Hardiness: 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) USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 °C (40 °F)
Sun Exposure: Sun to Partial Shade
Bloom Color: Red White/Near White
Bloom Time: Mid Summer Late Summer/Early Fall
Foliage: Herbaceous Smooth-Textured
Other details: This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping This plant is resistant to deer
Soil pH requirements: 6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic) 6.6 to 7.5 (neutral) 7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)
Patent Information: Non-patented
Propagation Methods: By dividing the rootball From softwood cuttings From semi-hardwood cuttings
Seed Collecting: Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored
On May 9, 2013, blumz from Trussville, AL (Zone 8a) wrote:
Hot lips salvia is one of the most beautiful plants in my gardens. It is evergreen in my area - 8a. I had to move it a couple of times because it grew larger than the tag said. Each time I moved it, I cut it back and it came back more beautiful than before. So I now just make a practice of cutting it back to about 1-1/2 feet in early spring. It is full, lush and gorgeous. Grows to about 3-1/2 to 4 ft. tall and wide for me. Hummers love it and everyone who visits my gardens fall in love with it.
On May 4, 2013, rainiershadow from Lake Tapps, WA (Zone 8b) wrote:
I got this plant last year and it bloomed great! This year the leaves are coming out but I wonder if I should have pruned the tops of the branches? They are bare and it doesn't look like leaves will be forming so it seems the tops are dead. Is it too late to cut the tops of the branches where there are not leaves? It is now the beginning of May and I don't see any flowers coming yet? I am in Zone 8b Sumner WA
On May 2, 2013, loovejonesx from Durham, NC wrote:
Have had this flower for at least 6 years now around my mailbox here in zone 7b & it really seems to do better when it's ignored. There are years that it comes back with loads of buds, & years that it does nominally well, BUT IT ALWAYS PUT ON A PRETTY GOOD SHOW. I get white flowers, red flowers & the trademark red & white mix & it seems to thrive on hot days.
This is my favorite plant in my whole yard. I have 11 of them, and not only have they thrived on our 115 degrees in the summer and 45 inches of rain in the winter, they've done well in full sun areas, heavy shade areas (I planted Vinca in that corner and it died!), and everything in between, all on a xeric water regimen plus a nasty claypan!
On Apr 25, 2011, carlipop from Stromsburg, NE wrote:
I purchased a hot lips salvia last summer and love it! I live in Zone 5 so wasn't sure how the plant would do, but was pleasantly surprised when it grew to about 3 foot tall and consistently bloomed until early October when I pruned it and dug it up to bring inside for the winter. I currently have it waiting patiently for spring in my basement with sunlight coming in through a south window. It has new growth and is ready to bloom again! I would absolutely recommend this plant for other gardeners in Nebraska! It is beautiful.
On Apr 7, 2011, GreeneLady from Oak Island, NC (Zone 8a) wrote:
What can I say? This plant loves to be forgotten. I discovered this by accident when my sprinkler system malfunctioned while were were on vacation, so for 2 weeks in the heat of a dry Georgia summer, it got no water. When I came back, everything else in that flower bed was nearly dead, except this plant. It was not only surviving, it was THRIVING! I've never cut mine back. Here in zone 8, it still had a few blossoms going at Christmas time. I have not had any luck with propogation from cuttings. Dividing the root ball seems to be the only way to go for me.
On Mar 14, 2011, tulpen from Los Angeles, CA wrote:
I have a variety of different colored salvias including this one in my garden. They add beautiful color, butterflies, bees and hummingbirds love them (very important to me) once established they require low water and maintenance. I do prune regularly (but easy too) to keep them in shape and I think it encourages blooming. Also they don't require "fancy" soil and I personally don't fertilize even though that might be good. Sun to part/shade but the more sun the better. A favorite for me!
I grew this plant for several years and found it unattractive most of the time. I loved the blooms, which changed color depending on heat levels. However, no matter how I cut the plant back, it consisted mainly of stems with leaves clustered at the end of its woody stems. All you really saw was woody stems with a few blooms. I finally gave up on it.
