How and when to prune sage


Sage is evergreen plant that belongs to the family Lamiaceae. Originally from the Mediterranean region, this shrub is cultivated in many latitudes of the world. Its popularity lies in the many uses that are given, including culinary and medicinal. As it can not be otherwise in this article we will learn all about how and when to prune sage, but not before studying some of the most important care that this shrub needs.


If you read to the end you will learn the best techniques for proper pruning, the right time to trim and the tools to do it. The article has no waste, I assure you. 😉

Note: Please note that the advice given here is general, this blog is consulted from many countries in the world, with totally different characteristics, what not all tips will be adapted in the same way in all cases. Once you finish reading the article it will be necessary to analyze all the information and apply what you have learned in the best way. If you have any questions, remember that you can contact us to make your inquiries.

1. How to care sage


Although sage pruning is the focus of this article, it is still one of several care needs. Following the following care you will be able to successfully grow this herb, in this way you will have it available to give it the uses you want in the kitchen of your home.

  • When to plant: wait to plant for when the average temperature reaches 65 ° F, one or two weeks before the last frost
  • Soil: likes well-drained and sandy soils, with pH between 6.0 and 7.0.
  • Fertilizer: although with the help of fertilizers your plant will develop faster, we recommend not over-fertilize since you will be losing much of the flavor of its leaves.
Sage plant
Sage plant
  • Sun: in general it does not present problems to develop so much or little exposure to the sun, but its leaves will be more sobrosas if the solar rays reach it several hours a day.
  • Water: the sage is a plant that perfectly supports the drought, wait for the soil to be dry to apply water. Always avoid puddling the earth.
  • Spacing: try to grant a space of 24 “to 36” of distance between plant and plant, this will give enough space for development.
  • Sowing in company: is beneficious planting near carrots, strawberries, tomatoes and cabbage.
  • Pruning: although it is not a totally essential practice for the development of sage, pruning helps to manage the cultivation of this plant. In what follows we will begin to study everything about this last item.

2. Tools needed to prune or trim an sage


Pruning sage is not a complicated task, and with it the tools you will need for this task are easy to achieve.

  • Shears.
  • A pair of gloves.

Keep in mind that you must disinfect all the tools before trimming your sage. This will help prevent disease transmission, you will have to do it before you start pruning and every time you change plants.

2.1 Needed care of pruning tools

If you want to extend the useful life of your pruning tools there are some basic care.

  • Use the right tool for a job and avoid twisting or straining it.
  • Clean and oil tools regularly by wiping an oily cloth on blades and other surfaces.
  • Keep cutting edges sharp by regularly using an oilstone.
  • Wooden handles should be varnished or regularly treated with linseed oil to keep them from cracking or splintering.

Carry out the previous care on a regular basis and you will be saving good money on tools. 🙂

3. How and when to prune sage


As with any type of plant, it is necessary to know some basic characteristics of it before carrying out any maintenance task.

To prune the sage you must bear in mind that although the new shoots are flexible, as it ages it generates thicker and woody stems. That is why it is beneficial to replace the plant every four years so that there are enough productive stems to harvest.

The sage develops in the warm months (spring-summer), and remains at rest during cold months (especially in winter). Anyway, for a culinary use you can always get some leaf, this will not affect the bush greatly.

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Below we will see the types of pruning that must be carried out during the year to maintain a healthy sage. Always remembering that the main use given to this bush is the culinary, so we will need well-developed leaves with good flavor for our recipes.

3.1 Trimming of flowers in the sage

If we want to cook with the highest quality pruductos possible, we will need to harvest the sage leaves with a good flavor. This will help to prune the flowers of the plant before they open. This practice, in addition to influencing the good taste will stimulate the growth of the leaves.

If you have your sage plant with purely ornamental purposes, that is to say, you will not take advantage of its leaves in your kitchen, the pruning of flowers does not have much relevance. You can cut them when they are already dry, helping the good aesthetics of the plant.

3.2 Trimming sage in spring

As we said, this shrub will start with its development in spring, from that moment new buds will start to appear, it is a good time to prune the sage. It is an excellent time for this task because if you do it in periods of cold, you can confuse the dead stems with those alive and woody.

How and when to pune sage
Pruning sage

Begin by carefully observing the plant, recognize the dry stems of the woody ones. Once the plant is analyzed, start cutting. Take the stems and trim them to 1/3 of their height. The 1/3 is an estimative, the correct thing is to cut just over a new bortacion, this will allow the sage to recover and respond faster and with less effort

Try to carry out this pruning of the sage every spring, since too long stems are prone to lean and end up on the floor. This will be able to stain the leaves, leaving them unfit for their culinary uses.

3.3 Pruning of sage for second harvest

In zones with well-marked cold seasons the sage generates a single annual harvest. On the other hand, in warmer areas, the sage has enough time to develop and generate a second crop. To help the generation of this second harvest perform a light pruning of the wise. While it will not be a harvest as abundant as the first will be enough for several uses in your kitchen. 😉

3.4 Pruning in autumn-winter of the wise

As with any plant, pruning the sage is stimulating it to development. This practice can help us to carry out a second harvest as we explained before, but if we carry out pruning in late autumn or early winter it will be of little benefit.

This is so because we will generate new shoots that will be damaged by the cold. It is also good to let stand, without pruning or harvest, the wise for a few months (you always have permission to cut one or two leaves to cook, but do not overdo it!).

3.5 Sage cleaning pruning

I have left for the last this pruning since there is no specific time to do it. Any time is good for a cleaning pruning.

This cleaning pruning does not change anything to the pruning that should be done to any tree or shrub. When pruning the sage you will have to make sure to trim the following elements:

  • Dry flowers, you can do it with your own hands without using scissors.
  • Dry, damaged and / or diseased branches. Within this group are the branches dry by the frost, damaged by the wind or some storm, affected by any type of plague or engermendad. Be sure to trim these last ones, you do not want that affection to spread to the whole plant.

The success of this pruning will depend almost exclusively on the good observation of the pruner. So you should take your time, do not rush or you can leave unwanted branches.

6. Sage pruning – Video


As is the custom of this blog we like to close the articles with a video material (in this case Michael Boyton channel), where you can review more graphically and practice many of the concepts seen so far. 😉

So here we are, I hope that everything was clear about how and when to prune sage, and do not have any doubt at the moment that you should take your scissors and trim.

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