51014In the first year, Mexican bush sage, Salvia leucantha, does not get very big. Then it gets cut back to the ground at the end of winter. It gets about twice as big in the second year, only to get cut back again as winter ends. By the third or fourth year, healthy maturing plants can grow to five feet tall and seven feet wide each season. While cut back, big clumps can be divided to propagate.

Strikingly purplish blue floral spikes bloom from summer or early autumn until frost. The odd white ‘tags’ that protrude from the fuzzy bracts are the true flowers. The lanceolate leaves are grayish sage green and somewhat fuzzy. Plants are well rounded like tumble weeds, and should not be shorn. Mexican bush sage is very popular among hummingbirds, butterflies and bees.

Mexican bush sage wants full sun exposure, and unlike most other sages, it prefers relatively rich soil. Fertilizer can compensate for inferior or dense soil, and improves foliar density, but too much can delay bloom. New plants like to be watered regularly, especially if they grow well. As they mature and disperse their roots, they become less reliant on regular watering.

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16 thoughts on “Mexican Bush Sage

    1. I think that it is one of the prettiest of the sages. I was never so keen on the sage fad, but there are a few that I like. The main concern with this one is that it gets cut back to the ground after bloom. Some people do not like that.

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  1. I don’t believe I’ve seen this one, but our native mealy blue sage (Salvia farinacea) has been prolific this year, and like this one, it’s pure delight. The butterflies and such love it, too, and it seems to be a favorite of gardeners.

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      1. That seems like too much work for such an easy plant! I know it is probably easier than it sounds because some of the stems that I pluck from overgrown plant come up with roots attached. However, I would prefer to just leave old plants in the ground and cut them back, even though I do not like cutting them back.

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