On Mar 14, 2011, sllawrence from Kerrville, TX wrote:
I have an established (4 year old) 'Hot Lips' salvia in the NW area of my garden in the Texas Hill Country. This past winter (2011), we had abnormally low and extended, dry hard freezes of 9 degrees, with windchills into the (minus) -2 degrees. This plant suffered cold damage but did not die back to the ground, and is coming back very nicely now.
One note of caution, this plant spreads! It puts out underground runners in an attempt to takeover a large area of the garden. I have been using the new clumps as passalong plants. I also add that I have had the occasional solid white and solid red bloom on this plant, as well as the bicolor 'hot lips' red and white. Intense heat doesn't faze it.
Anyone have prunning tips for the Hot Lips? My hedge grew profusely this year but now, in winter about half of the upper section has died back pretty far. How far shoudl I cut it back if at all and when?
On Oct 20, 2010, bbshouse from Billings, MT wrote:
I haven't seen this plant since I moved here from Texas in 1994. So I was excited when I was given 8 of these plants in April. The truck they had been on froze overnight. The store had thrown them away because they looked dead. A friend that worked there "rescued" them and brought them to me. I planted them, cut the dead branches back to the ground and watered them. Within 2 weeks they were blooming and now are 3 ft tall and approx 2-4 ft wide. They've bloomed non stop since May. I'm interested to see how they survive our Montana winter. If they come back next spring, I'll be dividing them next fall to share with all my friends.
On May 23, 2010, BJames1 from Elizabeth City, NC (Zone 8a) wrote:
Nice salvia! I love how the colors can change from solid red to solid white to a red-white combination! Blooms in mass in the spring and sporadically and in large flushes throughout the summer for me. A little leggy, but otherwise a great garden performer. What can I say? I will always fall for some 'Hot Lips.'
On Jan 20, 2010, hymenocallis from Auburn, AL (Zone 8a) wrote:
I have had Salvia microphylla for several years and it survived a week and most of another one below freezing this past two weeks and it didn't flinch. I don't know what it's limits are bit 13 degrees didn't do anything but burn a few leaves on it. It is 4 ft x 8 ft. Still flowering and a great plant.
On Oct 21, 2009, Mr_LeFleur from Bothell, WA wrote:
A humming bird came to get nectar from the flowers just moments after I planted it:)
I haven't seen a humming bird up close in years.
The blooms are also bright and last a long time.
I can't wait to have a whole field of it in the future:)
On Jan 5, 2007, ladyschweig from Culpeper, VA (Zone 7a) wrote:
I bought two small pots of "Hot Lips" late last Spring. They were very cute. When the blooms decreased I was disappointed...until late summer and into the fall. The plants would not stop growing or blooming! I was so impressed I searched for more. I found a "Cherry Sage" that made a very nice partner. I now have develped a rage for sage and I am searching for a variety of colors. Hot Lips is still very dear to me, though.
On Nov 19, 2006, Marilynbeth from Hebron, KY wrote:
Grew it for the first time this season (found it at Lowe's) and I love it! It got more beautiful as season progressed. I don't know if I'll get any volunteers from it, but if it doesn't winter over, then I'll have to look and find another.
On Jun 9, 2006, lunavox from Seattle, WA (Zone 8b) wrote:
I live in metro Seattle, and I saw a hummingbird visit my container garden for the first time EVER to eat nectar from this salvia. Hummingbirds have been coming by regularly in the evening since this started blooming a month ago. It's great. :)
On Jun 8, 2006, ineedacupoftea from Denver, CO wrote:
10F? Not true. A friend outside of town (average ten degrees cooler in the winter) on a windy hill grows her Salvia 'Hot Lips' in a Xeric Garden. I waited curiously over winter to see if they would return; Two of two have indeed survived a winter that saw at least 0F on her hill. Dry winters may help.
It blooms well with little water. Summer heat (100F+) and drought are not impairments. Most flowers are nearly pure carmine, some are "lipped."
