Food Gardening Network

Growing Good Food at Home

How—and When—to Water Your Sage Plants

Watering sage

With its origins in the hot, dry climate of the Mediterranean, sage is quite drought tolerant. Over-watering can actually harm your sage plant, contributing to root rot and powdery mildew. Wait until the soil is dry and then water your sage plants deeply. If you don’t have the time or patience to do it yourself, consider a drip hose or some other drip-irrigation method that will deliver water slowly and deeply into the soil for your sage plants. If your sage plant leaves start to turn yellow, that might indicate you’re overwatering.

How often you water your sage plants depends on how hot it is and how often they receive water naturally from the rain. Usually once a week is enough. In the heat of the summer, your sage might need water more frequently—but too little is better than too much. In fact, if your sage plants start to droop a bit—don’t panic! Water them thoroughly and they’ll perk right up.

    • Tip: Dawn is the best time of day to water your sage plants. Avoid watering during the hottest time of the day, as much of the water will evaporate.

When watering sage plants, direct the water straight to the soil and the roots. Don’t spray the plants from above. Spraying the plants from above can cause mildew. Also, watering sage plants from above leads to premature water evaporation, unnecessarily wasting water. Avoid allowing water to pool under the plant as that can lead to root rot.

Generally, 1 inch of water a week for sage plants in the ground is a good baseline—and more often for plants in containers or pots. But, there are lots of varying factors that determine the right amount of water and the frequency of watering, including plant size, temperature, amount of sunlight, etc. A water gauge can help you decide how often to water your sage plants.

Rainwater is best for your garden plants. If it’s possible for you to collect rainwater, your sage will benefit from that!

When you properly water your sage, you’ll have healthy plants and a good harvest. Improper watering can lead to the following problems that you want to avoid:

  • Root rot
  • Damp off
  • Powdery mildew
  • Susceptibility to pests and disease
  • Reduced harvests and lesser-quality sage

How often do you water your sage plants? And what time of day do you water? Please tell us how you ensure that your sage plants get the right amount of water.


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