Does Sage Come Back Every Year?

How Sage Re-grows

Welcome to my second post on the subject of whether an herb comes back each year. I previously talked about tarragon. Today I am going to look at what I like to call the official herb of Thanksgiving – sage. Turkey and stuffing benefit much from the addition of this herb. The good news for sage lovers is that sage is a perennial.

The sage plant I own now I purchased back in 2010. It’s still going. During the mild winter of 2012 the plant actually never went dormant, it was green all winter. It didn’t really grow but it stayed green. This past winter was anything but mild. Let me give you an idea of how cold it got here:

1. In January there was 9 days in which it got below zero, featuring 4 straight night of -16 or colder.
2. On January 7th, we had a high of 1.
3. February saw 8 days that got below zero.
4. Even March had a couple days below zero.

As you can see that was a pretty harsh winter. When spring began the plant did not look good. I was wondering if this winter was simply too cold for the sage to survive again. All the leaves looked gray with no green in sight. Even as other herbs started to grow, it seemed my sage plant was destined for the compost pile. However about two weeks ago, the plant showed how tough it is.

New growth began appearing at the tips of some branches.

Sage Growing at Tips

And at the very bottom of the plant just above the soil.

Sage Bottom Growth

It had survived even the harshest of winters!

Pineapple Sage

What About Pineapple Sage?

If you find yourself browsing the selection of herbs at your local greenhouse, you may come across something called Pineapple sage. This isn’t a true sage. It has a wonderful pineapple herbal flavor that is just calling out to be used on on a filet of fish. I always took a moment to smell the leaves everytime I walked by it. Since it’s sage in name only, different rules apply. Pineapple sage will not come back every year unless you live in a warm climate year round (not the case here in lower Michigan.)

Get your herb questions answer at the Herb Question Center of My Blog.

Here are a few of my favorite recipes using sage from my other blog, Eat Like No One Else
Stokes Purple Sweet Potato Gnocchi
Ina Garten’s Sausage and Herb Stuffing
Butterflied Dry Brined Turkey