Two ways for an endless supply of sage

You can propagate herbs using a couple of methods, either by placing the herb stem directly into a small pot of soil, or by placing the herb stem into a cup of water. I have managed to propagate some pineapple sage using both methods.

When choosing stems to propagate from make sure you pick a healthy stem. You will then need to remove any leaves near the base of the stem, allowing enough stem to be placed in the water or soil without having leaves below the water or soil surface.

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Propagation using soil

You will need an existing sage plant, or some sage stems from a friend if you want to create new sage plants. A friend of mine provided me with four pineapple sage stems during autumn. I placed each stem into a small pot of soil and kept them in a well protected spot from direct sunlight and wind.

This method will take a longer time, and you will need to wait until you see roots emerging from the bottom of the pots before planting out into your garden beds, or transferring to a larger pot. With mine set into the pot of soil in autumn, it took a couple of months before they were ready to be planted out, and a good 4-5 weeks before I noticed new leaves and changes to the stem.

Propagation using water

Propagating sage is easier done in pots of water. This is mainly due to the reason that the end of the stem where the new roots will grow from gets more direct exposure to sunlight, and water can be warmed up quicker than soil (although may not retain the heat for as long). Using this method, and propagating in the summer months, you should notice new roots on your sage cuttings within a week, and they will be ready to plant into small pots of soil within 1.5-2 weeks.

When planting into small pots of soil, keep these in a well protected spot for a few weeks or until you see roots escaping out the base of the pot. Sage will grow very well in the summer months, and will not require excessive watering. The same goes for the sage stem you have propagated. Keep the soil moist, but only water once every 2-3 days as required. Sage does not like to be permanently wet.

Before you know it you will have bunches of sage to use in your cooking, and give to friends!

Header photo is of a common sage plant, all other images show pineapple sage plants and stems.

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