How to trim sage plants

Updated April 17, 2017

Many plants have sage in the common name, but the herb grown most often for culinary purposes is Salvia officinalis. This sage is a cold-hardy perennial that grows to about 70 cm tall. It has greyish-green leaves and a distinct sage smell. Sage, like many other herbs, grows better with occasional trimming or pruning. This pruning has the double benefit of making the plant stronger and more vigorous and providing fresh sage for cooking.

Cut back sage plants in the spring. Cut the branches to just above a fork. Spring is when you should shape sage plants, so prune them according to your idea of how you want them to look.

Prune sage plants again just before they bloom. Prune above a fork in the branch, or above a pair of leaves.

Prune as desired throughout the summer for culinary purposes and to keep the plant from getting leggy.

Allow sage plants grow in the autumn to let them store food for the winter. Stop pruning in late August or September.

Things You'll Need

  • Sharp knife, scissors or pruning shears
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About the Author

A freelancer from South Dakota, Maria Tussing has been writing since 2000. She has been published in "Family Fish & Game," "Wondertime," "Today's Horse" and "Cattle Business Weekly," among other publications. Tussing holds a Bachelor of Science in journalism from Chadron State College.