How to grow Sage

Purple-leafed sage.

How to grow
There’s a wide variety of plain green and coloured-leafed sages available in garden centres. Alternatively, take cuttings in late spring or early summer. All varieties will root easily in about four weeks.

How to care for sage
Sage needs a well-drained fertile soil in a sunny spot. If your soil is a little heavy, dig in some grit before planting. Alternatively, sage will grow well in a container; again add grit to the compost to improve the drainage.

Cut plants back hard in March to about 15cm above ground level to prevent them becoming leggy. If you’ve got an old straggly plant, it’s best to get rid of it and replace it with a new one.

How to harvest
Fresh leaves can be picked any time before flowering. In theory, you should be able to pick leaves all year round, as sage is evergreen, but the leaves can suffer in cold winters. Harvest in summer and dry for winter use.

Mix chopped sage and onions into sausage meat for a great tasting stuffing.

Recommended varieties

The most commonly used for cooking is sage (Salvia officinalis). Colourful foliage varieties can also be used and look good in the garden. Try ‘Purpurascens’ and ‘Tricolor’.