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Salvia texana


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Salvia texana

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Description

(Texas Blue Sage) This is a cutie and a tough customer once established. It even grows well in caliche soils. Although Salvia texana typically blooms only during spring in Texas, it has a longer season stretching into fall up north.

Flower colors are in the blue range and include purple and violet. Our strain could be described as having the violet of Scarlet O’Hara eyes as well as pronounced white beelines. Its deep green, oblong leaves and bracts are covered with silky hairs so long that they look like eyelashes.

Although short at 12 to 24 inches tall, Texas Blue Sage is so charming that we like to crouch down to get a closer look. In Northern California, it thrives in full sun, but in Texas, it appreciates a bit of shade on the hottest days. This drought resistant Texas perennial does well in a dry garden, but also accepts regular watering in well drained soils.

It can be temperamental outside its native range, so please take special care with this species.  Not a good plant for moist or humid parts of he country.

Grow it as a groundcover or in borders, native plant gardens and prairie-type landscapes. We agree with the butterflies, hummingbirds and honeybees that visit this beauty: What’s not to love about it.

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Common name  
Texas Blue Sage
USDA Zones  
6 - 9
Size (h/w/fh)  
12"/12"/24"
Exposure  
Full sun
Soil type  
Well drained
Water needs  
Average
Pot size  
3 1/2 inch deep pot
Container plant?  
Yes
Our price
10.50

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Here are some guidelines for success with this plant in your garden.
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Exposure

Full sun
Full sun

Growing Habit

6 - 9
6 - 9
12 inches tall
12 inches tall
12 inches wide
12 inches wide
Ground cover
Ground cover
Perennial
Perennial

Water Needs

Drought resistant
Drought resistant

Blooming Season

Fall blooming
Fall blooming
Summer blooming
Summer blooming

Wildlife

Butterflies
Butterflies
Deer resistant
Deer resistant
Hummingbirds
Hummingbirds

Colors

Salvias and their companion plants pop with color. Sweep your eyes from top to the bottom here for an impression of this plant's color combinations. The first row displays blossoms from primary to less dominant shades and includes any contrasting throat color. The second tier is the main hue of leaf-like bracts or calyxes supporting the flowers. Foliage (one or two colors) leafs out in the bottom row.
Primary color - Strong Violet - RHS# 93B



Throat color - Vivid Violet - RHS# 89A

Primary color - Strong Violet - RHS# 93B



Bract color - Strong Yellowish Green
RHS# 144C

Leaf color - Moderate Yellowish Green
RHS# 146C



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Ready for some pruning?

Rosette growing herbaceous perennial Salvias

These are herbaceous perennial species with low mounds of foliage and flowers on stems that grow erect from the base of the plant.

Pruning is both an art and a science. It takes practice, experience and learning from your mistakes to become a proficient pruner. The pruning information about this plant should be considered as a guideline for getting started. Your particular climate, soils, watering and fertility schedules, sun exposure, space requirements and weather are all factors that influence how and when you choose to prune. We’re providing a starting place for you, and over time you will learn the particularities of this plant in your garden. Don’t be afraid to get started – Salvias, in general, are quick to rebound if inappropriately pruned.

Deadheading – the removal of spent flowers, is a practice that will always benefit the plant’s health and appearance. This can be done at any time. Pruning involves removal of entire stems of spent growth. Becoming "spent" means that flowering stems stop blooming and begin going to seed.

Growing Season Pruning

During spring and summer, completely remove any flowering stems that become spent.


Dormant Season Pruning

At the end of the season, cut to ground any remaining flower stems.


Check the Views from the Garden section of our Everything Salvias Blog for videos that apply to this plant.

  • Asclepias speciosa

    (Showy Milkweed) Milkweeds (Asclepias spp. ) are must-have, nectar-rich plants in the butterfly garden. They're the only genus on which the endangered Monarch butterfly lays eggs. It is urgent that we offer this pretty, fragrant wildflower.

    In spring 2013, The New York Times reported a precipitous decline in the Monarch butterfly migration due to various causes, including North America’s plummeting supply of Milkweed. The species normally grows wild in agricultural fields. However, the increasing use of seed genetically modified to withstand herbicides has eliminated at least 120 million acres of Monarch habitat, according to The New York Times.

    Backyard gardeners can help reverse this trend by growing plants, such as Showy Milkweed, which keep the Monarch migration alive and feed other species of butterflies as well.

    Butterflies need flowers on which they can easily perch while sipping nectar. Plants with globe-shaped flower heads, such as those of Milkweeds, meet this need. The roughness of Showy Milkweed's long, fuzzy, gray-green leaves make it easy for eggs and chrysalises to connect. Powerful chemicals in the foliage are consumed by Monarch caterpillars and make them off limits -- as babies and adult butterflies -- to predators that can’t consume those substances.

    Showy Milkweed features globes of tiny, star-shaped flowers that are pale, creamy pink. It isn’t very big for such a powerful plant, growing only 24 to 36 inches tall and 24 inches wide. Although it can tolerate a bit of partial shade, this plant prefers full sun. It likes droughty conditions as well as gravelly ground. Any kind of soil will do as long as it drains well.

    This cold-tolerant species grows well in USDA Zones 4 to 9 where it looks pretty in perennial borders or massed with other Lepidoptera favorites in butterfly gardens. It is particularly well adapted to dry gardens. Milkweeds are native to a large swath of North America, so they are also good choices for native gardens.

    To control the plant’s tendency to naturalize in parts of the yard where you don’t want to grow it, simply snip off the seedpods before they ripen and pop open.

    IMPORTANT NOTE:  What you will recieve is a very well established root system.  The foliege will not be cosmetically perfect, and it is only in the second year, once planted out in the ground, that this species will attain its full potential.  In the wild this species often exhibits summer dormancy. There is generally very little above ground activity in the year in which this is planted.

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  • Salvia arizonica

    (Arizona Blue Sage) We are so impressed with this top-performing, drought-resistant ground cover that we have rated it best of class. Arizona Blue Sage is adaptable to a variety of shady conditions and blossoms so abundantly that it seems to have as many rich blue flowers as it has leaves. It is native to dry, shaded areas in mountain canyons in Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.

