Different types of sage plants have different growth requirements, but they often produce aromatic leaves and colorful flowers that are edible in some cases. Here we will talk about different sage cultivars you can grow in your garden without much hassle.

Different Types of Sage Plants

Some are edible, while others are ornamental plants that will grow anywhere. So go through this article and see which one works best for you!

Top Varieties of Sage for Your Garden

Sage plants belong to the Salvia genus, which is the largest one in the mint family. This genus includes almost 1000 different sage types, each with its own unique characteristics, so sage plant identification can be difficult. Some are cold-hardy plants, some only grow in warm and dry conditions, and some are edible herbs famous for their scent and unique flavors.

1. Common Sage

Salvia officinalis, also known as culinary sage or common garden sage, is one of the most popular and commonly found easy-to-grow garden sages. Like most sage leaves, theirs are also used in many culinary dishes.

– Planting Options

The edible leaves are not the only attraction of these plants. In the summertime, the herb also produces flowers of bright colors. This herb has a moderate growth rate and is usually planted in spring or fall. It is also one of the best companion plants in many gardens.

– Characteristics

Salvia officinalis is a perennial shrub that produces wooly, gray-green foliage that gives off its signature scent. During the blooming season, the herb produces vibrant blue-purple flowers, adding further interest to their surroundings.

Classic Aroma of Common Sage

This herb is a native plant in the Mediterranean region. The plant grows up to 2 feet in height and has a spread of about 3 feet. The colorful flowers they produce are a great way to attract pollinators such as bees and birds.

– Growth Requirements

This bush grows best during the pleasant seasons of spring and fall. Sage plants prefer sandy or loamy soil that spreads moisture evenly but drains quickly. If you want the best flavors and most vibrant flowers, grow your sage at a location with plenty of sunlight, but it may be a good idea to provide them with some afternoon shade in hotter regions. It requires moderate soil moisture and is somewhat drought-tolerant. We also recommend checking out some Sage companion plants to add to your garden!

2. Mexican Bush Sage

Mexican bush sage (Salvia leucantha) is an evergreen perennial shrub that is an amazing addition to any garden because of its dense foliage and vibrant flowers. These colorful flowers are exceptionally showy and great for attracting wildlife to your garden. The herb is a native plant in Mexico and Central America.

– Characteristics

In some areas, the herb can also be grown as an annual plant, reaching about 3 feet in height over just one season. The shrub grows to a height of 4 feet and has a spread of about 3 feet. The plant is capable of propagating through cuttings.

– Flowering

Mexican sage produces showy flowers that have a soft hairy texture with bicolor blossoms, including shades of white and purple.

Exotic Attraction of Mexican Bush Sage

During the fall season, the herb produces purple flowers that have a velvety texture, just like the Cleveland sage (Salvia clevelandii). These blossoms attract butterflies and hummingbirds that act as pollinators for the plant. The leaves also have a velvety texture and grow in pairs on the square stems of the shrub.

– Growth Requirements

The Mexican sage has slightly different requirements compared to other members of this family. This shrub requires heavy soil and is not susceptible to rotting in such soil conditions. To improve the soil’s drainage, you can add organic compost that will also add nutrients to the soil. It is a drought-tolerant plant, but it will require some water during dry spells and hot months.

The herb requires full sun exposure for proper and healthy growth. Partial shade will not guarantee the best blooms.

3. Autumn Sage

Salvia greggii is a woody perennial shrub that produces abundant flowers from early summer to mid-fall. The shrub can be deciduous or evergreen, depending on the region.

– Planting Options

It offers a wide range of colors in its blossoms and is a rapid grower. So, if you plan to have this plant in your garden, you will not have to wait a lot. The herb is generally planted in the spring from potted nursery plants.

– Characteristics

Autumn sage has a long blooming period, but you will only see vibrant blossoms during springtime and fall. It will bloom again in the summer, but that will not be as showy a display.

Autumnal Beauty of Autumn Sage

The plant has scented green oval leaves that provide the perfect background for the flowers. The flowers are two-lipped and usually have a red or pink color, but some varieties also offer purple, orange, and white colored blossoms.

– Growth Requirements

The ideal soil includes moist soil that drains quickly to avoid soggy situations. In addition, the soil must be fertile and rich in nutrients. The herb can also adapt to gravelly and rocky soil, but it will not grow in dense clay. Finally, the pH of the soil can be slightly acidic or slightly alkaline in nature.

The plant does well in areas that receive plentiful sunlight. This helps the plant spread rapidly and produce abundant flowers.

4. Pineapple Sage

Salvia elegans combines a fruity fragrance with the traditional scent of sage herbs. It is named after its strong scent. It is a member of the mint family, primarily a perennial plant in warm regions. However, it can also grow as an annual sage if you plan to grow it in a colder region.

– Characteristics

This native Mexican shrub can grow up to 5 feet tall. When the scarlet flowers bloom, they immediately become the center of attraction in the garden.

Tropical Flavor of Pineapple Sage

In addition, the plant’s leaves and flowers are edible, but not the seeds, as is the case with the Mexican chia.

