Sage should not be missing in the herb garden. It is popular as a medicinal plant and condiment. Pruning is required to strengthen vitality. Should you prune sage before or after flowering?

cut sage

Sage (Salvia) belongs to the mint family (Lamiaceae). More than 900 different types of sage are known. The plant is cultivated all over the world as a medicinal and aromatic herb. In Germany, the common sage (Salvia officinalis) is particularly widespread. It tolerates an annual pruning very well. A regularly pruned Salvia shrub develops a beautiful shape, looks healthier and becomes an eye- catcher in the garden , especially during the flowering period .

Note: Pruning, whether before or after flowering, can enhance the aroma of sage leaves.


There are two pruning dates for Salvia shrubs:

  • spring before flowering for extensive pruning
  • the summer after flowering for maintenance pruning

cut in spring

As soon as no more night frosts are to be expected in spring, you can prune your sage bush vigorously.

Date: February to March


  • rejuvenation
  • Stimulating new growth
  • Optimization of the aroma


  1. Take a pair of secateurs.
  2. Check the woody base for shoot buds.
  3. Remove the shoots just above the shoot buds.

New branches quickly emerge from the buds and the herb grows into an attractive plant. After pruning, aromatic sage leaves and many beautiful flowers form.

Note: Only use clean, well-sharpened tools to trim the sage. Blunt cutting tools crush and injure the shoots.

cut in summer

Small shrubs like garden sage are usually pruned after flowering in summer. You can combine this with the second sage harvest.

Date: August to September


  • development of a beautiful form
  • Strengthening of the body’s defenses before the cold season


  1. Choose a dry, sunny morning to cut and harvest the sage.
  2. Use clean, sharp secateurs or a knife.
  3. Cut off the green shoot tips. Be careful not to damage the woody areas.
  4. After harvesting, check whether there are still wilted or dried shoots on the plant. Remove these.
  5. Use the harvested leaves fresh or hang them up to dry in small bunches.
Tip: Always leave a few shoots on the plant. These form an effective winter protection.

frequently asked Questions

Even if the sage family is huge with more than 900 species, the pruning measures differ only slightly. All sage bushes gain vitality through an annual pruning in the summer after flowering and a growth-stimulating pruning in the spring.

Do not tear out the leaves. For daily use, gently pluck them off with your finger. During the final harvest in late summer, you can cut off whole shoots and hang them up to dry.

Experience the beautiful sage blossom and enjoy the enchanting scent. For bumblebees. Bees, butterflies and many beneficial insects will turn your herb bed into paradise with blooming sage. Sage flowers are also excellent for drying. Cut a bouquet yourself or use it to create a fragrant potpourri. If you want to prevent self-seeding, remove the faded inflorescences before seed formation.

If you cut down to the woody parts, new growth is at risk. Shorten the shoots just above the shoot buds. Even very young plants should not be cut back in spring. Only start with three to four year old specimens.

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