Salvia Species, Mealycup Sage, Mealy Sage

Salvia farinacea

Family: Lamiaceae (lay-mee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Salvia (SAL-vee-uh) (Info)
Species: farinacea (far-ih-NAH-kee-uh) (Info)
Synonym:Salvia amabilis
Synonym:Salvia caesia
Synonym:Salvia earlei
Synonym:Salvia trichostyle
» View all varieties of Salvias
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18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


9-12 in. (22-30 cm)


USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

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:

Medium Blue


White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Mid Spring

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall



This plant is resistant to deer

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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:


Propagation Methods:

From softwood cuttings

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

Seed Collecting:

Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

Foliage Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


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

Auburn, Alabama

Pine Level, Alabama

Phoenix, Arizona

Cabot, Arkansas

Auburn, California

Jacumba, California

Menifee, California

Merced, California

Rancho Mirage, California

Stockton, California

Arvada, Colorado

Deland, Florida

Inverness, Florida

Jacksonville, Florida

Merritt Island, Florida

Saint Petersburg, Florida (2 reports)

Sanford, Florida

Winter Springs, Florida

Braselton, Georgia

Barbourville, Kentucky

Hebron, Kentucky

Minden, Louisiana

New Orleans, Louisiana

Zachary, Louisiana

Crofton, Maryland

Florence, Mississippi

Springfield, Missouri

Roswell, New Mexico

Brooklyn, New York

Concord, North Carolina

Owasso, Oklahoma

Columbia, South Carolina

Moncks Corner, South Carolina

North Augusta, South Carolina

Lawrenceburg, Tennessee

Lebanon, Tennessee

Murfreesboro, Tennessee

Arlington, Texas

Austin, Texas (4 reports)

Bedford, Texas

Belton, Texas

Bulverde, Texas

Fort Worth, Texas

Irving, Texas

Kerrville, Texas

Lipan, Texas

Lubbock, Texas

Mc Kinney, Texas

San Antonio, Texas (3 reports)

Santo, Texas

Richmond, Virginia

Kinnear, Wyoming

Riverton, Wyoming

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Oct 16, 2010, TXgreenjean from Bedford, TX wrote:

This Texas Wildflower blooms early spring until the hot summer, then springs back with an abundance of blue blooms in fall. Cut it back after the first bloom for compact growth. Mine has morning shade, hot afternoon sun and performs beautifully. Drought hardy fool proof plant requiring little water.


On Aug 23, 2010, themikeman from Concord, NC (Zone 7a) wrote:

More of a purple color close up, but bluish from far back, not as tall as other blue colored salvias, the intense sun here in NC doesn't seem to bother it, so it seems very hardy, but then again it doesnt start blooming for me till much later than all my other blue salvias such as may night, victoria blue, etc, which bloom earlier; starts blooming around the same time as my black and blue salvias, maybe alittle latter, but these black and blues salvia are not mealy cups like these so different leaf and much they are much taller, so this is an early fall one for me. Also, since this doesnt get real tall i'd use it as a border plant like the previous commenter stated. peace. mike


On Feb 23, 2010, ElSapo from San Antonio, TX wrote:

I first came to admire this plant when I saw it in a lot that was being plowed up. Went out & dug up a wheel barrow full & planted it around the garden, mainly as a border plant. With some organic fertilizer & root stimulator it took readily & has become one of my favorite xeric plants!! Excellent drought resistance & beautiful blooms.


On Jan 30, 2010, sallyg from Anne Arundel,, MD (Zone 7b) wrote:

This is perennial for me, gradually becoming bigger but does not seem to do well with transplanting. THe roots are woody and hard to divide. Prone to downy mildew on lower leaves. Goldfins\ches ove the seeds so I don't shear them as I should to encourage rebloom and fullr growth from below. Pinching in spring may help fullness.
Will self sow but not excessively.


On Apr 22, 2007, htop from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

This plant can be found growing natively in Connecticutt,, Florida, Louisiana, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Texas. It does best in full sun; however, the drier it is, the more shade the plant can handle. When new basal foliage appears, cut the old flower stems to keep the plants lush. Also, shearing the plant 2 or 3 times a growing season keeps it full and encorages flowering. After the first frost browns the leaves or in mid-winter, prune to 3" from the ground. Butterflies and hummingbirds love the nectar and deer avoid the plant. If the soil is kept too wet, it will become leggy and weak. A cold, moist stratification period is required for germination. This salvia species requires light in order to germinate. It can be propagated by cuttings.


On Feb 28, 2006, bilby1915 from like californian climate,
Australia wrote:

I grow this in full sun and live in a californian type climate (no rain in summer but i use a watering system). Has any one else experienced brittle woody bits of the plant, lowest down? By deadheading it, i have gotten it to flower from mid spring to autumn and it hasn't finished yet.

I was worried i would lose the plant when the heatwaves struck (four days in a row of 40+ degrees celcius - but it hung in there.

My garden is on a slope, so the plant definately gets well drained.


On Jul 30, 2003, DayBreak from Springfield, MO wrote:

This plant readily self-sows, but usually also survives southwest Missouri winters (in my garden at least). Goldfinches relish the seeds. Their bright yellow plumage contrasted against the blue blossoms is a very beautiful sight!


On May 3, 2002, loisbeth wrote:

6-8" upright spikes of china blue flowers above compact bushy plant. Unreliable perennial except for in well drained sites. Grown normally as an annual in Texas.


On Mar 7, 2001, Terry from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

Tender perennial grown as an annual in colder climates. One of the showiest salvias for full sun locations; foliage is gray-green topped with vivid blue spikes of flowers most of the summer and fall. Flowers somewhat resemble lavender, and work well in cottage garden borders. Flowers will be more vivid in areas with cooler summers.