On Feb 2, 2005, librarianlanell from Spring, TX wrote:
The 28 degree dips during the winter didn't even phase this plant (just north of Houston.) Mine are planted in semi-shade in well drained soil. They get tons of water one month and none the next and look great!
On May 24, 2004, clantonnaomi from Iredell, TX wrote:
This plant is definitely hardy in Zone 8 - central Texas. I have had mine for a couple of years and they have not even died back to the ground. A wonderful salvia and the red and white blooms are so unusual!
On May 23, 2004, kviolette from Raleigh, NC (Zone 8a) wrote:
This plant is more cold hardy than indicated above. It wintered over in Raleigh, NC (Zone 7b/8a) after being planted in October. No winter protection other than whatever leaves fell onto it and was not cut back until April. It did die back nearly to the ground but it is growing fine now. Much more mature plants came through winter in the area with little die back.
On Jan 3, 2004, poozak from New Braunfels, TX wrote:
What a great plant in Deer Country. I drove away from our one gallon, planted a year ago and we never did a thing to keep it alive during the six month's absence. Big bushy three-footer now. I love this plant and plan to grow a bunch of it. Have fun! P.
On Aug 27, 2003, Happenstance from Northern California, CA wrote:
As the season progresses the flowers will be red/white, solid red, pinky red. This is normal for this cultivar and the same branches will also make the bi-color flowers. Makes for a real show of color.
This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:
Auburn, Alabama Grayson Valley, Alabama Queen Creek, Arizona Cabot, Arkansas Alpine, California Carlsbad, California Citrus Heights, California Clayton, California Clovis, California Crescent City North, California East Hemet, California El Cerrito, California Fairfield, California Fremont, California Irvine, California Kenwood, California Knights Landing, California Lake Wildwood, California Los Angeles, California (2 reports) Miranda, California Mission Viejo, California Oakland, California Oakley, California Redding, California San Jose, California San Leandro, California Shingletown, California Sonoma, California Stockton, California Ventura, California Waldon, California Grand Junction, Colorado Pike Creek, Delaware Boyette, Florida Gainesville, Florida Lake City, Florida Naples, Florida (2 reports) Niceville, Florida Pensacola, Florida Spring Hill, Florida Wellborn, Florida Winter Park, Florida Yulee, Florida Augusta, Georgia Clarkesville, Georgia Cordele, Georgia Cornelia, Georgia Guyton, Georgia Harlem, Georgia South Amana, Iowa Hebron, Kentucky Bel Air, Maryland Lockwood, Montana Lincoln, Nebraska Stromsburg, Nebraska Ocean Grove, New Jersey Carnuel, New Mexico Elizabeth City, North Carolina (2 reports) Fuquay-varina, North Carolina Kannapolis, North Carolina Morehead City, North Carolina Raleigh, North Carolina (2 reports) Saint Pauls, North Carolina Hugo, Oklahoma Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Tulsa, Oklahoma Salem, Oregon Conway, South Carolina Florence, South Carolina Ladys Island, South Carolina North Augusta, South Carolina North Charleston, South Carolina Seven Oaks, South Carolina Alpine, Texas Arlington, Texas (2 reports) Bryan, Texas Bulverde, Texas Cinco Ranch, Texas Conroe, Texas Dallas, Texas Dalworthington Gardens, Texas Everman, Texas Fate, Texas Fort Worth, Texas Garland, Texas Houston, Texas Iredell, Texas Kerrville, Texas (2 reports) New Braunfels, Texas Princeton, Texas Roman Forest, Texas Spring, Texas Spring Branch, Texas Wells Branch, Texas Fruit Heights, Utah Alexandria, Virginia Arlington, Virginia Brandy Station, Virginia Virginia Beach, Virginia Bothell, Washington Cathan, Washington Concrete, Washington Issaquah, Washington Kalama, Washington Poulsbo, Washington Seattle, Washington Sumner, Washington Vancouver, Washington Pewaukee, Wisconsin