707 877-1717        Contact Us        Sign in        Everything Salvias Blog
Search: Advanced Search

Security Seals

Printable version

Salvia melissodora


  • Details

  • Cultural Icons

  • Compatible Plants

  • Customer Reviews

  • Send to Friend

  • Additional Information

  • Attracting Hummingbirds

  • Attracting Butterflies

  • Deer Tips

  • Xeric Care

Salvia melissodora

Limited Availability Plant
Limited Availability

Available May to August only.

Learn more

Description

(Grape Scented Sage) With the grape scent of its pale lavender blossoms and its long history of medicinal use, it is no surprise that this sage is so widely distributed.

The indigenous Tarahumara people of Northern Mexico have used this sage for centuries to treat a variety of infirmities. For the gardener today, it offers drought resistance and heat tolerance along with fragrance and color.

Although it can grow up to 6 feet tall in its native habitat, Grape Scented Sage generally averages growth of 3 feet tall and wide in home gardens. Nevertheless, it is mighty in its ability to ensure pollination in your garden because...

Warning!  This is a powerful hummingbird, honeybee and butterfly magnet!


Another benefit is that although humans and small wildlife find it intoxicating, deer don't.

For a lovely combination, group the lavender and green of Grape Scented Sage with other plants that have strong blue or yellow flowers and which bloom from summer into fall. Give it full sun and well drained soil.

In the home garden, it makes a fine screen, border or background planting. It also does well in containers and cut-flower gardens. Despite its ability to get by on little water, it is adaptable to moist areas of the yard. It's a winner.


Details

Product rating
 
(2 reviews)  

In stock
2 item(s) available

Common name
Grape Scented Sage
USDA Zones
8 - 11
Size (h/w/fh)
36"/36"/36"
Exposure
Full sun
Soil type
Well drained
Water needs
Average
Pot size
3 1/2 inch pot
Container plant?
Yes!
Our price
$8.50

Options

Quantity (2 available)




Here are some guidelines for success with this plant in your garden.
Click on an individual icon for more detailed information.

Exposure

Full sun
Full sun
Heat tolerant
Heat tolerant

Garden Uses

Fragrant
Fragrant

Growing Habit

8 - 11
8 - 11
36 inches tall
36 inches tall
36 inches wide
36 inches wide
Shrub
Shrub

Water Needs

Average water
Average water
Drought resistant
Drought resistant

Blooming Season

Fall blooming
Fall blooming
Summer blooming
Summer blooming

Wildlife

Honeybees
Honeybees
Butterflies
Butterflies
Deer resistant
Deer resistant
Hummingbirds
Hummingbirds
  • Origanum x 'Norton Gold'

    Although used in cooking, this mild tasting oregano is particularly ornamental. Its gold-green leaves turn bright gold in autumn adding a glow to herb gardens, borders and container plantings. In summer, it shoots up 20-inch-tall spikes of pink flowers.

    Norton’s Gold is a hybrid, but the species is native to Greece and Turkey. This short variety rises up 3 to 6 inches and spreads 24 inches or more. So it works well as a fragrant, drought-resistant groundcover. It's also cold tolerant and grows well in USDA Zones 6 to 9.

    Give this perennial partial to full shade or a combination of morning sun and afternoon shade. Any soil will do as long as it is well drained. Regular watering is fine, but as with so many herbs, Norton’s Gold Oregano thrives in dry conditions.

    Historically, oreganos have been used as in herbal remedies for problems including respiratory difficulties, heartburn and urinary tract afflictions. Oregano oil also is used in insect repellant; in the garden, oregano plants deter many garden pests while attracting honeybees and butterflies. You might say they are golden.

    $7.00
  • Salvia cardiophylla

    (Heart Leaf Sage) From the rich plains of Northern Argentina comes this delicate looking sage with heart-shaped leaves and pale blue flowers so perfect they seem to be molded in wax. Although a slow grower that requires good garden culture, this Salvia is exquisite.

