in Tucson, Phoenix,
and Southern California

Gardening in Tucson, Phoenix, and Southern California

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Salvia chamaedryoides: Germander Sage / Mexican Blue Sage

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Form: Shrub.
Leaf retention: Evergreen in frost-free areas. Dies to ground in hard freezes.
Growth rate: Moderate to rapid.
Mature Size: 1-3' high and 3-4' wide.
Flowers: Vivid dark blue, raised upper lip, flared two-lobed lower lip.
Bloom: Depends on local climate. Often summer or fall, but sometimes fall through winter into spring, or twice a year in spring and fall.
Fruit: Up to four tiny seeds at the base of each dried calyx (cup-like structure that holds the flower and ovary).
Leaves: Downy, silver green, mostly silver in full sun, oval, edges slightly toothed, fragrant.
Stems: No thorns.
Roots: Spreads by rhizomes. Slightly invasive.
Wildlife: Attracts butterflies, bees, hummingbirds.
Toxic / Danger: No.
Origin: Mexico.

Cultivation and Uses
USDA hardiness zones: 8-10.
Heat tolerant: Yes.
Drought tolerant: Yes.
Sun: Full sun to less than 50% shade.
Water once established: Once or twice a month in part shade. Weekly in full sun during hottest parts of year.
Soil: Well drained, dry, pH 6.1-8.5 (slightly acidic to alkaline).
Planting: Does well in containers.
Prune: After last frost, remove winter damage.
Litter: Low.
Propagation: Seed, division of root clumps.
Uses: Ornamental, wildlife attractor.

A member of the mint family. This is a sage and not a germander. Flowers resemble Salvia farinacea: Mealycup Sage.

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