Salvia Species, Mexican Sage

Salvia mexicana

Family: Lamiaceae (lay-mee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Salvia (SAL-vee-uh) (Info)
Species: mexicana (meks-sih-KAY-nuh) (Info)
Synonym:Hemistegia mexicana
Synonym:Salvia lupulina
Synonym:Salvia nitidifolia
Synonym:Salvia papilionacea
Synonym:Sclarea mexicana
» View all varieties of Salvias
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Tropicals and Tender Perennials


8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)


10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)


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


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Medium Blue



Bloom Time:

Late Summer/Early Fall

Mid Fall


Grown for foliage


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

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

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

Water Requirements:

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:

Ben Lomond, California

Castro Valley, California

Clovis, California

Los Angeles, California

San Diego, California

Osage City, Kansas

Shawnee Mission, Kansas

Columbia, South Carolina

Iredell, Texas

La Vernia, Texas

Marble Falls, Texas

San Antonio, Texas

Seattle, Washington

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Feb 13, 2005, garygardener from Nowra,
Australia (Zone 10a) wrote:

Most of the comments are for another plant, Salvia leucantha, because it has the common name Mexican sage.
The species S. mexicana has blue flowers, slightly shiny broad/ovate leaves and upright habit (depending on the form selected), I grew S, mexicana "Major" for a while, it was a narrow upright shrub to 5.5 feet, nice flowerer but not drought hardy LOL


On Nov 18, 2004, theresamendoza from Hesperia, CA (Zone 8a) wrote:

This plant has grown in my backyard for three years now and is gorgeous! It receives sun to part shade and it grows to about four foot with the blooms. I also cut it back after blooming to encourage a better shrub. It blooms in my zone 8 for about four weeks. The soil it grows in is hard clay, so it is not fussy.


On Nov 18, 2004, sterhill from Atlanta, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:

Atlanta - pinch back early in the spring so it does not become too leggy and root these cuttings for more plants. I have found I can just stick them right into the dirt - no pampering beyond a little water - and the cuttings will need pinching back before you know it. Lovely plant!
Dies back to the ground here in the winter.


On Nov 16, 2004, hanna1 from Castro Valley, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

Lovely plant, gives so much color most of the year, right now it's spectacular, I cut back when it gets stragly, and water needs are so low, a great plant!


On Sep 21, 2004, vs71099 from Osage City, KS (Zone 5b) wrote:

I picked a 50cent container up this spring as a "just to try" and I LOVE this plant..... What can I do to save it in my Zone 5 garden...? It is so soft to the touch and being a late bloomer adds that end of the season color...... Love it


On Sep 21, 2004, BUFFY690 from Prosperity, SC (Zone 7b) wrote:

I have added this plant to the back of my daylily bed this year. It was slow to catch hold but now it looks just awesome. Next year it shoud be twice the size it is this year. Between the mexican petunias , the gaura , and double yellow datura, the hummingbirds are constantly at this lovely buffet. about 3 weeks ago I went out and on this plant and my porter weed the butteflies were simply HANGING off of it. Too bad I did not have my camera that day. But I am prepared from now on.


On Feb 29, 2004, skibum_not wrote:

This plant grows very well in the Santa Cruz mountains of northern California. It's best to cut it back in the fall after it blooms so that it will become bushier the next year. Otherwise, it gets a little straggly. The purple flowers are gorgeous and attract hummingbirds.


On Mar 27, 2003, SalviaLover wrote:

I live in Central Texas and this plant is totally wonderful. It grows up to 4' high in the fall from being planted in the spring. It is a tall, bushy-type plant that grows very full and makes a wonderful backdrop in a perennial bed. The purple flowers are lovely and last for several weeks. I planted from 3" pots from the nursery and also have sandy loam soil. It is a perfect plant for this region.


On Sep 23, 2002, hummer_nut from Montgomery, AL (Zone 8a) wrote:

A pretty fall blooming salvia. In zone 8 starts to bloom early Oct. Adds color when everything else is fading. I would say it would be hardy to zone 7 if mulched. I do not mulch it and it has come back for me at least 7 yrs.