    This softly mounded plant also works well as a patio container plant. Although it grows well for us in dense shade, it does particularly well in spots where it receives morning sun and afternoon shade. Providing regular watering based on local conditions is best, but this hardy perennial tolerates shortages. It also can withstand a wide temperature range, including extreme summer heat and the chill of Zone 6 winters when mulched. It does not do well in very warm and humid areas unless in a very well drained location with good air circulation.

    Highly recommended.

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  • Salvia azurea

    (Prairie Sage) Native to a large part of the central United States, this perennial Salvia is a beloved wildflower, delighting us with large cerulean blue flowers. Hummingbirds and butterflies love it as well.

    In full sun with good soil, this sage provides a spectacular floral display from late summer through fall.  We like to plant it among other perennials and shrubs, where it can poke its head out here and there.  It's a reliable addition to any garden designed to attract pollinators and the human eye.

    10.50
  • Salvia greggii 'Burgundy Seduction'

    (Burgundy Seduction Autumn Sage) A deeply saturated burgundy, the flowers of this Autumn Sage clone are large and profuse. They seem to bloom nonstop and glow in contrast to their dark calyxes. Plus, this Southwestern plant grows rapidly.

    This is a hybrid of the standby 'Raspberry Delight'. We love the hybrid's depth of color. It's an excellent choice to contrast with lighter colored, drought-resistant Autumn or Mountain Sages in shrubby borders, background plantings and patio containers. We highly recommend it as our best upright purple-tone Salvia greggii.

    Burgundy Seduction blooms from spring into fall and attracts butterflies, honeybees and hummingbirds. Deer resist its charms.
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  • Salvia greggii 'Cold Hardy Pink'

    (Cold Hardy Pink Autumn Sage) Medium creamy-hot pink flowers and contrasting, red bracts make this Autumn Sage stand out. This drought tolerant Autumn Sage from Northern Texas is also compact, rugged, heat tolerant and capable of handling Zone 5 chill. Yes - Zone 5!

    In short, being pink doesn't mean you aren't tough. This is a plant you can expect to survive rough weather. It is one of the most cold tolerant Autum Sage varieties we know of.

    The first person to bring Autumn Sage to the notice of the horticultural world was Josiah Gregg, after whom the species is named. A pioneer and plant explorer, Gregg discovered the species in Northern Mexico in the mid 19th century.
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  • Salvia greggii 'Elk Pomegranate'

    (Elk Pomegranate Autumn Sage) We're proud to say that this is an FBTS cultivar. It is one of the finest dark flowered, compact Autumn Sage varieties we have seen. Its extraordinarily large, raspberry blossoms bloom from spring into fall.

    The large, luxuriant leaves are a bright Kelly green as are the stems and calyxes. Although it does well in full sun, it especially thrives in morning sun and afternoon shade. This heat-tolerant, drought-resistant sage is ideal in patio containers and along borders. It's also just the right size and look for a dry garden groundcover.

    We aren't the only ones that love it. Butterflies, honeybees and hummingbirds frequently visit our Elk Pomegranate plantings. They highly recommend it and so do we.

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  • Salvia greggii 'Furman's Red'

    (Furman's Red Autumn Sage) Selected by noted Texas plantsman W.A. Furman in the 1970s, this hardy Texas native is beautiful and tough withstanding heat, drought and freezing winters. Its flowers, which bloom spring through fall, are a rich, saturated red bordering on magenta.

    Averaging growth up to 3 feet tall, but never wider than 2 feet, it adds zing to borders in spaces between lower growing plants such as Salvia x jamensis. It harmonizes well with pastel types of S. x jamensis.

    Heat tolerant and drought resistant, Furman's Red is a good background planting or tall groundcover in a dry garden. It readily attracts honeybees and butterflies, but not deer. This is one of the best choices for extreme conditions, seeming to thrive on hot, dry days and cold nights. Plant it in full sun or partial shade in any well-drained soil.

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  • Salvia greggii 'Lipstick'

    (Lipstick Autumn Sage) Similar to a little bit of lipstick on a pretty face, the rosy flowers of this hardy, heat-tolerant sage add a finishing touch to a perennial Salvia border. The creamy pinkish-red blossoms have a contrasting white throat and are cupped by rosy brown calexes on long spikes.

    We can say with certainty that this variety never stops blooming all season from spring into fall. At 3 feet tall and wide, it makes an impressive color spot in the garden when planted as an accent. In a container, it's a good highlight on a sunny patio. Use it as a background planting in dry gardens.

    Most Autumn Sage varieties, which are native to Texas, appreciate a bit of shade in the hottest areas. However, this one seems to love the heat and also tolerates the chill of Zone 6 winters.

    Use Lipstick's color where it can be appreciated: next to yellows, soft pastel pinks or apricot/sunset shades.  Place it where you can see it easily, because you will be rewarded with views of hummingbirds and butterflies. Honeybees also love to buzz the blossoms.

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  • Salvia greggii 'Lowrey's Peach'

    (Lowrey's Peach Autumn Sage) No other Salvia has a color like this: a warm, rosy orange with a pastel peach skirt and bright yellow throat. Wow! This is our best pastel orange Autumn Sage not only due to its blossoms but also it's compact branching habit and glossy foliage.

    Hardy to at least 10 degrees F, Lowrey's Peach is also heat tolerant and can be expected to bloom from spring into fall. It would look lovely in a mixed planter or perennial border with Autumn Sages featuring red, pink and yellow blossoms. Or mass it for a spectacular groundcover. It loves full sun, but tolerates a bit of shade.

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  • Salvia greggii 'Orange Yucca Do'

    (Big Orange Autumn Sage) Standout color is the big draw for this large growing Autumn Sage. Collected in the mountains of Northern Mexico, it grows well in a wide range of climates, including the hot dry Southwest and the cool moist Pacific Northwest. A difficult color to capture in a photo, it is well described as a warm orange with a scarlet overlay.

