| (California Purple Sage or California Gray Sage) This California native is commonly known as Purple Sage for its flowers or Gray Sage for its silvery, velvety, foliage. Due also to its hardiness, drought tolerance and ability to attract small wildlife, it is a joy in the dry garden. |
Salvia leucophylla is highly aromatic and grows gradually into a dense, silver mound. Its fragrant flowers last from late winter to spring, welcoming honeybees and hummingbirds with nectar. Songbirds are drawn to the tasty seed it produces and the insects it attracts.
All this sage requires to thrive in Zones 8 and 9 is well-drained soil and full sun. Salvia leucophylla likes ocean breezes as well as the heat of inland canyons. Being hardy to at least 15 degrees F, it is worth a try in some Zone 7 areas.
We would use this heat-tolerant shrub in the landscape even if it didn't flower, because its long, fuzzy, gray-green leaves with serrated edges are so appealing. Aside from being a handsome screen or border plant in the dry garden, it makes a great large-scale ground cover that takes minimal care.
Our stock was originally raised from seed collected at the far northern end of its range.
Synopsis: Salvias are not a favorite food for deer. However, they will eat some when plants they consider tasty are in short supply. There is no such thing as deer-proof plants, but you can limit deer damage to your landscaping and vegetable garden by planting lots of sages and other plants that aren't among deer favorites.
Hummingbirds love Salvia (sage) nectar and are attracted to it by the bright colors of tubular sage blossoms. In particular, these little whirlybirds can easily spot flowers in the red spectrum, which is prevalent among sages. Here are some hummingbird gardening tips.
Fragrance as well as color attracts butterflies. However, they don't have noses. Instead, butterflies smell and taste with their antennas and feet. Here are some ways to attract them:
If you live in suburbs or rural areas where deer plunder gardens, Salvias (sages) can be part of your plan for discouraging these hungry visitors. Here are some tips.