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June 2011
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Salvia leucantha – also known as Mexican Bush Sage

Salvia leucantha which is also known as Mexican bush sage is an herbaceous perennial and a shrub that can grow up to a height of 1.3 meters (4.3 feet) and wide about 2 meters (6.6 feet). It is native to subtropical and tropical conifer forests which are in central and eastern Mexico. The stems are erect and arching at tips with long inflorescences and flowers come out from colored bracts and are fuzzy and white in color. They are known to have velvety blue or purple inflorescences. The leaves are lanceolate and linear and mid-green in color and have whitish hairs below it. The leaves are willowy and are 1-5 inches long. The flowers are 1-2 inches long. The stems are thick and spreading. The flowers are few per cluster. They bloom from late summer or early fall. They are grown as border and as ornamental plants. The plant attracts humming birds and butterflies. It grows well in zones 7 through 11. It has been introduced in US, the West Coast, Arizona, southern New Mexico, most of Texas and Oklahoma, everywhere southeast of Arkansas, and most of North Carolina and Virginia.

Growing conditions of Salvia leucantha:

• After the frost passes, plant the Mexican sage.
• The root ball is large enough, so choose a container to sustain the plant through out the winter.
• The plant can be propagated by taking a cutting.
• It grows well in zones 7 through 11.
• The plant needs full sunlight during the day.
• The plant will grow tall and scrawny in shade as it will try to reach for sunlight.
• Plant at least 2 to 3 feet away apart from other plants.
• A hole can be dug 3 inches deep and fill in the dirt around the plant.
• Water the soil for first month and let it not dry out.
• Water the plant once a week later.
• Prune if the plant is too large.

Care for Salvia leucantha:

• The temperature should not be very cool as the roots can be damaged.
• The temperature that this plant can tolerate is as low as 25 degrees.
• The plant needs well drained soil and full sunlight.
• Water the plant twice a week or once a week depending on the conditions.
• Add compost to the soil when planting.
• During weather being dry, keep the roots moist.
• Spread mulch around the plant to retain moisture and also to reduce weeds.
• Fertilize the plant with layer of compost around the base of the plant.
• Add all purpose plant food as budding starts.
• Prune in spring to encourage growth.
• If the plant reaches two feet, cut the top third of the stem.

Photos of the plant on Google Search (link)

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