    Heart Leaf Sage needs fertile soil that is rich in humus and well drained. It grows well in the ground or in a container. Site it in a warm, sunny spot where it can receive partial shade and no reflected heat. Water and fertilize well. Be patient, as it seems to take a year or more to settle in and become robust. Then sit back and enjoy the lovely foliage and 1-inch-long, striped flowers.

    This perennial sage was found by Rolando Uría in Chaco, Argentina in 2009 and is one of the rarest Salvias in the world. It is quite slow to increase, but we highly recommend its beauty.

    $11.50

    OUT OF STOCK

  • Salvia cedrosensis

    (Cedros Island Sage) From the Island of Cedars off the coast of Baja California Sur comes this delightful xeric sage with deep violet-blue flowers and silvery foliage. The square-shaped, 1-inch-long leaves are densely covered with short white hairs providing moisture retention and a velvety texture.

    This is a gem for xeric, full-sun gardens. It is easy to grow if you understand the conditions on Cedros Island, which are dry, hot and generally sunny. In their mountain-forest ecosystem, the minimal water that these plants receive is largely from occasional fog. So keep this plant mostly dry, give it perfect drainage and don't shade it if possible. Your reward will be a lovely edging plant, small-scale ground cover or a short but dramatic container plant.

    This Salvia is rare to find in cultivation; we are very happy to be able to supply this lovely plant.

    $9.50
  • Salvia coahuilensis

    (Coahuila Sage) Such a pretty little shrub! Its beet-purple flowers will amaze you from June until autumn frost. Coahuilla Sage is an ideal ground cover or sunny border plant at 24 inches tall and wide. Small, shiny, deep green leaves clothe this densely branched, mounding sage.

    This beauty comes from the mountains of Coahuilla, Mexico. Aside from full sun, a little watering and well-drained soil, it is undemanding. We find it to be most attractive when kept on the lean side. A gentle shearing after blooming keeps it tidy and tight.

    Similar in many ways to Salvia greggii (Autumn Sage), this plant has smaller leaves with a distinct spicy aroma. Coahuilla Sage is generally smaller and has a more intense flower color that S. greggii's just dream of. Obviously, we highly recommend it.

    $8.50
  • Salvia elegans

    (Pineapple Sage) An indispensable fall-blooming addition to the garden, this tender perennial is, perhaps, the best of all hummingbird plants. When in bloom, it is covered in 3-inch-long red flowers.

    Pineapple Sage forms a mound of fragrant foliage and brilliant color that is 3 to 6 feet tall. Outdoors, it shows best in mild climates, because it doesn't begin blooming until mid to late fall.

    If your growing season is short, plant it in a large container and overwinter it indoors such as in a greenhouse. Even if you miss the later part of its bloom cycle, the sweet smell of this culinary sage's leaves is a pleasure all summer long. They taste particularly delicious in breads.

    Pineapple Sage works well as a landscape screen or in a perennial border. Its flower spikes are lovely in cut flower arrangements.

    Native to Mexico, it grows at high elevations in Pine and Oak forests. The species is used medicinally -- such as in herb tea -- to relieve anxiety and treat hypertension. Just smelling the leaves makes us happier.
    $8.50
  • Salvia fruticosa

    (Greek Sage) Most of the dried culinary sage sold in the United States is Greek Sage. Frescoes on the island of Crete, dating to 1400 BC, depict this plant used by the Phoenicians and Greeks for cooking and medicine. It is an ancient and beloved friend of mankind.

    In the garden, Greek Sage provides a pleasant lavender fragrance, especially on warm days, and has spikes of pink-to-lavender flowers. Similar to most culinary sages, it loves full sun and well-drained soil. However, it tolerates moist ground. This compact plant, which grows 24 inches tall and 18 inches wide, is a good choice for fragrant borders and patio containers as well as kitchen gardens.

