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Is Sage A Perennial? (Explained)

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Last updated on September 23rd, 2022 at 03:40 pm

The ability of a herb to stay for an extended period to ensure its continuous yield is a feat desired by most gardeners. Sage, with its loads of benefits, tends to be a favorite of many gardeners.

So if you have this plant in your garden, you’ll want it to keep a steady yield for you.

So you may ask, “is sage a perennial?” Of course, Sage is a perennial herb. However, this depends on the planting zone that it is grown. Sage would either grow to be an annual or a perennial crop depending on the climatic conditions of the area where you plant it. Sage grows perennially when planted in USDA zones 5 – 11 and grows annually in other zones where you can plant it.

Can Sage Be Planted In My Zone?

Living in a particular climatic zone can alter the course of plants you wish to have in your outdoor garden. This alteration is because certain plants cannot grow in the temperatures present in some incompatible zones.

If you live in a zone where temperatures do not allow certain plants to grow, you must opt for herbs best suited for that environment. Hence, sage, like most herbs, cannot grow in every climatic zone.

Therefore, the first step in determining whether or not a sage plant can be grown in your area is finding out the zone you live in.

Sage grows in most hardiness zones. However, they perform best in zones 5 – 9 and would grow hardy perennial shrubs.

The sage herb is a surprisingly tough plant; this is why it would succeed in other zones other than its preferred zones.

In these zones, it would grow to be an annual shrub and not perennial because of the climatic conditions surrounding its growth.

Sage would thrive in any zone from zone 4 to zone 13. However, it wouldn’t grow to its full potential in every zone it is planted in.

In What Climate Does Sage Grow Best?

The best time to plant your sage is during the spring or early fall. During these climatic seasons, the temperature is always the most friendly for your sage seedlings.

The soil temperature best for sage growth is between 60 – 700F and would adapt quickly to fluctuations in temperature within this range.

During spring or fall seasons, your sage would get the right amount of sunlight enough to keep the soil warm and dry and the right amounts of shade for your sage to rest.

Zones 5 – 8 have moderately cold winters where sage can survive as perennials without stress and the averagely ideal temperature for their healthy growth.

Though having a difference in their average temperature, these zones have weather conditions that are not too extreme for sage and grow as a woody perennial after every winter.

Can Sage Survive Winter?

Like most aromatic herbs, sage is a relatively sturdy plant. Its ability to survive in different zones is proof of its toughness.

Sage can survive extreme temperatures and the winters in zone 5 – 9, where it grows best.

Sage would grow dormant in the frost in winter, producing no new vegetative parts, and would emerge with new growths after the winter season for its development for that season.

Sage can tolerate temperatures as low as 150F and still survive; this is why sage plants can survive frost in winter.

Adult sage is best suited for survival during winter than new growths of the plant. This hardiness is because the adult sage has better adapted to the environment and can hold its own during temperature fluctuations.

As such, it is best to plant your sage on time before the winter season draws near so your sage can be better adept for the winter cold as adults.

Sage can survive winters in areas where the temperature in winter isn’t too extreme.

In extreme winter conditions such as those in Zones other than 4 – 13, your sage would likely survive as an annual crop because of the cold.

How Do I Keep My Sage Alive Longer?

Sage, as stated earlier, can either be an annual or a perennial plant, and this depends on certain factors that play a role in the plant’s growth.

If you are hoping to reach the full limit of the life of your sage by pushing it to reach its natural growth period as a perennial, you would have to know the factors that will help keep your sage alive longer.  

The first factor and probably the defining factor is the zone where you plant it. The zone sage is planted in ultimately determines the plant’s life cycle due to the atmospheric conditions in that zone.

Another factor to consider is keeping your sage alive long enough to be a perennial is the soil. Sage requires soil with a neutral pH that will not be water-logged.

The soil temperature during the planting of sage should be at 600F; fluctuations around this temperature range shouldn’t be a problem.

The right conditions of the soil would ensure the perennial growth of your sage plant.

Excessive fertilization can also affect the growth of your sage plant. Sage rarely needs any added nutrients for growth, and too much can cause wilting in your plant.

Also, avoid overwatering your sage. Sage isn’t the most prominent water-loving herb, and I would prefer you not give it any at all than to give your sage too much water.

Your sage needs water only after planting; you may need to water twice a week or after transplanting to prevent transplant shock.

Pests and diseases can also reduce the life span of your sage. Although sage is rarely affected by diseases and pests, it can sometimes happen.

When pests or diseases plague your sage, it is best to find solutions as quickly as possible, as leaving it unattended ultimately reduces the lifespan of your sage drastically.

Finally, sage is a sun-loving herb. Therefore, climatic zones that permit an extended amount of sunlight are ideal for sage.


Whether or not sage is annual or perennial depends on different factors, and one of such factors is the zone it is planted in.

Sage has been shown to become a healthy perennial plant in Zones 5 – 8; these zones house the best climatic conditions for their growth.

However, sage can still be planted in other zones and can be managed there to become healthy annual growths.

Planting them indoors may be the best option in zones that may have extreme temperatures.

Other factors like soil type, watering, sunlight, shade, and pests/diseases can also affect the growth period of your sage.

Therefore, you should not depend on only the planting zone to guarantee your sage becomes a perennial plant.

Sage isn’t exactly a plant that needs any attention. So, setting your sage up for success with the right conditions is all it needs to be a successful, healthy perennial.


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