Sage, autumn (Salvia greggii)
Autumn sage is a versatile, semi-evergreen perennial that can handle both sun and part shade. It is drought tolerant once established, and its blooms come in multiple colors that attract bees and hummingbirds. It prefers well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter and therefore is not a good candidate for heavy clay soil.
Autumn sage is lovely as a small, flowering shrub in a perennial bed or as a low hedge, and it does well mixed with softer-looking perennials such as Gregg’s mistflower. The plant is very brittle and breaks easily, so it is best to plant it away from heavy foot traffic. Autumn sage leaves and flowers are edible, and trimming or pinching tips promotes continuous blooms. In early spring, you can prune it one-third to halfway back to produce thicker, more compact foliage, which is important if you want to prevent leggy plants. Or you can pick-prune to maintain the autumn sage’s natural size and shape.
AT A GLANCE
|Water use||Low to medium|
|Sun exposure||Full to part sun|
|Bloom color||Red, pink, white|
|Bloom time||On and off spring through fall|
|Mature height||2-3 ft|
|Mature spread||2-3 ft|
|Edible||Yes, leaves and flowers|