    Grow this drought-resistant, heat-tolerant plant in well-drained soil that is on the dry side.  Butterflies, honeybees and hummingbirds will thank you with frequent visits.

    Although some cooks find Salvia oficinalis culinary sages tastier, Salvia fruticosa is easier to grow. It comprises 50 to 95% of the commercial market. We think it offers an interesting change of taste.
    $8.50

    OUT OF STOCK

  • Salvia keerli

    (Big Grape Sage) This lavender-flowered native of Northern Mexico resembles Salvia melissodora (Grape Scented Sage), but is bigger and also has larger leaves and flowers. It's a great companion plant for its little brother, which shares the same cultural needs and affinity for Zones 8 to 10. Both bloom from summer into fall.

    Similar to Salvia melissodora, this sage is used by the indigenous Tarahumara people of Chihuahua, Mexico, as a medicinal herb. Another commonality is that the flowers smell like ripe grapes, a fact that young children enjoy confirming. In addition to the fragrance of its flowers, Big Grape Sage has appealing leaves with furry, white undersides.

    Give this heat-tolerant Salvia a sunny, warm spot in well-drained soil. Then watch it grow without fuss. Although drought tolerant, it enjoys regular watering. Big Grape Sage is a good choice as a mid-height groundcover or in shrubby and herbaceous perennial borders.

    Butterflies, honeybees and hummingbirds highly recommend this sage, but deer avoid it.
    $9.00

    OUT OF STOCK

  • Salvia kellermanii

    (Kellerman's Sage) Rare in the United States, this wooly leafed, upright shrub comes from Southern Mexico and Guatemala. Mid-size, powder-blue flowers bloom on its long, airy stems from summer through winter in mild climates. It's lovely in mixed, drought-resistant plantings.

    Named for American botanist William A. Kellerman, who began exploring Guatemala in 1904, this shrubby, medium-height sage stands up well to heat and may be more cold hardy than Zone 9. It has been confused with Salvia collinsii, which is much taller, less airy and has white/lavender blossoms.

    Butterflies and hummingbirds enjoy Kellerman's Sage, which is adaptable to either full sun or partial shade. It isn't picky about type of soil, but does need good drainage. Plant it in a container or as a shrubby border.
    $8.50

    OUT OF STOCK

  • Salvia villosa

    (Hairy Sage) In 1877, J.G. Schaffner of Germany -- also known as Johann Wilhelm Schaffner -- collected the small, airy looking Salvia villosa while working as a pharmacist in the town of San Luis Potosi, Mexico.

    Perhaps it was the cool powder blue and softly blended white beelines of the half-inch-long flowers that caught his eye. They bloom from summer into fall. Or maybe it was the contrast of the plants fuzzy, silvery gray foliage that made him take a specimen. In time, American botanist Merritt Lyndon Fernald would give the plant its scientific name using the term villosa to indicate its hairy quality.

    Hairy foliage conserves moisture. Salvia villosa is ideal for dry gardens, such as rockeries, due to its excellent drought resistance. It is heat tolerant and grows best in dry climates where it doesn't have to deal with much winter moisture.

    When these conditions are met, this pretty, little sage is a pleasing plant. To help it succeed outside the Southwest, we recommend growing it in a container where it can be sheltered from heavy winter moisture. Give this plant full sun, great drainage and limited water in USDA Zones 8 to 11. That's all it needs.

    Very limited.
    $9.00

    OUT OF STOCK

  • Salvia x 'Berkeley Blues'

    (Berkeley Hybrid Sage) Honeybees and butterflies love the blue flowers of this mid-size shrub -- a likely hybrid of Grape Scented Sage (Salvia melissodora) and Rosy Bract Sage (Salvia rubiginosa).

    Grape Scented Sage and Rosy Bract Sage are native to Mexico. This hybrid is superior to both parent plants, with nicer flowers, leaves, bracts and growth habit. It is tough, long blooming and fragrant. Berkeley Blues was a new and exclusive introduction for FBTS in 2013. Rarely do we find something so new that is so good. We recommend it for in-ground and container planting.

