A versatile plant, native sage has had medicinal, ornamental, and culinary uses for generations. The first botanical classification of this family of plants can be found in 19th century British botanist George Bentham’s influential work Genera Plantarum. The genus name “Salvia” comes from the Latin “salvere” meaning “to heal,” referring to the plant’s medicinal benefits.
Sowing: Direct sow in late fall, pressing into the surface of the soil since this plant needs light to germinate. For spring planting, mix the seeds with moist sand and store in the refrigerator for 30 days before planting. Keep the soil lightly moist until germination, which usually takes 1-2 weeks.
Growing: Water seedlings regularly until they become established. This plant grows very quickly and needs little care, though watering during dry weather will improve its blooming. Mature plants tolerate heat and drought, as well as thriving in sandy or rocky soils. Cut back the growing stems to encourage bushier growth. This plant attracts bees and butterflies, and will self-seed unless cut back after flowering has finished.
Harvesting: For cut flowers, choose stems with flowers that have just opened. Strip the foliage that will fall below the water level, and place in water immediately.
Seed Saving: The flower spike will turn brown and dry while the seeds begin to form. Watch the plant carefully, since the seeds will soon blow away with the wind. Shake the ripe brown heads over a container to remove the seed. Store the seed in a cool, dry place.
Common Names: Mealycup Sage, Mealy Sage
Latin Name: Salvia farinacea
Species Origin: Introduced US Wildflower
Type: Garden Flowers
Life Cycle: Perennial
USDA Zones: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
US Regions: California, Mountain, Arid/Desert, Plains/Texas, Midwest, Northern, Northeast, Southeast
Seeds per Ounce: 23,000
Stratification: No Stratification
Germination Ease: No Stratification
Sunlight: Full Sun
Height: 18 Inches
Bloom Season: Blooms Late Summer
Uses: Attracts Pollinators, Attracts Honeybees, Hummingbirds, Cut Flowers, Deer Resistant
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