Mexican Sage: Low Maintenence Wonder

salvia with bee

Bees are good for the planet

Not everything in the garden takes work.  As flowering plants go, Mexican Sage (Salvia leucantha) is a low-maintenance wonder. This glorious specimen lives at the curb.  I bought it for five dollars a decade ago, planted it in a spot without any irrigation, and within a short period of time it tripled in size.

Year after year, it produces glorious purple flowers.  The bees love it and so do the hummingbirds.  It’s also a favorite of a few little girls on the block.  I gave one of them permission several years ago to help herself to a few blooms on her walk.  I appreciated her interest and her lovely manners.  She asked first.

Salvia Leucantha (Mexican Bush Sage)

Salvia Leucantha (Mexican Bush Sage)

Of course you can’t please everyone.  The water meter-reader left a grumpy note one year asking me to “clear the shrubbery” so he could do his work.  The sage is so soft that you can push it aside, or snap off a few twigs.  Perhaps he was just having a bad day.  Early this year, I removed a few lower limbs, knowing it would fill out completely by early fall.  That did the trick.  The plant is full and lush, but the lower branches float above the water meter.

salvia water meter

Water Meter, clear for the reading

salvia leucantha

Attracts butterflies, hummingbirds and bees

vibrant purple

Vibrant purple, soft to touch

Last year my sister dressed up for Halloween as the Corpse Bride from the Tim Burton movie of the same name.  I picked several branches of sage and wrapped them into a headband for her costume.  Once dried, they were a perfect addition to the headpiece.  Her friend Kim designed her makeup and together we created her costume.

Salvia crown

Corpse Bride

Why plant a Mexican Sage:

  • Drought tolerant
  • Low maintenance
  • Attracts butterflies, hummingbirds and bees
  • Soft as velvet with vibrant color
  • Show-stopping beauty
  • Looks great on a costume

DSC_0052

16 thoughts on “Mexican Sage: Low Maintenence Wonder

  1. Very pretty addition to your landscape. Even better when things are not a total diva and just manage on their own. I love delphinium and roses and such, needing staking and deadheading to look their best. It’d be good to have less maintenance in our next yard. I’ll have to investigate if this will grow in Edmonton. We’re generally Zone 3-4. 4 being in a sheltered and sunny spot in a city yard. I can tell it’s velvety, your photo’s are so nice and clear. That meter (person) must be scared of bees because it’s hard to imagine having any difficulty there, ha. I can’t wait to sit on the patio with your garden view. Sharon and you did a fantastic job on her halloween persona. Loved that makeup and her expression is perfect. Later Tater. xo

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    • And now you’ve seen it up close and maybe even took a snapshot or two. It’s a lovely plant. I hope you can manage it in your new garden. The bees alone make it a welcome addition to any garden, don’t they?

      Sharon’s dressing as a skeleton this year. Stay tuned! I hope you can find a costumy way to celebrate.

      Aqua fairy???

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        • I can mail you an extra wig if you two want to go twinsies. Mike’s not into it either, but he was the hit of the party last year, as he made cupcakes the whole time. He won lots of fans.

          I haven’t started sewing yet. I need to get busy, stat. I have everything but the shoes. I’m still hoping to thrift those (first option) or spray my character shoes pink. I’m going to make the crinoline using part of last years costume. $30 to $90 is a bit steep for a crinoline, though they were soft and pretty.

          Let me go look at that link.

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          • You just can’t go wrong with cupcakes! Yah, Mike!

            As for twinsies LOL, I can’t see that EVER being an option, but you’re sweet to offer. You’re so talented at the sewing machine, it’s going to be amazing. Can’t wait to see you in all your glory. I would NEVER attempt anything so challenging.

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    • You get plenty of rain there, don’t you? I was amazed to learn how little this plant needs water. It’s hard to imagine all those flowers and leaves getting by on so little. Awesome, though.

      My sister’s makeup was over the top. Her friend did an amazing job.

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