    The unusual color and large size of this cultivar make it a great accent plant, surrounded by deep blues or whites. Most people who see this one in person find it both attractive and unusual. And it is unusually long blooming as well!

    Highly recommended.

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  • Salvia greggii 'Playa Rosa'

    (Pink Beach Autumn Sage) When it blooms from spring into fall, this heat- and chill-tolerant sage is covered with large, two-tone pink flowers that attract butterflies, honeybees and hummingbirds. This compact, drought-tolerant beauty also features small, shiny, bright green leaves.


    Pink Beach was selected and developed by Paul Bonine and Greg Shepherd of Xera Plants in Portland. This sun-loving sage tolerates partial shade and greatly appreciates settings with morning sun and afternoon shade. It is an excellent groundcover, border or container plant.

    The first person to bring Autumn Sage to the notice of the horticultural world was Josiah Gregg, after whom the species is named. A pioneer and plant explorer, Gregg discovered the species in Northern Mexico in the mid-19th century.

    Pink Beach is our best small-growing, pink Autumn Sage. Big thanks go to Paul and Greg of Xera as well as Josiah, because we appreciate plant explorers and developers.

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  • Salvia greggii 'Texas Wedding'

    (Texas Wedding White Autumn Sage) This is our best white-flowered Autumn Sage. It is compact, hardy and blooms abundantly. We love it as a contrast to the generally bright colors of its group. Texas Wedding seems to always be blooming, with massive displays in spring and fall.

    The flowers are small but so profuse that they seem to outnumber the leaves.

    This variety of Salvia greggii makes a great, small-scale groundcover when each plant is spaced two feet apart. Although it tolerates some shade -- especially in hot climates -- it needs full sun. Good drainage is another necessity, but it doesn't require much watering.

    Texas Wedding is reliably hardy to 10 degrees F, but can tolerate colder temperatures with mulching. Here's some other good news: Deer don't much care for it.

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  • Salvia greggii 'Wild Thing'

    (Wild Thing Autumn Sage) Native to West Texas where it was collected in the wild, this cold-tolerant sage has perky, upright flowers that are coral pink with a darker throat. Overall, it is a vigorous, upright plant with dense, deep green foliage. Butterflies, honeybees and hummingbirds love it.

    Hardy to at least 0 degrees F, this Autumn Sage is heat tolerant, sun loving but adaptable to a bit of shade and long blooming from spring into fall. The small-leafed foliage, burgundy stems and tidy, compact habit of Wild Thing (you make my heart sing) recommend it even without its numerous flowers.

    This is a lively choice for patio containers and edging sunny walkways in dry-garden settings. Mix it with a variety of Autumn Sage pinks.
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  • Salvia greggii x lemmonii 'Raspberry Royale'

    (Raspberry Royale Sage) Honeybees and hummingbirds love this sage, which stands out for its compact habit and large raspberry-pink flowers. Richard Dufresne developed this hardy hybrid that does well in full sun, tolerates partial shade and blooms spring through fall.

    Plant Raspberry Royale with white and pink relatives from the Salvia greggii and Salvia microphylla group native to Mexico and the American Southwest. The choices are endless.

    Heat tolerant and drought resistant, this shrub works well in dry gardens as a border, short screen, groundcover or patio plant. The species is named for 19th century pioneer and plant explorer Josiah Gregg.
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  • Salvia lycioides x greggii 'San Isidro'

    (Saint Isidro's Sage) This hardy, lavender-blue-flowered Salvia comes from Southern Texas and has the same breeding as the famous Ultra Violet Autumn Sage. Although it needs warmer winter temperatures and has smaller foliage, it also does well in stressful conditions, including drought.

    Saint Isidro's Sage is a dwarf plant with tall flower spikes. This hybrid of Autumn Sage Salvia greggii and Canyon Sage (Salvia lycioides) will keep your garden buzzing with honeybees, hummingbirds and butterflies from spring until frost. Similar to many sages, it is deer resistant.

    This is a fine perennial border, groundcover, dry garden or container plant. Just give it full sun, good air circulation and well-drained soil.

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  • Salvia lycioides x greggii 'Ultra Violet'

    (Ultra Violet Hybrid Sage) Hardy is a word bandied about by gardeners and nurserymen. Its use is often exaggerated. But this fine hybrid deserves to be called "the hardiest Autumn Sage." It's Zone-5 hardy, drought resistant and has lovely, soft purple flowers. Ultra Violet is a winner.

    Scott and Lauren Springer Ogden, landscape designers and writers, in 2002 discovered Ultra Violet -- an unexpected dwarf hybrid -- in their high plains garden in Fort Collins, Colorado. Salvia greggii are renowned for accidentally hybridizing.

    Ultra Violet is one of the best Salvias for tough conditions, such as the hot, dry summers and freezing winters of the American West's high-altitude, semi-arid lands.  In fact, it is one of the few Salvia greggii that thrive in these conditions.

    Blooming from spring into fall, Ultra Violet will keep your garden buzzing with honeybees, hummingbirds and butterflies until frost. This deer-resistant sage makes a fine perennial border, groundcover, dry garden or container plant. Just give it full sun, good air circulation and well-drained soil.

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  • Salvia microphylla 'Belize Form'

    (Black Stem Mountain Sage) Intense cardinal red flowers, stiff black stems and large, ribbed, green leaves make this Salvia microphylla stand out. Its color and upright growth make it dramatic amid a group of soft, rounded Salvias.

    Mountain Sage usually ranges from 24 to 48 inches tall. This is one of the larger varieties. The species is native to the American Southwest, most parts of Mexico and sometimes is found further south in Guatemala and Belize.

    Mountain sages grow well in full sun and partial shade. This one does very well in partial shade and even blooms in full shade. Due to originating in the warmer climes of Belize, it is less cold hardy than many cultivars of the species.

    In USDA Zones 8 to 9, Black Stem blooms from spring to fall, but with little production in summer. Except for good drainage, it isn't picky about its soil. Depending on local conditions, it may fit into either a perennial or shrub border. Black Stem also looks pretty as a background planting or screen. Heat and drought tolerant, it does well in dry and native gardens. We highly recommend it, and so do hummingbirds.
     

