Friday, June 24, 2016

Plant Profile-Tropical Sage

Welcome back to our 
 June series on native plants.
Each Friday, we have profiled a plant
that thrives in our area (zone 9b). 

We conclude our series with 
Tropical Salvia.

This beautiful perennial is native to the Southeastern United States,
and can be found in zones 7-11. 
Its moderate growth habits allow it to be placed
almost anywhere in the garden.
With heights only reaching 2-3 feet tall,
it would be perfect for a tiered effect, 
in front of taller bushes and framed in front 
by low-growing annuals or ground covers.

Although we feature the red variety in our garden,
this beauty also comes in shades of pink and white.
For most zones, the blooming takes place from spring through summer,
but warmer zones can expect blossoms throughout the fall as well.

Native salvia is a boon to the gardener determined to attract
butterflies, wasps, bees and hummingbirds.
The vibrant red blooms signal to pollinators
that there is a steady source of nectar to be found here.

With an easy-growing attitude,
salvia will do well in either part or full sun
and is highly drought tolerant.
In fact, this heat lover will thrive when other plants are fading 
from soaring summer temperatures and oppressive humidity.
Ideal plant spacing is 1 to 2 feet apart,
as powdery mildew can take hold if planted closer.

This low-maintenance garden gem readily self-seeds,
but seeds are easily collected by sliding a hand down the stem for direct sowing
With so many wonderful attributes,
why wouldn't a gardener want to add this alluring native
to a carefree landscape?

It pays to go native!

Other posts in this series:

Coral Bean