Rosemary and Sage

Ozark, MO(Zone 6a)

I grow a few kitchen herbs in pots - chives, thyme, and rosemary, and we get great use out of them in various dishes. They all spend the warm months out on our deck, and the rosemary has to come inside for the winter. A few days ago WalMart had some herb seedlings in small pots in their produce section, and I've been wanting to add sage so I got some.

I know there are lots of varieties of sage, some large some small, and I have no idea what kind these plants are. They have a real nice smell when the leaves are rubbed, so I know they're of a kind that's meant for kitchen use. This picture shows the container with two sage seedlings sitting in my pot of rosemary.

Question: I really don't want to start a new big pot just for sage - I'm wondering if the sage could share this pot with rosemary. I'd like to plant these two sage plants by one edge of the pot, then keep things trimmed and thinned so the two kinds of herbs share the pot and we can use off of both of them. Do you think that will work?

Thumbnail by Ozark
Geronimo, TX

If these were grown out in the garden, they would get large -- 3-4 feet in diameter and 2-3 feet tall. (Assuming they don't freeze to death in your area. I have no idea how cold hardy they are, other than they are hardy here around San Antonio.) If I was planting, I would give them their own pot.

However, you are the one planting. If you want to plant together then do it. The worst that can happen is that you have to buy new plants -- which you will undoubtedly need to do anyway at some point. Best case, they look nice together for several years and you get lots of good tastes and pleasant scenery.

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

I'd go with separate pots, too. The rosemary is pretty finicky, and might not play well with others...

Ozark, MO(Zone 6a)

Thanks to you both, I'll get a separate pot for the sage. I didn't realize how big it might grow.

I find sage is hardy to Zone 5, so it wouldn't freeze out here if I planted it in the ground. Trouble is, we live on a farm/pasture kind of place and I avoid planting perennials. Any area I can't scrape clear, plow, or at least till deep with a tractor soon gets choked with Johnson grass and that's a real mess.

So, a big sage pot it is.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Here's the size of my sage just so you'll be prepared.

The odd leaves coming out are self-sown crocosmia.

Good luck with your herbs.

Thumbnail by pirl
Saylorsburg, PA(Zone 6a)

I finally had to rip my sage out of my vegetable garden because it started spreading with its underground roots into other beds and was becoming a real nuisance. I like the idea of growing it in a big pot. I'm thinking of sinking one in the garden to keep it from spreading. I use fresh sage to make a nice rub for roast pork. It is also nice in stuffings. Have fun with it!

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

How differently it behaves here where it doesn't spread at all.

I love it in this recipe:

Saylorsburg, PA(Zone 6a)

That does look like an awesome recipe. I've added it to my recipe list! thanks!

Maybe it was the variety of sage I bought. It was a variegated one that reverted to just green after a number of years. I had it for a long time before it began to spread so much.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

My variegated one was so pretty but I think I probably did harm by pruning it in fall instead of waiting until May. It's that tidy streak in me!

Saylorsburg, PA(Zone 6a)

It should leaf out in the spring as long as it still has plenty of roots. They are pretty tenacious!

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

It was a few years ago and it did die but it isn't expensive to replace, thankfully.

Shawnee Mission, KS(Zone 6a)

Ozark - I agree with the separate pot from the rosemary.

Sage is hardy here. I have several kinds in a raised bed with other perennial herbs. I've not had any problem with them spreading out of control.

Magnolia, TX(Zone 8b)

Pineapple sage is the one that can be hard to grow... rosemary and sage do have differing water req'ments as well, I have 3 different rosemary's as well. Hope they are survivors since the rosemary is growing fast right now and my sage has died back in this weather...will have to wait and see.

Shawnee Mission, KS(Zone 6a)

I don't have any problem with the pineapple sage either. It blooms near the end of the season here and if I want to have blooms for a period then it has to be covered whenever the temps dip. Same thing is true about Mexican sage. I also make sure the both have full sun and I start from a plant.

This message was edited Jan 27, 2014 7:21 AM

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Pineapple sage is tough to grow in our climate Kittriana. I still like it well enough that I pick up a plant in springtime. Just one time it made it through summer and over wintered in the greenhouse. Definitely my favorite of all sages.

Shawnee Mission, KS(Zone 6a)

What do you think makes it hard to grow in Texas?

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

My suspicion would be a combination of our heat and excessive humidity due to the time of year it gives up the ghost.

On the other hand, you mentioned yours only blooming in the fall season. In my experience with pineapple sage, it has delivered blooms from June until it dies. Perhaps as a reproduction cycle knowing it will not survive.

Anyway, just my experience...

Shawnee Mission, KS(Zone 6a)

No. Just needs a longer season to get large here. It blooms late August in my garden. I find it does better in the ground. It is native to Mexico so seems like it should take heat.

Here is the Missouri Botanical Garden notes on it.

So.App.Mtns., United States(Zone 5b)

My ordinary culinary sage dies back in our winters but comes back in the spring. I usually tear it out after about 3-4 years when it becomes too woody, and start over

The one in the ground now was last year's summer transplant, but with the unusual long and hard cold weather this year, I'll be curious in Spring to see if it survived. Same for many of my perennial plants, shrubs and tree seedlings.

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