The Main Plant entry for Culinary Sages (Salvia officinalis)

This database entry exists to show plant data and photos that apply generically to all Culinary Sages.

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Shrub
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Full Sun to Partial Shade
Water Preferences: Mesic
Dry Mesic
Soil pH Preferences: Neutral (6.6 – 7.3)
Slightly alkaline (7.4 – 7.8)
Moderately alkaline (7.9 – 8.4)
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 4a -34.4 °C (-30 °F) to -31.7 °C (-25 °F)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 11
Leaves: Unusual foliage color
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: Blue
Bloom Size: Under 1"
Flower Time: Late spring or early summer
Underground structures: Taproot
Uses: Culinary Herb
Medicinal Herb
Will Naturalize
Suitable as Annual
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Resistances: Deer Resistant
Drought tolerant
Propagation: Other methods: Cuttings: Stem
Pollinators: Bees
Containers: Needs excellent drainage in pots
Miscellaneous: Tolerates poor soil

Common names
  • Culinary Sage
  • Sage
  • Common Sage
  • Salvia
Matching plants under this entry
  • Salvia officinalis subsp. gallica
  • Salvia officinalis subsp. oxyodon
  • Salvia officinalis subsp. lavandulifolia
  • Salvia officinalis subsp. multiflora
  • Salvia officinalis subsp. officinalis
  • Salvia officinalis

Culinary Sages (Salvia officinalis) was a featured
Plant of the Day for April 27, 2016.
Photo Gallery
Location: My Garden, Utah
Date: 2015-06-01
featuring Bombus fervidus #Pollination
Location: On our farm
Date: Late Spring
Narrow leaf sage grown from seed, about 5 months after sowing
Location: Temple, Texas
Date: 2023-03-02
Second season.  Coming back after a hard freeze in January.

Date: 2015-05-20
Location: Hugel Bed. NE TX
Date: 2012-03-29
One year old plant blooming.
Location: In home, San Francisco
Date: 2023-05-27
bolting sage
Location: Hamilton Square Perennial Garden, Historic City Cemetery, Sacramento CA.
Date: 2014-04-25
Uploaded by kylaluaz
Location: Indiana zone 5 my Herb Garden
Date: 2013-06-01
Location: Northeastern, Texas
Date: 2013-05-03
Location: Illinois, US
Date: 2017-05-25
Location: Plano, TX
Date: 2015-01-27
Location: Opp, AL  Z8b
Date: 2024-05-11
Location: South Jordan, Utah, United States
Date: 2018-05-18
Location: Barcelona, Spain | April, 2023 
Date: 2023-04-04
Location: Barcelona, Spain | April, 2023 
Date: 2023-04-04

My one year old Salvia officinalis, grown from seeds, is not only
Location: Jacksonville, TX
Date: 2014-04-29
Location: Jacksonville, TX
Date: 2014-04-29
Location: IL
Date: 2014-06-02

Courtesy of Diane's Flower Seeds
Uploaded by sedumzz
Location: My garden in Albuquerque, NM Zone 7b
Date: 04.23.2021
Hint of purple in the flower buds
Location: My Garden
Date: 2012-09-13
Location: CZ Sirem My garden
Date: 2015-06-11
Uploaded by rakami
Location: Plano, TX
Date: 2013-12-09
Close-up photo of seeds
Location:  Bronx NY
Date: June 2014

Photo courtesy of Santa Rosa Gardens. Used with permission.

Courtesy Sustainable Seed Company
  • Uploaded by vic
Location: Northeastern, Texas
Date: 2013-05-03
Location: Northeastern, Texas
Date: 2013-04-04

Date: 2012-12-01
Location: South Jordan, Utah, United States
Date: 2020-06-17
Location: Northeastern, Texas
Date: 2011-04-21
Location: Herb garden - full sun
Date: 2013-10-21
Our sage has the BEST label ever. Will never wear out, rust or ge
Location: Twisp
Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
Date: 2020-11-09
Sage, Salvia officinalis - Whole Plant with roots

 Photo Courtesy of Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. Used with permissi
  • Uploaded by Joy
Location: Mississauga, Ontario, Canada - near Lake Ontario, zone 6a
Date: 2013-01-23

Date: 2012-11-02

Date: 2012-11-02
Location: CZ Sirem My garden
Date: 4000-06-06
Location: CZ Sirem My garden
Date: 2015-07-11
Location: Kitchen Garden
Date: 2014-09-09
End of Summer
Location: central Illinois
Date: 2015-06-09