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  • Salvia microphylla 'Flower Child'

    (Flower Child Mountain Sage) At 18 to 24 inches tall, this is the smallest Salvia microphylla that we grow. Its common name is based on the plant's lavender-to-pink flowers, which are so abundant that they sometimes seem to outnumber the leaves.

    Mountain Sages are native to the American Southwest and Mexico and usually grow much larger than Flower Child. Many reach up to 4 feet tall.

    This cultivar is part of the Turbulent Sixties Series from California's Monterey Bay Nursery where it was found as a single-branch sport on the famous 'Bezerkeley' clone. The brightness of the flowers is offset by dark bluish-black bracts. Bloom time is from spring to fall in USDA Zones 7 to 9, with production infrequent in summer.

    Although it is drought resistant and does well in dry gardens, Flower Child prefers regular watering. It adapts to most soils as long as drainage is good. Grow it in full sun to partial shade as a container plant or part of a perennial border. Due to its height and tendency to grow suckers at its base, Flower Child forms dense clumps and makes an exceptional groundcover with heavily veined, aromatic leaves.

    Butterflies, honeybees and hummingbirds all love the nectar of this long-blooming sage.
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  • Salvia microphylla 'Heatwave Glimmer'

    (Glimmering White Mountain Sage) Heatwave Glimmer isn't a mirage. It is a Salvia microphylla that tolerates extremely hot climates as well as cooler coastal regions. It doesn't just survive; it thrives in the heat of Southern California, the Southwest and Texas.

    Pale cream flowers with the slightest blush of pink contrast dramatically with dark calyxes and stems. The sage's well-branched frame is dense with large, green leaves that are heavily veined and aromatic.

    At 2 feet tall and wide, this sage is just the right size for groundcover. It also looks lovely edging a path, as part of a shrub border or in a container. It is ideal for dry gardens, because Mountain Sage is a species native to the American Southwest and Mexico.

    Although heat tolerant and drought resistant, this sage appreciates regular watering and can handle partial shade. It is adaptable and grows well in many kinds of soil as long as it gets good drainage. Butterflies and honeybees are drawn to it at bloom time, which is spring to fall with lightest production in summer.

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  • Salvia microphylla 'Heatwave Scorcher'

    (Scorching Pink Mountain Sage) Compact and small, this Mountain Sage is another fine groundcover for Southern California, the Southwest and Texas. Similar to Salvia microphylla 'Heatwave Glimmer', it not only survives but thrives in extreme heat.

    Hot pink flowers contrast prettily with the sage's well-branched, dense green foliage. The leaves are heavily veined and aromatic.

    At 2 feet tall and wide, this sage is also just the right for a container or edging a pathway. It looks lovely in a short shrub border and is ideal for dry native gardens. The Mountain Sage species is native to the semi-arid lands of the American Southwest and Mexico.

    Although heat tolerant and drought resistant, this sage appreciates regular watering and can handle partial shade. It is adaptable and grows well in many kinds of soil as long as it gets good drainage. Butterflies and hummingbirds are drawn to it at bloom time, which is spring to fall with lightest production in summer. Deer, however, leave it alone.

    For the record, Scorching Pink Mountain Sage also grows well in cooler regions and coastal climates.

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  • Salvia microphylla 'Hot Lips'

    (Hot Lips Sage) What a winner for fascinating flowers! Hot Lips Sage has solid red, solid white and two-tone combinations all on the same plant and often at the same time. The variations are random. You might say that this shrubby sage is mixed-up, but its confused coloring makes it highly desirable.

    The flowers, which primarily bloom in spring and fall, flower more during cool weather and when regularly watered and fertilized. We have never determined any reason for its color variations or any conditions that standardize their pattern.

    This Mountain Sage has a tightly branched form. Often, it is covered with so many flowers that they seem to outnumber the small, green leaves.

    Depending on local climate, Hot Lips works well in either a perennial or shrub border. It's a fine addition to a dry garden. We love and highly recommend this mountain treasure from Oaxaca, Mexico.

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  • Salvia microphylla 'La Trinidad Pink'

    (Trinity Mountain Sage) Heat and drought tolerant, this Salvia microphylla is native to Northeastern Mexico where summers are dry and temperatures can rise to more than 100 degrees. It can survive winter temperatures down to 0 degrees F.

    Yucca-Do Nursery of Texas found this superior Mountain Sage amid the Sierra Madre Oriental mountains of Nuevo Leon where summers are hot and dry and winters are much cooler as well as damp.

    At 24 inches tall and 48 inches wide when mature, Trinity Mountain Sage is an ideal groundcover for hot summers across the Southwest and Texas. It features fine green foliage and bright pink flowers that turn a bit violet in cooler weather. The blossoms are large and numerous. In USDA Zones 7 to 9, they bloom almost nonstop from spring to fall when temperatures drop into the mid-20 degree range.

    Despite being well suited for a dry garden, Trinity Mountain Sage also does well with regular watering. Give it full sun to partial shade. It's adaptable to many kinds of soil, but needs good drainage. Add this pretty sage to short, mixed borders or use it to edge pathways.

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  • Salvia microphylla 'Mesa Azure'

    (Azure Hybrid Sage) Despite its name, the flowers of this tiny hybrid aren't really blue. They are a light purple. Due to its size, long bloom time, heat tolerance and drought resistance, Salvia x 'Mesa Azure' is a fine groundcover for areas where summers are hot and dry.

    This sage may be related to Salvia microphylla and S. greggii, which are native to the American Southwest as well as Mexico. Its parentage is a mystery. However it displays many traits from those plants, including being an excellent choice for dry or native gardens.

    Garden uses include short borders, flower beds, edging for pathways and containers. Azure Mountain blooms in waves from spring to fall in USDA Zones 7 to 9. Hummingbirds enjoy its nectar.

    Aside from unusually large flowers, Azure Hybrid Sage is dense with large, wrinkled, heavily veined leaves. The foliage is so handsome that the plant is attractive even when out of bloom.

    For the record, this sage also grows well in cooler climates, such as coastal areas. Limit watering, because it likes soil on the dry side. Provide a location with full sun to partial shade.

