Autumn sage (Salvia greggii)

This plant has a little to offer to every kind of gardener in Texas. Just take a look at its features.

Native Texas plant from the Hill Country and Southwest Texas;
Blooms almost all season long, unlike most other perennials;
Bees, butterflies and hummingbirds love it;
Xeriphytic, which means it’s drought-tolerant;
Virtually trouble-free;
Comes in a variety of flower colors, mostly reds, but also pink, purple, white and two-toned.

Autumn sage (odd name, since it starts blooming in March and continues until frost) attracts bees, butterflies and hummingbirds all the while.
This is our landscape, where I’ve planted Salvia greggii among regular garden sage, dwarf yaupon hollies, nandinas and Anthony Waterer spiraeas for a variety of colors and textures.
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To be successful in growing it…
Full or nearly full sun;
Well-prepared garden soil – it needn’t be perfect, but rake out the roots, rocks and building debris and add in organic matter;
Ensure good drainage;
Buy color(s) that will blend with other plants around it;
Space plants 18 to 24 inches apart;
Little trimming will be needed first year;
Beginning second year, trim plants back by one-half in early February each year and by one-third in early August. (That basically parallels timing and amounts given for bush roses.)
Apply high-N or even all-N fertilizer to keep plants vigorous.
Properly tended, plants should last for many years and never have to be dug or replaced. This is one perennial you won’t have to dig and divide.

Massed planting of two similar colors of pink autumn sages in the Sperry landscape. I think I got lucky that they look good together.
For a more laid-back look in the landscape, choose purple as your autumn sage color.
Posted by Neil Sperry
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