Sage, autumn (Salvia greggii)
Autumn sage is a mounding shrub 2-3 ft. tall, with small, aromatic green leaves that are evergreen. The flowers can be red, pink, purple, or white. Autumn sage is wonderful to use as a small, flowering shrub in a perennial bed or as a low hedge. It attracts hummingbirds. It is disease and insect free and drought tolerant, and once established, should not be fertilized.
Autumn sage needs well-drained site and will sulk in shrink-swell clay soils. In clay soils amend the soil properly and improve drainage. The plant is very brittle and breaks easy, so it is best to plant it away from heavy foot traffic. It flowers from spring to frost. Flowers attract bees and hummingbirds. As with many salvia species, leaves can be used fresh or dried for seasonings and teas, and the flowers are edible.
Trim or pinch tips continuously for nonstop blooming. In early spring, prune it a third to halfway back to produce thicker, more compact foliage and a shorter flowering plant. Pruning may delay flowering for several weeks, but it is important if you want to prevent leggy plants. On the other hand, if you want to encourage the plant to assume its maximum natural shape, however tall, only pick-prune.
AT A GLANCE
- Texas native
- Drought tolerant
- Full sun to part shade
- 2-3 ft tall and wide
- Wildlife value: butterflies, hummingbirds
- Deer resistant