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Mexican Bush Sage

Posted by sam_md z7 MD (My Page) on
Sun, Sep 29, 13 at 8:39

Salvia leucantha 'Midnight' is the plant I saw yesterday at the National Arboretum herb garden. What do you think of that color? Isn't that the Ravens purple?
It was the first time I have seen this plant. Isn't it grown in the mid-Atlantic, if not why not?
 photo 09-28-13014.jpg

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Mexican Bush Sage

I'm growing this - it's in full bloom now.

RE: Mexican Bush Sage

This pic of Salvia leucantha 'Midnight' was taken today at the Green Spring Gardens in Alexandria.
What a great alternative to the conventional Fall blooming plants. I asked and they said this plant had been there for 20 years. They need perfect drainage in winter. Honey bees couldn't get enough of it.
 photo 10-05-13004.jpg

RE: Mexican Bush Sage

These are reportedly winter-hardy only to zone 8. So would be considered an annual in the mid-Atlantic region. Come to think of it, I got mine at a nursery known for stocking unusual plants, both native and exotic. Alexandria looks like it's in 7b and perhaps that is a somewhat protected location. 20 years is too long a time to say they've just been lucky!

I've been growing this plant for a few years now in a pot so I can overwinter it in my small greenhouse. I cut it back severely, place in a cool shady place and water sparingly until late winter, when I bring it out into more light and resume watering/feeding. Always have a nice shrub for summer and blooms for autumn. You're right, the bees and butterflies love it, and the blooms are wonderful this time of year. (But don't forget Japanese anemone, toad lily, Sheffield daisy, Montauk daisy and many roses. Hydrangea blooms are lovely in their antique shades from chartreuse through pinks, mauves to deep purple and burgundy. Some of the berried plants [winterberry holly, wintergreen, roses with prominent hips] are showing good color, too.)

It's still at peak bloom here, with a low of 35 expected tonight :-( I should take a division in spring and try overwintering that outside next winter.

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