Plants for Patient People

October 26th, 2019

This is my new favorite fall plant – Salvia leucantha, or Mexican Bush Sage.

I’ve grown it for a couple years now and it goes like this. Find a smallish plant in the spring at the nursery (I got mine at DeBaggio’s Herbs). Plant it and wait and wait and wait, because for all the rest of the spring and summer it’s a nondescript green blob (which is not bothered by critters, so that’s a plus). And it grows and grows and grows to a bigger blob about 4 feet tall and wide. Then in September it begins to bloom profusely and attract zillions of pollinators. It’s spectacular from the time it begins to bloom until it freezes (which might be as soon as next weekend).

I need to do a better job of finding companions for it, but this pale yellow ‘Rocket’ snapdragon looks OK (even if the photo is blurry).

The species has white flowers and purple calyces, but there’s a cultivar with purple flowers (S. leucantha ‘Midnight’). For me, that one is a little more compact.

It’s not winter hardy in central Virginia, but I think it’s worth planting every year.

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