.
  • After the flowers die down, prune the plant to about half it's size. Other than that, leave it to fend for itself.
  • In dry spells, resist the temptation to water, sage prefers dry sunny conditions.


  • Gather leaves regularly and prune the bush lightly in July after flowering.
  • Collect foliage for drying before the plant has flowered – sage takes a long time to dry, but will keep for up to a year in a closed container


March 13th:
13-03 Sage Half of my sage seeds have sprouted so I’m quite pleased about that. I might plant some more seeds directly into my herb pot outside since I have so many seeds.
March 21st:
21-03 sage I’m quite impressed with the speed of growth of the sage as they’re quite tall and are starting to develop another set of leaves.

21-03 sage leafUnfortunately one of the leaves had turned black so I picked it off. I’m not sure what the cause was, perhaps too much water as the soil does seem pretty soggy. You can already see the little furry hairs on this leaf, which is so characteristic of sage.






06-04 Sage

The seedlings were 12cm tall when I got around to transplanting them into pots, which is twice the height they should have been. They are therefore quite weak and spindly and I tried to plant them as far down as possible so that as much of the stem was beneath the compost.





15-04 Sage

I think the sage seedlings are doing ok. One is 8cm and the other is 10cm tall and they’re both growing new leaves.


The weather hasn’t been too great lately, so I won’t be planting them outside any time soon. In fact I’m inclined to keep growing them indoors for the next few months as they seem just too delicate to be planted out. There are just too many insects and animals that damage young plants!











01-05 Sage

I think my sage seedlings are doing alright as they look quite healthy, except they can’t stand up straight without some support. I don’t know if they should be this tall and spindly.


They’re growing quite quick as on April 26th they were 10cm and 15cm tall and now they’re both 20cm tall (the one on the left is so droopy!).










01-05 Sage leaves

The leaves are really starting to develop.


















01-05 Sage outdoors

A few weeks ago I scattered some sage seeds around my herb pot to see if they would germinate. I didn’t expect them to sprout, but 4 seeds did sprout and so I now have quite a few seedlings growing in my herb pot too! It will be interesting to see how they develop compared to the indoor grown ones and if they will grow to be as spindly.






4th July:

04-07 Sage

This plant is one of the random seeds I planted and I’ve now re-potted. It’s looking quite healthy and in much better condition than the indoor grown plants as it’s not as spindly.


I’m quite surprised how easy sage was to grow and I now have too many plants from all those scattered seeds!


So the lesson learned: grow directly outdoors.


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