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  • Salvia microphylla 'Orange Door'

    (Big Orange Mountain Sage) When temperatures are cooler in spring and fall, the persimmon-orange flowers of this large Mountain Sage darken. Gray-green foliage, deep red calyxes and reddish-green stems add to the plant's fascinating look, which mixes well with yellows and blues.

    This Salvia microphylla comes from the mountains of Northern Mexico. We call it "Big Orange," because it matures to 4 feet tall and wide. Its flowers are also large and bloom spring to fall in USDA Zones 7 to 9.

    Similar to many Salvias, Big Orange is adaptable to differing conditions, including either full sun or partial shade. It grows well in a wide range of climates, including the hot, dry Southwest and the cool, moist Pacific Northwest. Although this heat- and drought-tolerant sage fits well in a dry, native garden, it also appreciates regular watering and an average garden soil, such as sandy loam.

    Plant it as a tall groundcover that can help control weeds. Or mass it for a shrubby border. It also looks pretty in a container where its height will be shorter.

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  • Salvia microphylla 'People's Park'

    Sometimes nature can be rebellious. This is one the Mountain Sages known as the Turbulent Sixties Series developed from an outlaw cultivar of the Southwestern native Salvia microphylla. Monterey Bay Nursery (MBN) named their accidental hybrid ‘Berzerkeley.’

    Salvia microphylla is a free spirit of a plant that crosses readily with other Salvias, particularly Salvia greggii. MBN developed five more hybrids from the hardy, red Berzerkely, including People’s Park Mountain Sage, which is a short, hot pink cultivar with greenish-red bracts. Butterflies, honeybees and hummingbirds love it.

    Mountain Sage is a sub-shrub combining herbaceous and shrubby growth. Its green foliage is crinkly, heavily veined with serrated edges. It is native to Arizona and Northern Mexico.

    The fragrant, drought-resistant People's Park variety is just the right size for groundcover as well as patio containers and path edging.

    A combination of full sun and partial shade is best for any Mountain Sage, especially during the heat of summer. Give People's Park regular watering, but don’t fuss too much about soil quality. It's adaptable to a broad range of growing conditions, including drought.

    People's Park Mountain Sage gains its name from a spring 1969 insurrection near the University of California, Berkeley. Wanting a greater say in their local environment, which was short on park space, students and community members began planting grass and flowers on a muddy lot owned by the University. They didn’t ask permission, and forgiveness was in short supply at the time. But eventually, the University acceded to community wishes and a fine park was born out of rebellion.

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  • Salvia microphylla 'Red Velvet'

    (Red Velvet Mountain Sage) This is one of the most intense red-flowering variety of Mountain Sage we grow. Medium-sized flowers are profuse on this large, vigorous plant -- particularly in spring and fall. Dark stems and calyxes intensify the plant's drama along with glossy green foliage.

    In a mixed group of Mountain Sage and the closely related species Autumn Sage (Salvia greggii), Red Velvet is always the first plant you notice.

    Red Velvet can handle full sun, but particularly flourishes in partial shade. It even blooms in full shade. It needs well-drained soil and regular watering based on local conditions. At 48 inches tall and wide, it is ideal for a shorter screen or background planting, especially in a native garden. In the cooler part of its range, it works well in perennial borders. In warmer zones, group it with shrubby Salvias.

    We highly recommend this fast growing, lovely plant. Thank you to Luen Miller of Monterey Bay Nursery for developing this exceptional Salvia microphylla.

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  • Salvia microphylla 'Royal Bumble'

    (Royal Bumble Mountain Sage) Almost black, the stems and calyxes of this UK hybrid form a pleasing contrast with its scarlet flowers and aromatic, glossy green leaves. Bloom time is spring to fall. This Mountain Sage suckers freely and forms a dense clump.

    The flowers are velvety and long blooming. This fast-growing hybrid survives drought, but appreciates regular watering. It does particularly well in partial shade. Except for needing good drainage, it isn't fussy about soil type.


    Royal Bumble looks pretty in borders and does well in dry gardens. It is a colorful choice for native gardens. Grow it as a screen or background plant and in native plant gardens.

    We love and highly recommend this sage. So do butterflies, honeybees and hummingbirds.
     

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  • Salvia microphylla 'San Carlos Festival'

    (St. Charles Day Mountain Sage) Especially in spring and fall, masses of red-violet flowers bloom amid the silvery green foliage of Salvia microphylla 'San Carlos Festival'. Put this one into the "must have" column.

    The densely branched foliage features oval leaves that are fragrant, textured and slightly ruffled. This Mountain Sage is an herbaceous perennial in cooler areas and a shrub in warmer zones.

    Native to the eastern Mexican state of Tamaulipas, it was collected near the village of San Carlos in 1992 by plant explorers from Yucca Do, a nursery in Southeastern Texas. Five years later, Yucca Do introduced the plant to commercial horticulture. It has been one of our favorites ever since.

    Mountain Sages are drought resistant, but respond well to regular watering. This mid-height variety grows up to 24 inches tall and 36 inches wide in a location offering full sun to partial shade. It is adaptable to many soil types, but needs good drainage. Although well adapted to dry gardens, it appreciates regular watering.

    Even though this hummingbird favorite has been popular for years, it can be difficult to find in commercial production. We highly recommend it for borders, short screens and background planting.
     

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  • Salvia microphylla 'Telegraph Avenue'

    (Telegraph Avenue Dwarf Mountain Sage) Here’s another member of the Turbulent Sixties Series of Southwestern Mountain Sages (Salvia microphylla), which developed from one of nature’s rebels – an accidental hybrid that Monterey Bay Nursery (MBN) named ‘Berzerkeley’ after finding it taking a stand in the nursery’s gravel paving.

    Salvia microphylla is a free spirit of a plant that crosses readily with other Salvias, particularly Salvia greggii. MBN developed five more hybrids from the hardy, red Berzerkely, including Telegraph Avenue Mountain Sage, which is a short but widespreading cultivar with intense magenta flowers.

