Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Mexican Bush Sage
Salvia leucantha

Family: Lamiaceae (lay-mee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Salvia (SAL-vee-uh) (Info)
Species: leucantha (lew-KAN-thuh) (Info)

» View all varieties of Salvias

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71 members have or want this plant for trade.

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Tropicals and Tender Perennials

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun


Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Late Summer/Early Fall


Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)
7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)
8.6 to 9.0 (strongly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From herbaceous stem cuttings
From woody stem cuttings
By simple layering

Seed Collecting:
Collect seedhead/pod when flowers fade; allow to dry

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There are a total of 51 photos.
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14 positives
No neutrals
2 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive arthurb3 On Dec 10, 2012, arthurb3 from Raleigh, NC (Zone 7b) wrote:

A beautifull plant. The flowers are fuzzy and I cannot resist touching them!

Positive Sandwichkatexan On Apr 1, 2012, Sandwichkatexan from Copperas Cove, TX wrote:

Grows huge every season. It dies back in the winter and rebounds nicely every year . Hummingbirds are attracted to the flowers like a magnet .

Negative XemaSab On Nov 5, 2011, XemaSab from Redding, CA wrote:

I've tried it three times, and every time it just hasn't survived the winter. I don't know if the cold is killing it or if it's rotting out in our wet winters, but I've given up on it.

Positive 2QandLearn On Jul 8, 2011, 2QandLearn from Menifee, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

When I was growing up, my Mom put a berm in the backyard, & among the plants she covered it with, was one of these. It was shaded in the morning by a Pomegranate tree, but it grew & flowered wonderfully. Mom always pruned it in what I thought an unusual way: When the main flower spike on the end of a stem was done flowering, she removed the ENTIRE stem all the way back to the main stem. When this was done regularly & consistently, a new stem would quickly grow & start flowering, & the ones cut off were even more quickly replaced by others that were just waiting their turns! I later tried allowing all the flowers on each stem their turn to develop, thinking they might all become large spikes like the main ones on the stem ends . . . but they ever did, and the plant quickly became rangy & unpleasant to behold (by comparison). I recently asked a plant-grower in my area if he still carried this plant, but he had discontinued it because everyone had complained that it was coming up from seed like crazy, all over their gardens . . . IF they had pruned it like my mother always did, that could never have happened, and, their plants would have looked 100% more beautiful, too! . . . . . . . . . NOTE: Mom's sage was on a dirt berm, but not sheltered from winter rains, and it did GREAT!

Positive rntx22 On Nov 26, 2010, rntx22 from Houston, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

This is my absolute favorite salvia. Fuzzy flowers and leafs, and the pests leave it alone! I've had horrible mealy bug infestations in my garden on all my other salvias, but they don't touch this one. The hummingbirds, bees, butterflies, and sphynx moths love it! It's been in bloom since spring and is still looking gorgeous in late November.

Positive mswestover On Oct 2, 2009, mswestover from Yulee, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

Gets woody at the base. I trim it in mid summer. It spreads and will take over a flower bed quickly. Blooms Oct-Nov zone 9a. Hummingbirds like it.

Positive sillybug5 On Sep 14, 2009, sillybug5 from Winston Salem, NC (Zone 7a) wrote:

A real knockout, graceful plant with furry looking amazing flowers, blooming at the end of the season. Hummers and butterflies are thrilled with it. Gorgeous!!!

Positive Lily_love On Oct 8, 2007, Lily_love from Central, AL (Zone 7b) wrote:

I've thise Salvia for several years now, its growth habit seems a bit of restraint. It's in full bloom this time of year. Although, classified as 7b. Sometimes, due to microclimate influences; many zone 8's plants proven to be adaptive here where I'm.

Positive Marilynbeth On Feb 7, 2007, Marilynbeth from Hebron, KY wrote:

Last year for the first time growing it (the purple/white one and the all purple one). I had plants of the all purple one growing in the ground and in a pot. I had the purple/white one growing in a pot.

Love them both! Furry and you 'just want to touch them' each time you walk past them.

Seemed to me that the ones I had in the ground bloomed sooner than the ones I had in large 20" plastic containers on the patio (all of them were in full sun).

Blooms late in the season.


The all purple variety is a big favorite of my husband! In 2006, I had two of the all purple Salvias growing in the ground next to the driveway and he really loved seeing them every day they were in bloom. I found a different spot, but close enough to the driveway this year (annuals here in zone 6), pinched it back every so often and it's happier now than the ones in 2006.

Positive Sheila965 On Jun 4, 2006, Sheila965 from Rincon, GA (Zone 8a) wrote:

This is a VERY hardy plant. After a year, it will spread by root. I had to dig it up and move it earlier in the spring, so I cut it way back. I was so scared I had lost it. It is now blooming beautifully! I even shared the new shoots with my mom.

Positive Horseshoe On Feb 9, 2006, Horseshoe from Efland, NC (Zone 7a) wrote:

Wonderful, easy-to-grow salvia! Blooms late summer and will bloom past our first frosts/freezes! Adds great color for late in the year. A butterfly magnet also!

Positive Tomatoholic On Apr 12, 2005, Tomatoholic from Austin, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

I love this plant. It is so interesting. It blooms my favorite color too. I have two of if blooming and the other is not blooming at all. They are planted in the same area so they get the same sun/water/etc. Any suggestions out there how I can get the other one to bloom? I live in Austin, TX. These are new plants I got a few weeks ago from Red Barn Nursery. Thanks.

