Learning how to grow sage indoors from seed is a highly gratifying hobby! The aromatic leaves are a popular savory herb, perfect for adding flavor to holiday dishes like turkey, winter squash, and stuffing. On top of being delicious, sage is packed with nutrients and antioxidants to boost immunity and overall wellness. It has aromatherapeutic properties, and for thousands of years, cultures around the world have burned dried sage leaves like incense for spiritual cleansing rituals.
If you can provide the proper light requirements, it’s pretty easy to grow sage from seed, and you’ll love how it brings an air of calm to your scenery with its subtle grey-green leaves and earthy, herbal scent.
How Long Does It Take To Grow Sage From Seeds?
Many people are curious about how long it takes to germinate sage seeds because they seem to take a bit longer than some other seeds. Typically, it should take between 2–3 weeks for your sage plant to sprout. After you’ve moved your seedling into a container with potting mix, you should only harvest it very lightly during the first year. Once it reaches the one-year mark, regularly harvesting your sage plant will actually help it to grow fuller and bushier.
How To Plant Sage Seeds in a Pot Indoors
Fill some seed starting cups with a potting medium made specifically for starting seeds. These mixes are not high in nutrients, but they are great for preventing fungus or disease from attacking your plants early in their development. Moisten the potting medium and sprinkle a few sage seeds across the surface. Add a thin layer of potting medium on top, and place the containers somewhere with a temperature that consistently remains around 70°F.
Keep the soil consistently moist and try not to let it dry out for long periods, but don’t totally drench it. As the sage seeds germinate, you’ll need to thin them out and keep the best-looking sprouts. When it’s a few inches tall, move it into an 8-inch pot filled with potting mix formulated for garden edibles.
Light, Water, and Other Care Tips for Indoor Sage
Sage needs 6–8 hours of direct sunlight each day. A south-facing window will work best, but a west-facing window that gets plenty of bright afternoon sun will also work. Water your sage plant when the soil surface feels dry, but avoid overwatering and waterlogging the soil. A pot with drainage holes will help to prevent water from collecting in the bottom of your pot. Water the soil directly and try not to get any moisture on the leaves.
Once in a while, it’s a good idea to pinch off the tips of your plant’s branches. This will stimulate more outward growth, so it becomes fuller and more voluminous instead of tall and sparse. Keep the container away from any cold drafts, and consider placing it on a shallow pebble tray filled with an inch of water to help deliver humidity.
Supplementing Light With Grow Lights
If you aren’t finding much success while learning how to grow sage from seed indoors, chances are you aren’t getting enough light. Luckily, you can supplement your window light with a grow light so your sage plants can soak up some more rays.
LED grow lights work best because they’re long-lasting, the bulbs don’t get very hot, and they’re energy-efficient. Some even come with built-in timers so you can be sure your sage plants get a consistent 8 hours of bright light every day and 16 hours of rest time.
Fluorescent bulbs work too, but you need to keep them on for two hours for every one hour of sunlight your plant requires. So, in the case of sage, since it needs 6–8 hours of sun per day, you’ll need to keep your fluorescent light on for 14–16 hours.
If you think you’re ready to learn how to grow sage indoors from seed, Ted Lare has a terrific selection of sage seeds in Des Moines. Visit us soon to get your indoor garden started! Our experts will be happy to provide some bonus care tips and find the tools you need to make your herb garden a success.