    Telegraph Avenue Mountain Sage gains its name from one of the main streets near the University of California, Berkeley – a street that was the site of many Vietnam Era anti-war protests.

    Mountain Sage is a sub-shrub combining herbaceous and shrubby growth. Its green foliage is crinkly, heavily veined with serrated edges. It is native to Arizona and Northern Mexico where it pays to be a heat-loving plant. Topping out at 24 inches tall by 60 inches wide, the fragrant, drought-resistant Telegraph Avenue variety is just the right size for groundcover as well as patio containers and path edging.

    A combination of full sun and partial shade is best for any Mountain Sage, especially during the heat of summer. All Mountain Sages can tolerate dry conditions but prefer regular watering. Don’t fuss too much about soil quality, because this plant is adaptable to a broad range of growing conditions.

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  • Salvia microphylla 'Variegata'

    (Variegated Mirto de Montes Sage) Over the years, we have seen a number of variegated varieties of Mountain Sage. None have been as lovely and sturdy as this one, from botanist Brent Barnes of the University of California at Riverside.

    It blooms heavily and for a long time, producing crimson flowers that form a lively contrast with the small green and cream leaves from spring into fall. The variegations and coloring of the handsome foliage are stable from one growing season to the next.

    This tightly branched sage is so floriferous that its flowers seem to outnumber the small leaves. Mountain Sages, including hybrid varieties, can grow from 18 to 48 inches tall and wide. None are picky about soil type, but all need good drainage. Most are equally adaptable about growing in locations ranging from full sun to partial shade

    Similar to other Mountain Sages, which are native to the American Southwest and Mexico, this variety appreciates regular watering yet does well in dry gardens. Salvia microphylla 'Variegata' is colorful in borders, containers and along walkways. We highly recommend this unique plant as do hummingbirds.

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  • Salvia microphylla var. neurepia

    (Big Leaf Mountain Sage) Nothing is little about this plant even though "microphylla" means "little leaf." The rough, wrinkly leaves are often 3 inches long and almost 2 inches wide. The pinkish-orange flowers are also large and bloom spring to fall.

    Harvard University botanist and professor Merritt Lyndon Fernald (1873-1950) was the first person to publish a description of the plant, which he named Salvia neurepia. It was later reclassified as a Mountain Sage. Fernald authored a number of scholarly works, including a monograph on Mexican and Central American Salvia.

    At 48 inches tall with a spread of 48 inches or more, this pretty sage makes a long-blooming hedge or tall groundcover. It is also a good choice for a shrubby border. Give it full sun to partial shade and regular watering. Although it isn't particular about soil type, good drainage is necessary. Hummingbirds love it, but deer do not.

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  • Salvia pitcheri grandiflora

    (Big Pitcher Sage) As its scientific name indicates, this sage has very large flowers. They are almost two-tone, changing from deep violet to a light blue or white at their base where they are cupped by dusky purple calyxes.

    The tall, sprawling stems of this sage are just right in mixed plantings. That is how they grow in the wild from Texas to Nebraska on the Great Prairie.

    This heat- and cold-tolerant sage is a superb choice for the native or wild garden. It's also at home in the back or middle of more refined borders. Anywhere you put it, expect bees, butterflies and hummingbirds to buzz in for its pleasures.

    Although drought tolerant, this perennial sage appreciates regular watering. It is adaptable from USDA Zone 4 to 9 where it blooms from late summer into fall. Give it full sun, but this plant will tolerate some partial shade. It handles almost any kind of soil that drains well.

    Finally, you need to know that this is another sage with naming challenges: Is it a variety of Salvia azurea as some say? We think it is significantly different, and is a species on its own. In any case, we love its bright blue blooms, especially when poking up amid shrubby sages such as Salvia regla.

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  • Salvia Raspberry Delight®

    (Raspberry Delight Sage) Dark raspberry-red flowers, burgundy stems and calyxes and deep green foliage make this one of our most attention-grabbing varieties.

    We also appreciate Raspberry Delight for its superior cold hardiness, heat tolerance, drought resistance, tightly branched form and pleasant fragrance. Hummingbirds love its long-blooming flowers.

    Raspberry Delight is spectacular when massed in a large group, so it is a dramatic as well as effective groundcover. Salvias with deep purple flowers harmonize well with this perennial sage that looks equally pretty in patio containers.

    Autumn Sages are native to the American Southwest and Mexico. They do well in full sun, but can handle some partial shade. They appreciate average watering based on local conditions, but can get by on much less. This makes them good choices for dry gardens.

    Raspberry Delight® is a registered trademark of Plants for the Western Garden, Inc.

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  • Salvia regla 'Huntington Gardens Form'

    (Orange Mountain Sage) This is the reddest of the Salvia regla species and the most floriferous. Side by side with the other varieties, Huntington Form is a bit taller and has darker flowers.

    The rich reddish-orange of the blossoms almost seems to drip off the rumpled, blue-green foliage. Bloom time is summer and fall in USDA Zones 7 to 10. This full-sun plant looks especially attractive with yellow or white flowering Salvias.

    A native of the Chisos Mountains in Southwestern Texas and of Mexico from Coahuila to Oaxaca, this sage is powerfully heat tolerant. Although it appreciates average watering based on local conditions, the species does well in waterwise gardens. Give it well-drained soil and grow it as a screen, tall shrub border or background plant. It grows 5 feet wide and tall! This is a favorite in native gardens and dry gardens.

    Hummingbirds love this species, which has become an important nectar source for their southbound, autumn migration to the tropics. It's almost impossible to keep this plant in stock when in bloom.

    NOTE: Theses are slow to propagate, and generally take at least 8 weeks for an appropriate plant to be grown.

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  • Salvia regla 'Jame'

    (Jame Orange Mountain Sage) North Carolina plantsman Richard Dufresne collected this fine variety of Salvia regla near the village of Jame, in central Mexico where the western and eastern Sierra Madre mountains meet.

    This fragrant, compact Salvia regla is densely clothed with the largest leaves of any of the varieties we grow. It also has 3-inch-long, persimmon-orange flowers that bloom from summer into fall. Dark leafed Heuchera look handsome planted with this bright sage.

