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A picture of a Yellow Sage

Yellow Sage

Salvia officinalis 'Icterina'

Also known as

Common Sage 'Icterina', Sage, Icterina sage

Photo by ignisavem (All rights reserved)

Full Sun
Easy care
Light watering
Frost Hardy


RHS hardiness


Minimum temperature

Expected size








5 years to reach maturity


  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has a mild fragrance

More images of Yellow Sage

A photo of Yellow Sage
A photo of Yellow Sage

Yellow Sage Overview

'Icterina' is an evergreen, dwarf sub-shrub that is a variegated cultivar of the common sage. Its foliage is beautifully marbled in a range of primroses, golds and sage-greens. It is an attractive, hardy, low maintenance plant that can tolerate poor soil conditions and drought. It also produces two-lipped, pale purplish-blue flowers that are around 2 cm long. This cultivar performs best in a warm site, perhaps at the base of a warm wall. It can also tolerate light shade, but cold, damp conditions are best avoided!

Common problems with Yellow Sage

Sage is susceptible to stem rot and whiteflies.

Yellow Sage Companion Plants

How to harvest Yellow Sage

Leaves can be harvested throughout the year, preferably before the flowers open. Harvest lightly in the first year to ensure that the plant grows fully. Sage is best fresh but can be frozen or dried.

How to propagate Yellow Sage


Start seeds indoors in frost areas 6-10 weeks before transplanting or sow seeds directly in Spring and Summer. Germination takes 2 weeks.


Take half ripe stem or shoot cuttings 5-10 cm long or mature cuttings 7-10 cm long from Spring to Autumn and plant out directly. Keep moist until well-rooted


Divide plants in Spring.


Air layer in Spring or Autumn.

Special features of Yellow Sage

Attracts bees

Attracts butterflies

Repels harmful insects

Sage repels ants, black flea beetle, cabbage fly, cabbage looper and cabbage maggot.

Drought resistant

Pot plant

Attractive leaves

Other uses of Yellow Sage

Culinary, border, foliage, fragrance


The leaves are edible and have a savoury, slightly peppery flavour. The flowers and leaves can be eaten raw, cooked, boiled or pickled.


Used as a homoeopathic medicine. The oil is thought to have astringent and stimulant properties and soothe muscle stiffness, rheumatism, and neuralgic conditions. It is antiseptic and anti-viral.

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