Sage will grow almost anywhere, but you will quickly discover that the best results will come when you plant your sage in full sun. Keep in mind, though, that sage is very drought tolerant and is not fond of the humidity that often accompanies extreme heat. Therefore, afternoon shade should be provided if you live in a hot climate or any time humidity is running high. Try to give your sage at least 6 hours of full sun per day. 8 hours is usually not too many, provided you protect your sage from extreme humidity and heat. If you are growing sage indoors, you should place your plant as close to direct light as possible for the majority of the day.
How Many Hours of Sun Does Sage Need?
Sage should have 6–8 hours of direct sunlight each day. Unless temperatures are particularly hot or humidity is running high, this herb will thrive in full sun.
- Sage should have 6–8 hours of full sun every day.
- Sage is drought resistant and likes dry, warm air.
- If humidity is high or temperatures are extreme, provide afternoon shade for your sage plant.
Direct sunlight helps the soil remain somewhat on the drier side, which is good for sage. Sage is very drought resistant and prefers warm, dry air. Just remember to provide some afternoon shade if summer temperatures spike or if humidity is high.
Can Sage Grow in Indirect Sunlight?
Sage will definitely grow and thrive in indirect sunlight. However, make sure to give your plant as much indirect light as possible. For example, if you are growing your sage indoors, place it on a windowsill or on a table near windows that receive the most light in your home.
- Sage will grow and thrive in indirect light.
- If growing sage inside, keep it near windows that receive full light.
- Give sage as much light as possible if no full sun is available.
It may be necessary to switch from one window to another throughout the day to ensure your sage receives as much light as possible. Increasing the number of hours of indirect sunlight your sage gets—whether indoors or outdoors—can make up for the fact that it’s not receiving direct, full sun.
Can Sage Grow in the Shade?
Sage will grow essentially anywhere, and this includes shady areas of your garden. However, sage will not flower if it does not receive any full sun. This is because it requires sun to completely mature, and this will not happen in the shade.
- Sage grows virtually anywhere.
- Sage that does not receive full sun will not flower.
- Certain varieties of sage will grow wild if kept in the shade.
- Sage grown in shade may be flavorless.
Additionally, certain varieties of sage, such as sticky sage, will become even unruly if it is deprived of sun. Sage also requires access to sunlight to maintain its flavor. Therefore, if it does not receive any light, whether direct or indirect, you may end up with sage that has no aroma or taste.
What Happens if Sage Doesn’t Get Enough Sun?
Although sage that does not get the preferred 6-8 hours of full sun per day will still grow, it will not flower and it will not grow to its fullest width and height. If deprived of adequate sunlight, there is also a risk that the plant may not flower, and it may grow leggy and spindly.
- Sage will still grow if it does not get 6 hours of full sun.
- Sage will not grow to its fullest height and width if sun-deprived.
- The flavor of sage is greatly diminished if it is kept from the sun.
The flavor of your culinary sage may be impacted by a lack of sun as well. For example, it may maintain some flavor if it doesn’t get enough sun, but it will probably be dull, and it won’t have the “bite” sage is known for. To avoid these problems, make sure you give your sage at least 6 hours of full sun per day or a full day of indirect sun.
Can Sage Get Too Much Sun?
In some cases, sage can get too much sun. It is a very drought-resistant herb, but at the same time, sage does not like direct sun during times of extreme heat. Wilting is often a sign of overexposure to the sun (although it can be a sign of too much water as well). However, the biggest sign that your sage is getting too much sun is lack of growth. Your plants will look as if they have simply stopped growing, and this is precisely what is happening.
- It’s possible for sage to get too much sun.
- This herb is drought resistant but doesn’t like direct sun when temperatures are high.
- Lack of growth is a major sign of overexposure to the sun.
- Curling leaves may also indicate your sage is getting too much sun.
If you notice any of these signs, offer your plants some afternoon shade. In a few days, these issues should completely clear up if too much sun was indeed the problem.
How Much Sun Does Sage Require?
Sage grows virtually anywhere, but in order to get the healthiest, most flavorful sage, follow these guidelines:
- Sage should have 6 to 8 hours of full sun daily.
- 8 hours of full sun is ideal for sage.
- Offer afternoon shade if temperatures are very high or humidity is climbing.
- If growing sage inside, keep your plants on windowsills where light is available throughout the day.
- If your sage is wilting, provide afternoon shade to prevent sun scorch.
- Sage that does not receive sufficient sunlight will have little to no flavor.
Keep these rules in mind when you plant sage in your herb garden. It prefers sunny locations and will grow best when it is not shaded by other plants. A south-facing garden bed or window is a great choice for growing common sage.