Growing Sage in Containers

Growing Sage in Containers

Sage is one of those plants that are easy to grow and maintain. It can be grown indoors and outdoors. Having sage in your garden lets you enjoy this spicy herb throughout the year.


Botanical Name: Salvia officinalis.


Sage can be propagated through cuttings and seeds. These methods are described below.

Growing Sage from Cuttings

Cut 3-4 inches of new growth from existing sage plants. Remove the bottom leaves and buds, leaving only 2-3 top leaves. Plant these cuttings in a pot and maintain the soil uniformly moist.

Growing Sage from Seeds

Growing plants from seed is a bit time-consuming. Sow the seeds shallowly, cover them with soil and irrigate. Seeds will take 2-3 weeks to germinate.

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Choosing a Container

A terra-cotta pot would be the best for growing sage. In the beginning, choose a container at least eight inches deep and wide similarly. Once the plant grows, you can repot it into a bigger container. Ensure your container has enough drainage, so it doesn't get waterlogged.

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You can easily grow fresh, fragrant, and nutritious sage near a sunny window. A south or west-facing window is best suited.


Your planting medium ought to be well-drained and rich. Add around 25% compost to the container. Sage prefers slightly acidic to neutral soil.

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Regular watering is required for the first few days until the plant is established; once the plant gets established, water only when the topsoil gets dry.


Sage doesn't like heavy fertilizers. The flavor of the herb reduces if you add too much fertilizer. You can add aged manure to the potting mix. Or general purpose liquid fertilizer can be used in half or quarter strength.

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When your young sapling is 4-5 inches high and has grown several sets of true leaves, pinch off the top tips to encourage bushy growth.


Sage needs trimming once a year. Spring is the ideal season for pruning. Cut back old branches, remove any diseased foliage, and cut out any crossed or damaged shoots. Prune again in late summer if needed.

To keep the plants healthy all year round, cut back the flowers when they're not yet fully open.

Divide the plant once in 2-3 years to maintain good plant growth.

Replace the plant when it becomes woody and growth reduces. It takes four years for the plant to reach this stage.


To grow herbs successfully in a hot and windy climate, use organic material for mulch. Use leaves or straws from your yard if available, or add some pebble layers. It keeps the soil cool and helps moisture retention.

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Pests and Diseases

Mildew can affect plants in pots. To prevent this, give good ventilation, do not grow this herb in the shade, and avoid damping the leaves. In insects, watch out for aphids, whitefly, and spider mite. If you find them, spray insecticide soap solution on the plants.

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Harvesting and Storage

Lightly harvest the sage in the first year, whenever you require it. You may also preserve the harvested sage for later usage. To do so, tie the stem ends together and place them upside down in a warm, dry location that does not get direct sunlight. Once the leaves are entirely dehydrated, remove them and store them in an airtight jar.


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Extra reading

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How to Grow Amruthaballi in Pots

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Happy Gardening!

Dr. Vandana K.