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Can Sage Survive Winter? (Must Know Before Planting)

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Last updated on September 23rd, 2022 at 02:21 pm

Winter is a very difficult season to grow herbs in. However, like most mint family members, the sage is a relatively tough plant with little care needed for the plant to grow and survive.

Having recently planted the sage plant or hoping to plant the sage plant during the next planting season, you may be wondering if they can survive the winter. Let’s find out then.

Can sage survive winter? The sage plant is very sturdy and can survive adverse conditions, including those that may be weather-related. As a result, the sage will survive the winter. However, this is not their natural and ideal condition to grow. As such, sage would not do as well as it would during other seasons of the year.

How Cold Can Sage Tolerate?

The cold is a factor to look out for when growing any plant. The reason is that most do not survive them, and only a few can tolerate that extreme temperature during wintertime.

The mint family variety of herbs is known for their toughness and ability to survive in harsh weather conditions. However, this may not be the case for every one of them.

If you live in zones where the weather conditions tend to go into the extreme, the sage can still survive. However, they will be dormant during the period and would most likely not produce new leaves.

The sage is hardy and can be grown in zones with annual low temperatures of -100F and an average of -20 to -300F.

The low temperature of -100F is about as much as the sage can tolerate, which is pretty low for most plants.  However, if the temperature falls below that point and lasts for a few days, this is bad news for the sage plant.

The sage has not been shown to grow in zones having winter temperatures lower than this, though they can still be grown indoors in those zones.

Can Sage Stay Outside in Winter?

The sage can either be an annual or a perennial crop, depending on the planted region.

However, the ideal life span of the plant should be well past a year.  Also, the sturdiness of the sage is one standout characteristic of the plant, and it is one of the reasons why the sage can survive the winter.

If you have planted your sage outside in the garden, no doubt that the option you have is to leave it outside in the cold during winter. 

Fortunately, the sage plant will survive the winter when placed outside. Notwithstanding, this may depend on the zone you are living in.

The sage can survive in temperatures as low as -100F. Hence, if you live in zones where the temperature fluctuates around this range, reaching a low of -100F, your sage will be able to survive the winter.

The sage plant during the winter would go dormant and would fail to produce any vegetative parts, and sometimes the sage plant would only produce a few leaves.

The plant at this point would maybe not be useful in every sense, though it will not die. The sage would go on to their normal conditions in the spring, after the winter.

LED Grow Lights

If the sage is potted and an indoor plant, during the cold, it is best to take them inside and place them under LED lights or warm them with heat mats. This action is to enable the plant to grow vegetatively during that time.

The reason is that winter is not the ideal condition for the sage, even though they can survive during that time. As such, you should avoid extreme colds instead.

If you live in zones where the temperatures can be pretty extreme in the winter, about -30 to -400F, it will be best to avoid planting the sage altogether and opt for plants that love the cold.

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Can Sage Survive the Frost?

Frost forms as a result of cold weather, and they are usually at about 320F. However, the temperature at night may fall as low as 30 to 290F.

The frosting of the leaves of the sage plant wouldn’t be a bother to the plant. Frost appears due to cold, and the sage is a herb that can adapt to such weather conditions.

The sage plant can survive in temperatures lower than 320F (the temperature at which frost forms). The frost is only a manifestation of the cold at that temperature.

With the sage surviving in temperatures as low as -200F, you need not worry about your sage plant in the frost. It would most likely survive the weather condition.

What Is the Ideal Temperature To Grow My Sage?

The winter is not the best time to grow your sage plant, and it is certainly not the best temperature for the plant.

Like most herbs of the mint family, the sage plant requires a somewhat cool temperature to grow best and have the highest yield.

The best temperature for the sage plant to grow and thrive best is about 70-850F.

Knowing the right time to grow your sage in the garden is the first step in predicting when the temperature will be just right for the sage.

It would be best if you planted the sage in the spring or fall, where the temperature fluctuates around the range ideal for their growth.

 This is also the best time to plant them as sage does not do well during the extremely sunny days of summer.

If your sage is planted indoors, it would be easier to check the temperature of the sage and see that it remains constant in the best condition possible.

You can tweak factors like the location, ventilation, lights, and organic manure to get the accurate temperature of 65-700F during the morning hours and 55-600F at night – the ideal temperature for indoor growth of the sage plant.

You can also use things like plastic mulch and heat mats if the temperature is getting too cold for the sage plant to keep them growing vegetatively and have the ability to harvest them all year round.


The tough nature of the sage plant is why they can survive in extreme weather conditions during the winter.

After planting your sage plant in the ideal conditions needed to grow and have tended to it properly, there is no point worrying about them during the winter.

Surviving in conditions as low as -100F, the sage plant would only go dormant during the winter and would grow back vegetatively again as soon as spring rolls in.

Yes, the winter may not be the most suitable condition for the sage, but they can survive it as long as the temperature does not go below -100F for an extended time.

 If you live in zones that can be extremely hot or extremely cold, it is wise to consider planting your sage indoors instead.

Having a plant that you do not have to worry about during the winter is a dream. So if you plan to plant your sage in your garden, you should go for it, provided all the conditions for proper growth will be met.


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