Negative jkom51 On Aug 8, 2003, jkom51 from Oakland, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

This is a very tough, big ever-blooming salvia. In frost-free zones it is important to cut it back regularly, as it will continue to expand until it overruns all its neighbors. I have actually seen it start to break apart granite boulders. Tends to have a rather ungainly, somewhat wild appearance if allowed to grow without occasional pruning.

Positive meek On Jul 13, 2003, meek wrote:

A really good landscape plant, likes an alkaline un- improved soil to slightly dry, plant can run by suckering along bottom edge so cut these out for new plants. Plant on 4-6 foot centers as they can eaisily be 3-5' round and tall. Cut back hard in fall to 1' in warmer (no frost) climates and it comes back like a true herb. Have seen hummingbirds feeding on this and have yet to see a major pest.
Have had extremely good luck on drip irrigation with emmiters 6" from base.

Positive Lavanda On Jan 20, 2003, Lavanda from Mcallen, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Even if you have only one of these in your garden, the hummers will come!

Positive loisbeth On May 3, 2002, loisbeth wrote:

5-6' gray-green foliage on shrub-like plant produce 18" spikes of purple flowers with white tips. Must be kept dry in winter. Prune in mid-summer for better branching. Needs well drained soil.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Huntsville, Alabama
Mobile, Alabama
Monroeville, Alabama
Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Union Grove, Alabama
Vincent, Alabama
Green Valley, Arizona
Kingman, Arizona
Charleston, Arkansas
Fayetteville, Arkansas
Mountain View, Arkansas
Albany, California
Amesti, California
Arroyo Grande, California
Canoga Park, California
Cazadero, California
Clayton, California
Encinitas, California
Fairfield, California
Fallbrook, California
Fresno, California
Knights Landing, California
Long Beach, California (2 reports)
Los Angeles, California
Manteca, California
Merced, California
Moreno Valley, California
Mountain View Acres, California
Northridge, California (2 reports)
Oakland, California
Oakley, California
Oildale, California
Ontario, California
Palm Springs, California
Pomona, California
Rancho Palos Verdes, California
Redwood City, California
Ridgecrest, California
Sacramento, California (2 reports)
San Anselmo, California
San Diego, California
San Francisco, California
San Pablo, California
Santa Ana, California
Spring Valley, California
Ventura, California
Villa Park, California
Vista, California
Yucca Valley, California
Apopka, Florida
Belleview, Florida
Brandon, Florida
Brooksville, Florida
Deland, Florida
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Gainesville, Florida
Hollywood, Florida
Homestead, Florida (2 reports)
Inverness, Florida
Jacksonville, Florida
Keystone Heights, Florida
Lakeland, Florida
Largo, Florida
Longwood, Florida
Melbourne, Florida
Pensacola, Florida (2 reports)
Pompano Beach, Florida
Quincy, Florida
Riverview, Florida
Vero Beach, Florida
Winter Park, Florida
Winter Springs, Florida
Yulee, Florida
Ashburn, Georgia
Cordele, Georgia
Douglas, Georgia
Flowery Branch, Georgia
Nicholson, Georgia
Rincon, Georgia
Savannah, Georgia
Stone Mountain, Georgia
Indianapolis, Indiana
Derby, Kansas
Shawnee Mission, Kansas
Hebron, Kentucky
Prospect, Kentucky
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Covington, Louisiana
Homer, Louisiana
Lafayette, Louisiana
Zachary, Louisiana
Florence, Mississippi
Petal, Mississippi
Raymond, Mississippi
Saint Louis, Missouri
Pahrump, Nevada
Rodeo, New Mexico
Roswell, New Mexico
Averill Park, New York
Deposit, New York
Southold, New York
Elizabeth City, North Carolina
Fayetteville, North Carolina
Hillsborough, North Carolina
Holly Ridge, North Carolina
Raleigh, North Carolina (2 reports)
Winston Salem, North Carolina
Milan, Ohio
Brookings, Oregon
Charleston, South Carolina
Conway, South Carolina
Florence, South Carolina
Ladys Island, South Carolina
Manning, South Carolina
North Augusta, South Carolina
North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Okatie, South Carolina
Orangeburg, South Carolina
Sumter, South Carolina
Knoxville, Tennessee
Memphis, Tennessee
Alice, Texas
Arlington, Texas
Atlanta, Texas
Aubrey, Texas
Austin, Texas
Belton, Texas
Brady, Texas
Bulverde, Texas
Cleburne, Texas
College Station, Texas
Conroe, Texas
Copperas Cove, Texas
Dallas, Texas (2 reports)
Deer Park, Texas
Desoto, Texas
Devine, Texas
Elgin, Texas
Fort Worth, Texas (3 reports)
Georgetown, Texas
Houston, Texas (3 reports)
Humble, Texas
Irving, Texas (2 reports)
Kingsland, Texas
Liberty Hill, Texas
Mc Kinney, Texas
Port Lavaca, Texas
Portland, Texas
Rowlett, Texas
San Antonio, Texas
Wells, Texas
Zapata, Texas
Dutton, Virginia
Gloucester, Virginia
Leesburg, Virginia
Manassas, Virginia
Smithfield, Virginia

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