Julie Chai

Autumn sage, or Salvia greggii, puts out loads of color from summer's hottest days through the chilly nights of fall. Related to mint, this sage is one in a family of some 900 species of sages around the world. Requiring very little care and blooming consistently, it's an ideal medium-sized shrub to add to beds and borders.

Colors: Whorls of two-lipped small (an inch or smaller) flowers come in shades of red, pink, and white. Round or narrow leaves are about an inch long.

Size: Different varieties grow from one to four feet tall and wide; most widely available types are about 2½ feet tall and wide.

Care: Autumn sage is drought tolerant, but looks best with moderate, deep watering. They like full sun. Prune in late winter of early spring, and shape plants before spring bloom.

Planting: Plant in well-drained soil in Sunset zones 8-24 anytime that ground can be worked.

Companions: Grow alongside other drought-tolerant perennials like lavender, gaura, other salvias, rockrose, helichrysum, and artemisia.


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