    Although its individual flowers are small, the 6-inch-long flower spikes of this shrub are impressive in combination with its rosy, jewel-like bracts that glisten in the sun. Berkeley Blues has a symmetry similar to some of the smaller Rhododendrons and looks attractive even when not in bloom.

    This plant thrives on average watering based on local conditions, but can tolerate drought. It does well in full sun to partial shade and is made for areas with moderate winter temperatures.
    $9.00

    OUT OF STOCK

  • Salvia madrensis

    (Forysthia Sage)  This statuesque perennial grows up to 10 feet tall, but spreads only 3 feet wide. It is a late bloomer from Mexico's Sierra Madre Oriental mountains where it grows at altitudes of 4,000 to 5,000 feet and tolerates temperatures down to 20 degrees F.

    Short periods of colder temperatures don't kill this tough sage. When knocked out by frigid weather, it usually comes back from root stock. A single plant forms a multi-stemmed thicket through slowly spreading rootstock, but can easily be kept tidy by removing unwanted stems.

    Give this sage morning sun and afternoon shade as well as ample water. From fall until frost -- or into spring in mild winter areas -- it will reward you with buttery yellow flowers that make this shrub look like a Forsythia from a distance. But get up close and you will notice that it has roughly textured, heart shaped leaves as well as thick, square stems.

    You can grow Forsythia Sage as a screen, border or background plant. It even does well in containers. We love to plant Bog Sage, Salvia uliginosa at its base for a bright blue floral contrast.
    $8.50

    OUT OF STOCK

  • Sideritis oroteneriffae

    (Canary Island White Sage) Thick, almost succulent leaves are so furry and white that everyone that sees this Canary Island native reaches out to stroke it. A true standout in a hot dry garden, this tough plant is the perfect background to show off the brightly colored flowers of many Salvias.

    Tiny yellow flowers in whorls are not showy, but clearly identify this plant as a close relative to Salvias.  Rare in cultivation, this is a fine garden plant for harsh conditions - and even grows well for us on the Northern California Coast.

    Grow in dryish, well drained soil in full sun and enjoy this unique Salvia companion,
    $7.00
  • Salvia ballotaeflora

    In Spanish, Mejorana means "marjoram”. Similar to oregano-type Marjoram – another Mint family member -- this sage is used to flavor meat dishes. Our cultivar, which is native to Texas and Mexico, has lovely bluish-purple flowers that bloom summer to fall amid fragrant, fine, furry green foliage.

    Don’t give this tough sage fertilizer or too much water. It is adjusted to rocky, gravely limestone soils such as those of the Edward’s Plateau in South Central Texas. However, it can handle a medium loamy soil. In nature, it grows on brushlands, including hillsides and thickets.

    At 72 inches tall and wide, this heat-tolerant, drought-resistant plant makes a fine screen or border in a dry garden or a woodland setting with dry shade. It also does well in full sun. Butterflies, hummingbirds and honeybees love its nectar. Although deer have been known to nibble on Mejorana, it is not one of their favorite foods.

    One of Mejorana’s other common names is Shrubby Blue Sage, but there are also white- and purple-flowering varieties. Salvia ballotaeflora is also known botanically as S. ballotiflora . Rock Sage (S. pinguifolia) is a purple-flowering relative that is native from Arizona into Texas and is sometimes referred to as S. ballotaeflora or S. ballotiflora .
    $8.50

    OUT OF STOCK

  • Salvia thymoides

    (Thyme Leaf Sage) The tiny leaves of this gem look like white, wooly, dense Thyme foliage. Although only 12 inches tall and wide, it is a well-branched sub-shrub. The foliage contrasts handsomely with small cerulean blue flowers that have prominent beelines.