– Planting Options

Pineapple sage is a perfect option for garden beds and growing with border plants. It is an easy-to-grow option that you can incorporate into any herb garden without needing extra steps.

– Growth Requirements

It is a frost-sensitive plant and requires a moderately warm and sunny spot for ideal growth. The ideal lighting conditions are direct exposure to the morning sun with little afternoon shade to protect against the heat.

This will help the herb to produce abundant flowers and the best-tasting foliage. The herb can adapt to many soil types but use fertile, rich, consistently moist soil that drains quickly for ideal results.

5. Purple Sage

Purple Sage (Salvia dorrii) is one of the unique members of the salvia genus. It is an upright woody perennial shrub that is a great addition to desert-styled landscapes and gardens. For this reason, it is also called desert sage.

– Adaptability

It is a very resilient plant and suited for hotter regions as it can survive in conditions where most other plants would die. Additionally, it is adaptable and does not require much plant care.

– Characteristics

The shrub produces attractive blue flowers that bloom throughout summer. Since they are fast growers, it is best to plant them during spring or early summer, ensuring their blooms stay on display for as long as possible.

Regal Beauty of Purple Sage

These flowers are a hotspot for pollinators such as hummingbirds and butterflies, and their semi-evergreen grayish foliage keeps the atmosphere fresh throughout the year with its aroma.

– Growth Requirements

The plant prefers infertile and dry soil that drains well and dries out quickly. They would grow better when planted in dunes than in rich and moist garden soil. The plant thrives in full sun exposure with dry conditions and is extremely drought-tolerant, so only water it if it shows signs of drought stress.

6. Scarlet Sage

Salvia splendens, also known as scarlet sage, is an easy-to-grow plant native to high-altitude regions of Brazil. It produces beautiful red flowers. These colorful flowers are a great pollinator attraction that helps the plant propagate.

– Characteristics

This is a plant that grows at high altitudes, between 6,600 and 9,800 feet. While the wild variant is not a very common plant in gardens, it could reach 4 feet tall in its natural habitat.

Fiery Blooms of Scarlet Sage

Many cultivars are often grown in public spaces. They’re commonly used as bedding plants.

– Growth Requirements

Except for soil that promotes waterlogged conditions, every type of soil can be used to plant this sage, so good drainage is the only real requirement in that regard. It normally needs full sun exposure, which helps it bloom properly.

7. Mealy Cup Sage

The mealy blue sage (Salvia farinacea) is a native plant in Mexico, Texas, and New Mexico plains. It is a short-lived herbaceous perennial plant with a fast growth rate. This flowering shrub is grown as an annual in some areas for its flowering clusters, where it dies before the winter season arrives.

– Characteristics

The plant gets its name because of the white felted hair that appears as a powder on its surface. This substance is referred to as farinose or powdery meal, hence the name ‘Mealy.’

Delicate Beauty of Mealy Cup Sage

The plant has spikes of bright blue flowers that are the main source of attraction for this plant. It grows up to 4 feet tall and has glossy leaves with unique square stems.

– Growth Requirements

The sage grows well under the bright sun but also benefits from partial shade if the temperatures rise too much. The plant is very adaptable and can survive in many different soil conditions, including heavy clay and sandy soils. But for the best results, rich and moist soil is your best option.

 8. Woodland Sage

Salvia nemorosa, also known as Balkan Clary or Violet sage, is a deciduous perennial member of the mint family. This sage is a native plant in Europe and west-central Asia, well sought after for its bright flowers, making it a great ornamental sage that can be kept in almost any garden. In addition, it is an easy-to-grow plant that thrives in many environments.

– Characteristics

The meadow sage, another name for the plant, grows to about 3 feet and has a spread of 2 feet. From June to September, the plant produces violet-blue flowers in dense clusters on tall, straight stalks.

Enchanting Aroma of Woodland Sage

These flowers are a great attraction for hummingbirds and butterflies that are great pollinators. Many cultivars have been developed for varying flower colors and sizes.

– Growth Requirements

The plant is very adaptable and can grow in many different environments. For best results, plant the sage under full sun or partial shade. The sunlight is essential for bright and vibrant flowers. The preferred soils include sandy and gravelly moist and well-draining soil to avoid soggy situations. The plant is also resistant to rabbits and deer.

9. Grape-Scented Sage

Salvia melissordora is a fragrant flowering shrub with a strong lavender aroma. The plant is a great addition to any flowering garden for its beauty and aroma. The plant has a dense growth habit and matures into an evergreen shrub. It is a hardy plant that can survive with the least amount of care and attention.

– Characteristics

This sage produces beautiful lavender flowers that are a source of beauty and fragrance all around.

Fragrant Beauty of Grape-Scented Sage

These flowers attract pollinators such as butterflies and hummingbirds, which help them propagate and are a great source of liveliness in the garden. The plant is adaptable and has cold tolerance as well.