    Salvia regla is native to the Chisos Mountains in Southwestern Texas and of Mexico from Coahuila to Oaxaca. It is powerfully heat tolerant. Although it appreciates average watering based on local conditions, the species does well in waterwise gardens in USDA Zones 7 to 10. Give it full sun and well-drained soil. Use it as a screen, tall shrub border or background plant. It grows 5 feet wide and tall! This is a favorite in native gardens and dry gardens.

    Hummingbirds love this species, which has become an important nectar source for their southbound, autumn migration to the tropics. Butterflies and honeybees are also frequent visitors. So it's almost impossible to keep this plant in stock when in bloom.

    NOTE: Theses are slow to propagate, and generally take at least 8 weeks for an appropriate plant to be grown.

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  • Salvia regla 'Royal'

    (Orange Mountain Sage) Coahuila, Mexico, is home to many fine Salvias, including the smallest variety of Salvia regla that we grow. This one averages about 3 feet tall and wide.

    This fragrant, compact Salvia regla has tidy foliage and large, orange flowers that bloom from summer into fall in USDA Zones 7 to 10. The absolutely unique characteristic of this variety is its bright orange bracts that even turn the heads of longtime Salvia enthusiasts.


    A native of the Chisos Mountains in Southwestern Texas and of Mexico from Coahuila to Oaxaca, Salvia regla is powerfully heat tolerant and fragrant. Although it appreciates average watering based on local conditions, the species does well in waterwise gardens. Give it full sun and well-drained soil. Grow it as a screen, shrub border or background plant. This is a favorite in native gardens and dry gardens.

    Hummingbirds love this species, which has become an important nectar source for their southbound, autumn migration to the tropics. Butterflies also visit. So it's almost impossible to keep this plant in stock when in bloom.

    NOTE: Theses are slow to propagate, and generally take at least 8 weeks for an appropriate plant to be grown.

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  • Salvia regla - Queretaro form

    (Great Orange Mountain Sage) Densely branched with small, dark green leaves, this variety of Salvia regla also features creamy orange flowers with white markings.

    Queretaro Form stands out in mixed plantings of the species and other sages. It is also one of the longest blooming varieties. As its name indicates this variety comes from the mountainous state of Queretaro, Mexico. Overall, the species is native to the Chisos Mountains in Southwestern Texas and in Mexico from Coahuila to Oaxaca.

    This full-sun sage is powerfully heat tolerant. Although it appreciates average watering based on local conditions, it does well in waterwise gardens. Give it well-drained soil and grow it as a screen, shrub border or background plant.

    Queretaro Form is refined enough to be used in a foundation planting and tough enough for a native plant or dry garden.

    NOTE: Theses are slow to propagate, and generally take at least 8 weeks for an appropriate plant to be grown.

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  • Salvia reptans

    (West Texas Grass Sage) Small clusters of true blue blossoms are spaced widely along the grass-like stems of this willowy West Texas mountain sage. Like so many American native plants, it is a key food source for honeybees, butterflies and hummingbirds.

    The scientific appellation repens refers to its creeping roots that spread like a mat-forming grass. This densely clumping, heat-resistant sage is spectactular during bloom time in late summer and fall. It is also cold tolerant and grows well in USDA Zones 5 to 9.

    As a stand-alone accent plant, West Texas Grass Sage is nothing short of spectacular. It also works well in perennial borders with its 4-foot-long flower spikes poking out amidst sages with denser foliage and floral displays.

    This sage grows best in full sun but is adaptable to afternoon shade. It prefers average watering based on local conditions, but also does well in dry gardens.
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  • Salvia roemeriana

    (Cedar Sage) Scarlet flowers abound from spring through summer on this small, mounding, woodland sage that is native to Texas, Arizona and Northern Mexico. Grow it as a small scale groundcover or mix it with other shade-loving sages in a perennial border or along a path.

    Native to Cedar, Juniper and Oak forests, this sage prefers partial shade and well-drained, acidic soil rich in organic matter. It does particularly well when mulched with the type of leaves found in its native forests. Although it likes regular watering based on local conditions, Cedar Sage does well in dry gardens.

    This is a petite plant that only spreads about 12 inches wide. Yet if you plant a number of Salvia roemeriana in the right conditions, the plants will self seed and form colonies. We have never found it to be invasive.

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  • Salvia x 'Elk Lemon Light'

    (Elk Lemon Light Jame Sage) We are proud to offer this luminescent, pure yellow Salvia x jamensis -- a color breakthrough from our own breeding program. The bright, light blossoms cool the landscape similar to white flowers, but with colorful impact.  The glossy green leaves are quite small - a very attractive and distinctive characteristic.

    Deer avoid this hybrid of Autumn Sage ( Salvia greggii) and Mountain Sage (Salvia microphylla), but hummingbirds enjoy its nectar from spring into fall.

    Unlike some S. x jamensis, this one doesn't take a summer break from blooming. It flowers for us from May through first frost and is cold hardy to Zone 6. This drought resistant sage is compact, well-branched and thrives in full sun or partial shade. See why we're excited?

    Elk Lemon stays small, making it a perfect choice for containers, and little garden spots, pathway edges and upfront in native plant gardens. It doesn't grow as rapidly as many S. x jamensis types, but it's one tough plant.

    Highly recommended. Availability is limited due to its slow growth.

    Elk Rainbow Sage
    A Rainbow of Quality

    At Flowers by the Sea, we regularly develop new cultivars such as our hybrid series of Elk Rainbow Sages™, which are varieties of Jame Sage Hybrids ( Salvia x jamensis) in a broad array of solids and bicolors ranging from pastels to brights. Attractive to hummingbirds and honeybees, they are lovely yet tough crosses that include Autumn Sage (Salvia greggii) and Mountain Sage (Salvia microphylla). The word Elk in the scientific and common names of the Elk Rainbow choices indicates that you are getting a sturdy, colorful, reliable repeat performer.

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  • Salvia x 'Purple Stem'

    (Purple Stem Sage) Deep purple stems and cobalt blue flowers with pronounced white beelines and dusky gray calyxes cause this sage to command attention.

