annual

Mexican Bush Sage

Salvia leucantha

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Mexican Bush Sage (Salvia leucantha) at Martin's Home & Garden

Mexican Bush Sage in bloom

Mexican Bush Sage in bloom

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Mexican Bush Sage (Salvia leucantha) at Martin's Home & Garden

Mexican Bush Sage

Mexican Bush Sage

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Mexican Bush Sage (Salvia leucantha) at Martin's Home & Garden

Mexican Bush Sage in bloom

Mexican Bush Sage in bloom

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  5 feet

Spread:  4 feet

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  (annual)

Other Names:  Mexican Sage

Description:

Beautiful purple or white flower spikes adorn this upright shrub nearly year round; cut back annually in late winter to maintain upright form; very fast growing and vigorous; excellent cut or dried flower for arrangements

Ornamental Features

Mexican Bush Sage has masses of beautiful spikes of purple flowers with white overtones rising above the foliage from late winter to late fall, which are most effective when planted in groupings. The flowers are excellent for cutting. Its fragrant narrow leaves remain grayish green in color with curious white undersides throughout the year. The fruit is not ornamentally significant.

Landscape Attributes

Mexican Bush Sage is a multi-stemmed annual with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its medium texture blends into the garden, but can always be balanced by a couple of finer or coarser plants for an effective composition.

This plant will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, and is best pruned in late winter once the threat of extreme cold has passed. It is a good choice for attracting butterflies and hummingbirds to your yard, but is not particularly attractive to deer who tend to leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Mexican Bush Sage is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Mass Planting
  • General Garden Use
  • Container Planting

Planting & Growing

Mexican Bush Sage will grow to be about 4 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 4 feet. Although it's not a true annual, this fast-growing plant can be expected to behave as an annual in our climate if left outdoors over the winter, usually needing replacement the following year. As such, gardeners should take into consideration that it will perform differently than it would in its native habitat.

This plant does best in full sun to partial shade. It prefers dry to average moisture levels with very well-drained soil, and will often die in standing water. It is considered to be drought-tolerant, and thus makes an ideal choice for a low-water garden or xeriscape application. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution, and will benefit from being planted in a relatively sheltered location. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in winter to protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. This species is not originally from North America.

Mexican Bush Sage is a fine choice for the garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor pots and containers. With its upright habit of growth, it is best suited for use as a 'thriller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination; plant it near the center of the pot, surrounded by smaller plants and those that spill over the edges. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.

 
 
Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Characteristics
Massing  Garden  Container 
Applications
Flowers  Attracts Wildlife 
Ornamental Features