    This is a plant to see up close in a container or rock garden. However, it's also an excellent choice for path edging or front of border with other shrubby Salvias. It excels in dry gardens.

    Thyme Leaf Sage is native to a small region in Mexico on the border of Oaxaca and Puebla states. It grows at elevations from 7,000 feet to 9,000 feet in cloud forest conditions where the majority of moisture received comes from fog condensation. In America, it grows well in USDA Zones 8 to 11.

    Give this sage full sun and well-drained soil that tends toward dryness. We have seen it thrive in a variety of climates if these basic requirements are met.
    $8.50

    OUT OF STOCK

  • Salvia lasiantha

    (Wooly Multicolor Sage) In Greek, "lasiantha" means "wooly flower." The flowers of Salvia lasiantha are surrounded by wooly bracts, but are even more notable for transforming from apricot-orange in the morning to reddish-purple later in the day.

    The bracts are also dramatic -- a fuzzy white overlaid with pink, orange, violet and cream. The large flower clusters bloom from mid-summer until the onset of cold weather. Large wrinkled foliage and white wooly stems are other distinctive features of this large, shrubby sage. All that wooliness helps this native of Mexico and Costa Rica to conserve moisture during drought and extreme heat.

    At 5 feet tall and wide, this fragrant butterfly magnet makes a good screen, background planting or addition to a shrubby border. It can even be grown in a large patio container.
    $9.00

    OUT OF STOCK

  • Cantua buxifoloa

    (Sacred flower of the Incas) Long reddish blossoms with flared, trumpet-like corollas and bright blue pollen contrast with mid-green foliage in the long-blooming, South American species Cantua buxifolia.

    To be more specific about color, the flowers are magenta to red-orange. They grow in clusters of 12 or more on these tall shrubs that are evergreen in areas with mild winter temperatures. In its native lands, this heat- and humidity-tolerant plant grows on the margins of forests. For best results, give it full sun and rich, well-drained soil. You'll be rewarded with visits from butterflies and hummingbirds.

    Mostly known as "Kantu" or "Cantuta" in Peru and Bolivia where it is considered a national flower, Cantua buxifolia also grows in the Yungas mountains of Northern Argentina. Aside from reds, different varieties of the species offer pink, yellow and white flowers.

    Cantua is a Latinization of qantu -- the species' original name from the native Quechuan people of the Andes. Buxifolia refers to the shrub's boxwood-style foliage.

    Considered sacred in Andean cultures, reddish Kantu flowers often are used decoratively during during holy days. Perhaps because of their sizeable, tubular flowers, Kantu is a word also used to describe musical groups that play Andean flutes similar to pan pipes.

    $8.50
Average customer rating:
 
(2 reviews)  



2 Most useful customer reviews (see all reviews):
Brandon the Herb Guy
Feb 22, 2014
This customer purchased the item at our site.
A superb garden plant. All it wants to do is bloom. It'll sulk in extremely dry conditions, but give it a little water and it'll bloom forever. I've seen this species grow over 5 feet tall at a local Botanic Garden, and it only stops blooming when it's pruned heavily in Winter. Then it resumes blooming as if nothing happened.

While it seems to tolerate full sun, it thrives best with at least some shade. The rugose, soft-looking leaves are welcome anywhere in my yard, but can be somewhat sticky.
Loading...Was the above review useful to you? Yes (1) / No (0)
Marilyn from KY (zone 6a)
Apr 11, 2014
Last year, was the first time I grew this wonderful Salvia.

I got 2 from FBTS and grew them in a large container with one other Salvia. I had the container at the end of our side entry driveway, so I didn't see it all the time to see "who" visited the flowers, but with 2 together, I'm sure there was lots of activity.

I was in awe by the flowers and the leaves. I'm looking forward to the new one I'm getting from FBTS this year.

I love this Salvia!

