Sage plants are perennials that grow with little attention once they are established. Use garden snips to harvest sage, and use pruning shears to trim the plants each year, a process that takes about 10 minutes.Continue Reading
Sage plants need plenty of room to spread because they grow up to 2 feet tall and 3 feet wide. Place the sage plant so that it is 12 to 18 inches away from other plants on both sides. Choose an area that receives full sun, although partial afternoon shade is appropriate in USDA hardiness zones 8 and above.
New sage plants need ample water to establish a root system. Water the plant base often enough to keep the soil moist, but keep water off the leaves. Established plants do not need as much water, and rainfall often is enough.
Harvest only a small amount of sage in the first year, or don't harvest at all the first season. This lets the plant send more energy to the root system in the early days. After the first season, harvest heavily, and leave just a few branches behind. Stop harvesting in early autumn to let the plant prepare for winter.
Use pruning shears to trim back the thickest branches each spring. Branches become increasingly thicker as the plant ages, making it less productive. The Old Farmer's Almanac suggests replacing sage plants every few years.