– Growth Requirements

Like other flowering plants, this sage thrives in moist soils that are rich with nutrients and have good drainage. However, water logging is dangerous for all plants as it causes root damage, and this plant is no exception. Instead, plant it at a place that receives a good amount of sunlight, so the plant produces the best flowers.

10. Azure Blue Sage

The pitcher sage (Salvia azurea) is a native American wild sage plant seen in the Great Plains in abundance. This wildflower is a beautiful perennial plant sought after for its beauty and attraction. The plant produces abundant blossoms in the form of clumps from midsummer until the frost arrives.

– Characteristics

The plant is well-known for its beautiful two-lipped flowers that appear in clusters on the stems. These sky-blue flowers provide an excellent source of contrast with other flowering plants in their vicinity.

Tranquil Beauty of Azure Blue Sage

It is a hardy plant with strong stems and gray-green leaves that are long and narrow. This attractive sage bush is a great option for garden beds and borders, but it’s also a popular type of sage for cleansing.

– Growth Requirements

Plant the sage under full sunlight, which will help it grow and produce the healthy clusters of flowers for which the plant is known. The best soil for the plant is well-draining, moist soil to help avoid waterlogged conditions. The plant is not particularly needy when it comes to water requirements and can survive with minimal effort.

You can cut back about 1-2 inches during late spring to encourage growth into a bushy habit. It will also help the plant to produce more flowers.

11. Rusty Sage

Salvia lanceolata is an upright fragrant shrub that produces flowers that are like the flowers of other wild sages, such as the clary sage (Salvia sclarea), Greek sage (Salvia fruticosa), and hummingbird sage (Salvia spathacea).

– Benefits

As a member of the sage family, it has many uses in many cuisines and was most likely used in traditional medicine in the past. The plant produces fragrant flowers that are a source of great attraction for birds.

– Characteristics

This sage has light green leaves, producing crimson, dull red, or blue flowers. As mentioned, these flowers are an excellent hotspot for pollinators such as butterflies and birds.

Rustic Charm of Rusty Sage

These pollinators are responsible for spreading their pollen. This cross-pollination is possible because of the unique structure of their flowers.

– Growth Requirements

Rusty sage is not very difficult to plant and propagate. They can be started directly from seeds or cuttings. The plant prefers to grow under the sunlight as it will help develop and colorate its flowers. Put the plant in moist and well-draining soil so that it does not retain its water for extended periods.

12. Fruit Scented Sage

Fruit-scented sage (Salvia dorisiana) is a woody perennial flowering shrub with a branching growth habit. The plant got its name due to the fruity fragrance it produces when its leaves are rubbed or crushed. Due to this aroma, it is also sometimes called peach sage. It is a semi-evergreen plant that is native to Honduras and is an excellent option for plant containers.

– Characteristics

These aromatic shrubs have large, fuzzy, and hairy, heart-shaped leaves. These leaves have a pale green color and a veined texture.

Sweet Aroma of Fruit Scented Sage

Once established, they bloom from winter to summer with magenta and pink flowers. These flowers are quite large and have a lime-green calyx.

– Growth Requirements

It is an adaptable plant that can grow in several conditions. For ideal growth, plant them in areas with full sun to partially shady conditions. They prefer moist, well-draining soils that will not lead to standing water as it can cause damage to the root system of the plant.

13. Blackcurrant Sage

Salvia microphylla is a native plant in South America and Mexico. This flowering shrub has the most fantastic blackcurrant fragrance and stunning cerise flowers, and this makes it highly appreciated, just like the anise-scented sage (Salvia guaranitica).

– Planting Options

It is a hardy evergreen perennial plant that needs protection from cold winds, so it’s more of an indoor option. Thus, it makes for an excellent houseplant and container plant.

– Characteristics

The flowering plant rises to a height of 4 feet and has vibrant cerise flowers that come in shades of pink, red, and white during spring.

Berry Like Aroma of Blackcurrant Sage

The leaves of the plant have many culinary and medicinal uses as well. This evergreen plant’s flowers are also an excellent way of attracting pollinators like bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds.

– Growth Requirements

The plant has moderate growth requirements like the other sage plants discussed above. It prefers areas that have full sun exposure. It likes rich, moist, and well-draining soil to help it reach its full potential. It likes organically rich soils and is tolerant to droughts.


There are hundreds of other sage varieties besides the ones we’ve already mentioned, like the white sage (Salvia apiana), Sonoma sage (Salvia sonomensis), South African sage (Salvia dolomitica), Prawn sage, etc. It’s impractical to list all of them, so we have gone over some of the popular varieties.

  • Generally, these plants grow very quickly and need little care to thrive. You can choose anything from the common sage to the fruit-scented sage, to the woodland sage to beautify your garden.
  • Some varieties of sages, such as the purple sage, autumn sage, and grape-scented sage, can survive in the harshest conditions due to their impressive adaptability.
  • Many sages, such as the common sage or pineapple sage, produce vibrant flowers and edible leaves that add a unique flavor to many dishes.

Which sage plant from this list caught your eye? Choose one of these colorful sage species and boost your garden’s beauty.

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