Please continue to offer this one every year Kermit!
Loading...Was the above review useful to you? Yes (0) / No (0)

: *
: *
: *
Type the characters you see in the picture:
Verify Humanity

*
Pantone Pageant: 15 Designer African Violet Salvias and Companions

Pantone Pageant: 15 Designer African Violet Salvias and Companions


Category: Cultivating Color
Posted: May 23, 2013 12:22 PM
Synopsis: Purples are cool yet quietly passionate. This includes African Violet 16-3520, a spring 2013 designer color created by the Pantone Corporation. Shades in the blue and purple color range are tranquil and soothing yet commanding, because they calm the garden. If you have a garden bed that is in your face with bright reds, oranges and yellows, one way to cool it down is to add Salvias and companion plants from the blue to purple palatte. Here are 15 choices from our catalog that fashionably match Pantone's African Violet.
Sacred Sage: Soothing Grape Scented Sage

Sacred Sage: Soothing Grape Scented Sage


Category: Sacred Sages
Posted: Oct 21, 2012 06:50 PM
Synopsis: Salvias are well known for their aromatic foliage. However, Grape Scented Sage (S. melissodora) has fragrant blossoms as well that are edible. Both the plants leaves and flowers are used in soothing teas. The powerfully perfumed flowers have been described as smelling like freesia and lavender as well as grapes. In parts of Mexico, Grape Scented Sage is used in herbal remedies to treat diarrhea.
The Power of Scent

The Power of Scent


Category: Everything Salvias Blog
Posted: Aug 31, 2012 12:15 AM
Synopsis: While it's true that not all Salvias smell, well, pleasant, many varieties are grown specifically for the pungent or even sweet aromas that they release into the air. These ten Salvias are our "text-decoration: underline;">top picks for the best-smelling varieties in the garden.
I like Amstiad

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.


  1. Go tubular. Hummingbirds need tubular flowers that are easy for long, thin beaks to access.
  2. Provide lots of color. Think of yourself as a cafeteria manager who needs to provide many tempting choices in order to attract business. Red, pink, orange and purple sages are particularly powerful hummingbird magnets.
  3. Keep your garden blooming. Plant a variety of Salvias based not only on color but also a broad span of bloom times. Many flower from spring into fall. Others are prolific fountains of nectar for shorter seasons. Numerous winter-blooming species are available for areas that are home to hummingbirds year round.
  4. Grow sages native to the Western Hemisphere. Although hummingbirds will take advantage of many kinds of tubular flowering plants, these tiny birds are native to the Western Hemisphere and prefer flowering plants native to their half of the world.
  5. Select Salvia companion plants. Hummingbirds appreciate a variety of favorite tubular-flowered plants.
  6. Plant hummingbird gardens near cover. Trees and bushes surrounding feeding areas provide protection from predators and chilly, rainy weather.
  7. Don't use pesticides. Insects provide protein for hummingbirds, so don't kill these food sources.
  8. Provide water. Hummingbirds frolic in misters and shallow birdbaths.
  9. Supplement plantings with feeder tubes. Change the sugar water every few days and don't add food coloring. Keep the feeders clean, but don't scrub them with soaps or detergents. Here is more feeder care information.
  10. Read more. Our Everything Salvias Blog offers a number of articles about hummingbirds.
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterfly

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:


