currently in Austin


Mealy Blue Sage

Salvia farinacea

Native Salvia farinacea, also called mealy blue sage, is an herbaceous perennial. A member of the mint family, it has a similar spreading habit as its relatives, but doesn’t travel far.

Light blue flowers abound from spring to frost, attracting bees, butterflies, and other pollinators. Cut off spent flowers down to a leaf node to encourage more flowers.

Growing to about 2’ wide and tall, it likes full sun, though partial shade or morning sun is fine. It will need supplemental irrigation in summer, especially if planted where it gets afternoon sun.

Root hardy to USDA Zone 8, and by some references, into Zone 7, mealy blue sage dies back to the ground each winter. It’s best to wait until you notice new growth reemerging at the base before cutting back the top growth, since those dead stems serve as insulation and protection from the cold.

Wait until all danger of frost has passed in spring to plant new ones. Once they’ve established roots over spring, summer, and fall, they’ll be better prepared for winter freezes.