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Salvia 'Dara's Choice'

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Salvia 'Dara's Choice'

(Dara's Choice Creeping Sage) A California native hybrid Sage that blooms in spring and early summer, Dara's Choice is widely considered the best choice for slopes, sunny neglected areas and problem spots.
Common name This is the non-scientific name used for a plant. A plant may have several common names, depending on the gardener's location. To further confuse the matter, a common name may be shared by several completely different plants. At Flowers by the Sea, we rely on the scientific name to identify our plants and avoid confusion. Dara's Choice Hybrid Sage
USDA Zones The U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones indicate the temperature zones where a plant is likely to thrive. It is determined by the average annual winter minimum temperature. Actual winter temperatures may be higher or lower than the average. 8 - 11
Size (h/w/fh) The anticipated mature size of the plant: Height, Width & Flower Height. 18"+"/96"/24"
Exposure This is the average amount of sunlight that a plant needs to thrive. Generally, full sun exposure is 6 or more hours of direct sun daily while partial shade is less than 4 hours of sun or dappled shade all day. Plants may tolerate more sunlight in cooler climates and need afternoon shade in extremely hot climates. Full sun
Soil type This is the kind of soil that a plant needs to thrive. Most plants require a well-drained soil that allows the water to soak into the soil without becoming soggy. Sandy and clay soils can be improved by digging in compost to improve drainage. Well drained
Water needs Plants have specific water requirements. Water loving means the plant needs regular watering to keep the soil moist. Average generally indicates applying 1 inch of water per week, or watering when the soil is dry to a depth of 3 to 4 inches. One inch of water is equal to 5 gallons per square yard of soil surface. Drought resistant
Container plant? "Yes" indicates that this plant can be successfully grown as a container plant. No
Hummingbird plant? Hummingbirds have been observed regularly feeding from this plant's flowers. Yes
Mature height The mature height of this plant in average conditions. 1 to 2 feet
Mature spread The mature width of this plant in average conditions. 6 feet plus
Degree of Difficulty
Degree of Difficulty
This plant is easy to grow in a variety of conditions.
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Blue Tag Plant
This plant is sensitive to overwatering and wet soils.
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(Dara's Choice Creeping Sage) A California native hybrid Sage that produces rich blue flowers in spring and early summer, Dara's Choice is widely considered the best groundcover for slopes, sunny neglected areas and problem spots.

We love its texture, flowers and dusky calexes so much that we use it in mixed borders of drought-resistant plants. This adaptable hummingbird- and honeybee- friendly plant asks only for sun and limited water.

According the the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden (SBBG), Dara's Choice originated as an open-pollinated selection that horticulturist Dara Emery developed from the seed of an SBBG plant, which the botanic garden notes was labeled Salvia sonomensis. Emery collected the seed from a plant that SBBG obtained from the University of California, Davis. UCD got its plant -- probably a Salvia mellifera hybrid -- from Pine Hill in El Dorado County.

Similar to Salvia mellifera , Dara's Choice exhibits an upright habit. However, it is much shorter, growing only about 16 inches tall in lean soils or windy areas. Pamper it a bit, and this tough sage will grow up to 3 feet tall. Its fragrance wins it a spot in many gardens.