    Aside from knowing that Purple Stem Sage was collected in the Northern Mexican state of Tamaulipas, little can be said with certainty about the taxonomy of this mystery hybrid Salvia. What we can say definitively is that it is easy to grow, flowers abundantly and does well in heat with limited water.

    Purple Stem Sage is a waist-high, upright subshrub that combines tender herbaceous stems with woody growth. It looks particularly pretty planted in front of silvery leafed sages.

    This drought-resistant sage does well in full sun to partial shade. It needs soil with good drainage and fits in nicely with California native sages.

    Highly recommended.

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    New!
  • Salvia x jamensis 'California Sunset'

    (California Sunset Hybrid Jame Sage) Entranced is the only word to describe how we felt when we first saw the peachy sunset pastels of this Jame Sage. After growing it for multiple seasons, we are just as impressed by its compact, well-branched form.

    Jame Sages (S. x jamensis spp.) are hybrid members of the Autumn Sage (Salvia greggii) and Mountain Sage (Salvia microphylla) group, but are often pastel. Native to Mexico and the American Southwest, they occur in areas where Autumn Sage and Mountain Sage meet, such as near the Village of Jame in Mexico's Sierra Madre Mountains.

    Hardy to at least 10 degrees F, California Sunset is also heat tolerant, drought resistant and long blooming. It would look lovely in a mixed planter or perennial border with other sages featuring red, pink and yellow blossoms. Or mass it for a spectacular groundcover. This tough plant loves full sun, but tolerates a bit of shade.

    Highly recommended by butterflies, hummingbirds and gardeners!
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  • Salvia x jamensis 'Full Moon'

    (Full Moon Hybrid Jame Sage) The luminescent, bicolor pastels of many Salvia x jamensis are difficult to capture in photos, but easy to appreciate when viewed up close. Full Moon is a compact, long-flowering Jame Sage that has pale, creamy yellow blossoms with a touch of rose that are cupped by dark green calyxes.

    Jame Sages are hybrid crosses of the closely related Autumn Sage (Salvia greggii) and Mountain Sage (Salvia microphylla). However, Jame Sage is often pastel unlike most Autumn and Mountain sages.

    Native to Mexico and the American Southwest, Jame Sages occur in areas where these parent sages meet, such as near the Village of Jame in Mexico's Sierra Madre Mountains or in a nursery. Full Moon is a hybrid from Central California's Suncrest Nursery.

    Full Moon likes regular watering, but is drought resistant. It looks pretty in settings allowing close viewing, such as in patio containers or edging a pathway. Give it plenty of sun, but if you live in an area with extremely hot summers, choose a location offering some afternoon shade.

    Honeybees and butterflies highly recommend it as do humans, but deer resist its charms. Limited availability.
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  • Salvia x jamensis 'Yellow Pink'

    (Yellow Pink Hybrid Jame Sage) Dusty pink with pale yellow throats, the bicolor pastels of this Salvia x jamensis are especially charming up close. 'Yellow Pink' is a compact sage with tiny, smooth foliage.

    Jame Sage (S. x jamensis spp.) is a hybrid member of the Autumn Sage (Salvia greggii) and Mountain Sage (Salvia microphylla) group of closely related Salvias. However, unlike its parent species, Jame Sage often is pastel.

    Native to Mexico and the American Southwest, Jame Sage occurs in areas where Autumn Sage and Mountain Sage meet, such as near the Village of Jame in Mexico's Sierra Madre Mountains or at private nurseries and universities involved in botanical research.

    Every year, many new Jame Sages enter commercial horticulture. We grow as many as we can, looking for exceptional varieties, but only a few make the cut. Yellow Pink is a petite favorite that comes from one of our Salvia gurus, professional plant breeder Brent Barnes of Riverside, Californiae.

    Yellow Pink Jame Sage is fragrant, long blooming, vigorous, heat tolerant and drought resistant similar to other members of the Autumn/Mountain Sage group.

    Highly recommended!

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  • Texas Drought Action Pack

    (California Drought Action Pack) The drought in Texas is a real challenge to gardeners and to the wildlife that depends increasingly on us for survival. We want to help.

    This package consists of Salvias, Agastache, Kniphofia, Asclepias and other wildlife-friendly & drought resistant plants that will grow, bloom and be happy in dry gardens. We will personally select three each of four different plants, taking into account your particular climate and location. These are some of our top sellers, offered as a discounted group. As much as possible we'll use Texas native plants.

    We're all concerned about the declining habitats and food sources for hummingbirds, butterflies and bees - and by planting these in your garden you will be doing a great service to our animal friends that being stressed by the lack of flowers. Because of the large number of suitable varieties we grow, we'll plan to send along a balanced, long blooming mix. You can plant now and enjoy these beauties for years to come, even if the drought continues.

    NOTE: This package is not available year-round,

    Some of the plants in this package
    Some of the plants



    We also include a detailed Planting Guide, to insure your success.

    We offer this for the Fall planting season only, now through November 1st, with free shipping anywhere in Texas. We suggest that you plant these between October 1st and November 15th, the easiest time to establish plants in the garden. You can choose your desired shipping date during checkout.

    Please let us know in the "Customer Notes" section of the shopping cart if you have any color preferences or blooming season restrictions. We guarantee to pick out some of the very best drought tolerant varieties we grow for you. Please, this is for Texas residents only.

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  • 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 .

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Texas and Southwestern Native Plants for Butterflies, Honeybees and Hummingbirds

Texas and Southwestern Native Plants for Butterflies, Honeybees and Hummingbirds


Category: Everything Salvias Blog
Posted: Aug 25, 2014 03:30 AM
Synopsis: Many gardeners and wildlife lovers in states with recurrent drought choose to increase the number of native plants in their yards. This is especially true of Texas, where statewide drought began in 2010 and hasn't yet abated. Native plants appeal to local wildlife, including pollinators. To help gardeners from Texas and the Southwest who want to create wildlife habitat, Flowers by the Sea (FBTS) suggests 25 Salvias and companion plants appropriate for Texas and Southwest gardens.
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.