  1. Plant sages with platform-type blossoms. Unlike hummingbirds, butterflies can't hover while feeding. Sages with large lower lips and short nectar tubes, such as those in the Autumn Sage (Salvia greggii) and Mountain Sage (S. microphylla) group, give butterflies a place to stand while gathering nectar and pollen.
  2. Provide lots of color and sunlight. Butterflies need to stay warm and are attracted to a broad range of flower colors.
  3. Include native species. Insects and plants have co-evolved to meet each other's needs within their native regions. Butterflies prefer feeding on their local, native perennials and shrubs.
  4. Grow Caterpillar Host Plants. Butterflies need baby nurseries. Some are extremely picky about the plants on which they lay eggs, such as Monarchs, which need milkweeds (Asclepias spp.). The North American Butterfly Association is a good source of information about host plants.
  5. Don't use pesticides. They kill many beneficial insects, including butterflies.
  6. Keep your garden blooming. Plant a variety of Salvias based on bloom times as well as color and shape. Many flower from spring into fall. Others are prolific fountains of nectar for shorter seasons.
  7. Provide puddles. Butterflies stay hydrated by splashing in puddles located in sunny spots on the ground or raised up in shallow birdbaths. Include rocks for basking; butterflies need to dry and warm their wings.
  8. Plant butterfly gardens near shelter. Butterflies need to be able to flee into trees, shrubbery and woodpiles when predators appear and when windy or rainy weather occurs.
  9. Supplement plantings with rotten fruit. Some butterflies love the juice of rotting fruit even more than nectar.
  10. Read more. Our Everything Salvias Blog offers a number of articles about butterflies.

Hey, got any greens?

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.


  1. Mask smells that deer like with aromatic sages. Deer and other members of the Cervidae family, such as elk, mostly leave Salvias alone. One theory is that they don't like the fragrance or taste of sage chemicals. Strategically planting sages near vegetable gardens or fruit trees -- elixir to deer -- may prevent consumption.
  2. Grow hedges including Salvias. Prickly hedges, including hairy-leafed Salvias and exceptionally thorny roses, can discourage deer from entering your yard. They don't like the mouth-feel of those textures. Tall hedges also hide strawberry beds and other yummy plantings from view.
  3. Don't overplant one species. Grow a variety of Salvias in case local deer take an unexpected liking to one species of sage.
  4. Fence deer out. Install electric fences or 8-foot wood or metal fences around particularly vulnerable areas. Make sure electric fencing is turned on during the peak feeding seasons of early spring and late fall.
  5. Use motion-detection tools. Install outdoor lighting that is activated by movement.
  6. Let the dogs out. Deer are especially wary of large dogs.
  7. Surround and cover. Wrap tough plastic around the trunks of trees that have tasty bark and cover foliage with bird netting when trees and bushes are fruiting.
  8. Change yard ornaments periodically. Objects such as scarecrows, statuary and cordons of monofilament string with strips of shiny foil attached cause deer to shy away.
  9. Make safe choices. Research repellants you plan to use to make sure they aren't poisonous.
  10. Be flexible and ready to share a bit. There is no such thing as a completely deer-resistant garden.
It's dry out there

Xeric plants are excellent for water conservation. They grow well in dry gardens with little to no supplemental watering once established. In fact, overwatering can harm these plants, which are native to dry environments such as deserts and chaparral.

At Flowers by the Sea, we identify all xeric plants with a blue plant marker that warns against overwatering. Here are some tips for growing and understanding our xeric, or blue tag, plants:

1) In a humid region, you may find it difficult to grow plants native to semi-arid and arid environments. Yet xeric plants may succeed if you have a persistently dry area, such as under a roof overhang or in the shelter of a tree.

2) Xeric plants are excellent for locations far from garden hoses, such as along sidewalks -- areas often referred to as "hellstrips."

3) Shipping is hard on xeric plants, which suffer from confinement in small containers as well as boxes. You may see some mold, spots on leaves or withered foliage when they arrive. But xeric plants perk up with proper care while hardening off in partial shade before planting.

4) When amending soil before planting, remember that xeric plants not only need excellent drainage but also flower better in low fertility soil. Fertilize sparingly and use a mix with more phosphorous than nitrogen to encourage flowering and discourage lax overgrowth of foliage.

5) Organic matter, such as compost, is an excellent soil amendment for xeric plants, because it keeps their roots healthy by improving aeration and drainage.

6) When your xeric plants are established, water infrequently to encourage deep root growth and to avoid fungal problems. However, it's a good idea to gently spray dust off foliage about once a week.