Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Autumn Sage

           Autumn Sage (Salvia greggii) is also commonly known as Cherry Sage owing to its flower color.

Autumn Sage is native to the Chihuahuan desert. It is a small, evergreen to semi-evergreen shrub reaching 2’-3’ tall and wide. It blooms repeatedly through summer until frost making it a great addition to the garden or xeric landscape. It has one inch red to pink flowers that are found on spikes up to 10 inches long and are attractive to hummingbirds (see photo below). The red and pink flowered varieties are the most common but Autumn Sage can also be found in white, yellow, and orange flowered types.

Autumn Sage is very heat tolerant and best grown in full sun on well-drained soils. It is a low water use plant once established but flowers more regularly with extra water.  Care consists of late winter pruning to remove dead wood and dead tips to encourage lush regrowth (see photo below). Autumn Sage is hardy to USDA zone 6.

Autumn Sage makes a colorful addition to the landscape. Use in borders, along walkways, and in the xeriscape (see photo below). Its colorful flowers add interest to the landscape and bring in the hummingbirds and butterflies.

Written By:
Stephen Sain
Staff Plant Physiologist

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