Can Sage Survive Frost?

Sage is a fragrant herb that can add flavor to many dishes. It grows easily, but even so, it’s best not to plant it in your garden unless you live in a warm climate or have a very large greenhouse. If you’re able to grow sage, here’s what you need to know about frost and how much damage it can cause.

Can Sage Survive Frost?

Sage is hardy in USDA zones 3 through 9, so it can tolerate some freezing temperatures but will not survive freezing conditions if left unprotected.

In areas with mild winters, like the coastal plains of California, sage can survive cold snaps down into the 20s F (–7 C).

In colder areas of the country such as New York State or Minnesota, where winter temperatures consistently drop below 0 F (–17 C), sage may need protection from frost by mulching it with straw bales or similar materials that will insulate it from extreme cold.

How Tolerant Are Sage To Cold Weather

Sage is a hardy plant that can survive temperatures as low as -20°F. This makes it possible for the sage to be grown outdoors in USDA zones 3 to 9, or indoors in cooler areas of the country.

Sage thrives when exposed to cold weather, but not just because of its hardiness. It’s also able to withstand drought conditions if placed in an area where there’s plenty of sunlight and little rain.

Your sage will grow best with at least six hours of direct sunlight every day, making exposure to direct sun very important when growing this herb outside (although you’ll want to move your plants indoors before frost starts).

How To Protect Your Sage From Frost

If you want to protect your sage from frost, you’ll want to give it some shelter from the cold. Here are a few ways to do that:

1. Cut back your sage in the fall. When you cut back your plants to about 8 inches tall, they’ll be less susceptible to cold damage.

2. Plant your sage in a protected area. Sage can withstand cold temperatures, but it thrives when planted in an area with good drainage and protection from wind and frost — like a rock garden or an area closer to the house.

3. Mulch around your sage plants with leaves or straw, which will help insulate them against cold temperatures and prevent moisture loss.

Caring For Sage During The Winter

In the winter, sage plants will often go into a period of dormancy. This means they may lose their leaves and look like they’re dying. Don’t worry! They’ll grow back once spring comes around; if you live in an area where it gets cold in the winter and you want to keep your plant going, now’s the time to prune it back by cutting off stems at ground level.

You can also remove any dead leaves and cover plants with mulch or compost to protect them from frostbite until spring arrives.

If you have a particularly large amount of sage growing in your garden that needs pruning, consider cutting back larger branches rather than individual leaves or stems. Pull up dead flowers as well as any woody growth near the base of the plant (as this can cause problems further down).

What Temperatures Will Kill Sage?

Sage is a hardy herb that can handle cold temperatures and even some frost. But if the temperature gets too low, it can kill the plant.

Sage can tolerate winter temperatures as low as 27 degrees Fahrenheit (-3.8 degrees Celsius) without suffering any damage. If the temperature drops below 20 degrees F (-6.7 C), however, you’ll need to protect your sage from frost damage by covering it with mulch or row covers.

If you live in a colder climate, try growing sage as an indoor plant or container plant by bringing it into the house when the weather starts getting cold and setting it outside again when spring arrives.

Can I Overwinter Sage?

Sage can be overwintered successfully. The best way to do this is to dig up the rootball and store it in a cool, frost-free location. If you have the space, consider storing your plants in pots until spring (or even transplanting them into larger pots), as this will keep more of the roots intact than if they were left in the ground.

When deciding where to store your sage over winter, remember that temperature is not the only factor at play here—humidity plays an equally important role! Make sure that whatever location you choose has plenty of airflows and doesn’t get too humid. You don’t want your sage sitting in stagnant water through cold months as it will rot very quickly.


We hope you have enjoyed reading this article on how to care for sage during the winter. Sage can handle some frost, but if it starts to get too cold, you’ll need to move them indoors.