Date: 2020-06-21
Uploaded by Cayuga
Location: CZ Sirem My garden
Date: 4000-05-18
Location: CZ Sirem My garden
Date: 2015-05-15
Location: CZ Sirem My garden
Date: 2015-05-15
Location: CZ Sirem My garden
Date: 2015-05-15

Date: 2021-02-04
Location: Central Texas
Date: 2016-01-11

 Photo Courtesy of Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. Used with permissi
  • Uploaded by Joy
Location: central Illinois
Date: 2014-07-31
This plant is tagged in:
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  • Posted by gardengus (Indiana Zone 5b) on Feb 16, 2013 10:13 AM concerning plant:
    This semi-woody subshrub is an easy-to-grow evergreen perennial herb that is used in many recipes.
    It is also added to some medicinal teas.
    It is easy to dry and store for winter use. Simply pick the leaves or cut whole branch tips and hang to dry.
    For tea, just hand crush the dry leaves and add a small amount to loose-leaf teas before steeping. (This is a strong herb and a little will add much flavor.)
    For seasoning in cooking, remove stems and crush leaves in a mortar and pestle. This is called ''rubbed sage.'' Leaves must be completely dry to use this method.

    I use most of my sage to season fresh sausage and homemade bread stuffing.
  • Posted by Marilyn (Kentucky - Zone 6a) on May 25, 2013 9:09 PM concerning plant:
    "Salvia officinalis (sage, also called garden sage, or common sage) is a perennial, evergreen subshrub, with woody stems, grayish leaves, and blue to purplish flowers. It is a member of the family Lamiaceae and is native to the Mediterranean region, though it has naturalized in many places throughout the world. It has a long history of medicinal and culinary use, and in modern times as an ornamental garden plant. The common name "sage" is also used for a number of related and unrelated species.

    In favourable conditions in the garden, S. officinalis can grow to a substantial size (1 square metre or more), but a number of cultivars are more compact. As such they are valued as small ornamental flowering shrubs, rather than for their herbal properties. Some provide low ground cover, especially in sunny dry environments. Like many herbs they can be killed by a cold wet winter, especially if the soil is not well drained. But they are easily propagated from summer cuttings, and some cultivars are produced from seeds."

    Taken from wikipedia's page at:
  • Posted by dnrevel (Michigan - Zone 6a) on Feb 2, 2023 2:53 PM concerning plant:
    I have several of these sages in my gardens, both at home and in my CSS Project Grow community garden. I will also start cuttings in the spring to grow more for more places as when this culinary sage blooms, it is beautiful, and it needs little care. Mainly give it a good growing spot with sunshine and let it do its thing. Doing well in 6a SE Michigan.
  • Posted by Mindy03 (Delta KY) on Apr 16, 2012 8:32 AM concerning plant:
    Honey bees get nectar and pollen from this plant.
Plant Events from our members
crittergarden On May 18, 2015 Bloomed
vbprog On May 1, 2015 Plant emerged
vbprog On April 19, 2015 Seeds sown
thomas From February 6, 2016 to February 7, 2016 Seeds sown
In container
lovesblooms On May 18, 2016 Bloomed
second-year plant.
NikkiGerena On July 2, 2017 Plant emerged
NikkiGerena On May 22, 2017 Seeds sown
3AmigosGarden On September 1, 2017 Seeds sown
3AmigosGarden On August 30, 2017 Obtained plant
Pima County Seed Library
MrsBinWY On May 10, 2019 Potted up
10 (3 or so germinated right away. The rest waited another couple months.)
MrsBinWY On February 23, 2019 Seeds germinated
MrsBinWY On February 16, 2019 Seeds sown
germination test for Seed Library's back stock: 25 seeds (2016G) in milk jug @ room temp
MrsBinWY On March 24, 2018 Potted up
potted up the 1 that emerged & put the milk jug on the back patio where it will get cold nights and warming days
MrsBinWY On March 19, 2018 Seeds germinated
MrsBinWY On March 10, 2018 Seeds sown
16 seeds from 2017G in milk jug @ warm room temp
thepurplebug On June 11, 2019 Seeds germinated
thepurplebug On June 3, 2019 Seeds sown
Seeds planted in a container in front of the house.
antsinmypants On April 27, 2021 Seeds sown
Plug flat two row 9
paleohunter On March 25, 2023 Transplanted
dnrevel On April 2, 2024 Plant emerged
Overwintered well in the front yard, at CSS, and in various parts of the yard.
dnrevel On May 1, 2023 Cuttings stuck
Made several cuttings from front yard sage plant
WebTucker On September 14, 2022 Bloomed
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