How to grow sage in Perth

Growing sage in Perth

Sage (Salvia officinalis) or common sage is a small evergreen culinary herb. It originates from the Mediterranean which means it grows well in Perth’s Mediterranean climate. A member of the mint family. You will find it is used all over the world for its wonderful flavour in cooking but also proven medicinal value as well.

If you have ever wondered how to grow sage in Perth then look no further. Sage is a simple herb to grow, but there are still a few tricks to successfully growing sage in Perth, Western Australia. Get these right and you will be laughing.

When to plant sage in Perth:
The best time to plant sage in spring once all chances of frost have passed. It can be planted successfully at other times of the year, but it’ll need a little more care to protect it from the elements.

Where does sage grow best?
Sage does best in part to full sun. It can also do well in pots either outdoors or indoors – just be sure it’s near a window with plenty of sunlight if you’re growing it inside.

How much water does sage need?
Sage is a low-maintenance herb; water only during extended dry periods, or when plants are young. An annual application of compost mulch to the base will also ensure less watering is required.

Is sage a perennial?
Yes, sage is a short-lived perennial (it tends to look a bit tun-down after a few years).

Types of sage in Australia:
Most people know Saliva officinalis as the most common of all the garden varieties of sage. There are many varieties of Salvia, with up to 900 known species. However if you are looking for an edible variety of sage Saliva officinalis or common garden sage is the way to go.

When to prune sage Australia?
You should prune sage in early spring. Sage is notorious for becoming straggly and woody, so prune back one third in early spring, and remove the flower spikes at the end of summer. Take sage cuttings in spring every three years to replace plants that are unsightly and less productive.

How to grow sage from seed:
Growing sage from seeds is easy, fun and rewarding! In general growing sage in pots is a great idea. Below are the steps on how to how to grow sage in a pot from seeds.

  1. Choose a pot at least 30cm wide and position in full sun. Fill pot with quality potting mix.
  2. Sow sage seeds, cover lightly with a Seed Raising Mix and water well.
  3. Once seedlings appear, feed weekly with a Herb Liquid Plant Food.
  4. Water when the soil is dry and harvest regularly by picking the sage leaves. Remove the flowers to encourage more leafy growth.
  5. Harvest regularly by picking the leaves. Layer your seed sowing window by few weeks to extend your harvest window.

How to grow sage from cuttings:
Sage is easy to propagate from cuttings taken in summer from the new growth. To propagate sage, follow these simple steps:

  1. Get a hold of some sage (either from an existing plant or from a friend)
  2. Strip off leaves from each stems’ bottom 5cm
  3. Place the stem in a glass of water for a few weeks until mature roots have grown before planting
  4. Store the stem and pot in a humid climate and water occasionally for 6-8 weeks
  5. Care for your new sage plant!

What’s the best fertiliser for sage?
While your sage plant is a seedling feed weekly with a Herb Liquid Plant Food. Once your sage is mature it will appreciate an application of fertiliser once or twice a year to boost calcium levels.

When to harvest sage in Australia:
Harvest sage in spring and summer when plants are actively growing and before they begin to flower. Sage leaves tend to lose some of their aroma after flowering, so it is best to harvest before this time.

How to store sage:
I like to use fresh sage straight from the plant in spring where possible. However, if you have some excess harvested sage to store, simply wrap the sage leaves in paper towels and put them in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. Make sure to use the leaves within four to five days.

Companion plants for sage:
Sage grows well with carrots, tomatoes, parsley, strawberries, rosemary, broad beans, and thyme and oregano. Avoid planting sage next to cucumbers and fennel.

Sage plant care and common problems:
Sage is generally pest and disease free.  Mildew can be a problem, especially if grown in a humid climate or planted too closely together and overwatered. Pruning your sage to open up the plant, reducing the amount of watering, and spray with a fungicide if needed.

Check out our other how to grow in Perth guides:

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