Garden Oracle / Drought and Heat Tolerant Gardening / Tucson - Phoenix - Arizona - California

Growing Leucophyllum frutescens:
Texas Sage

social icons Facebook Pinterest Instagram

Form: Shrub.
Leaf retention: Evergreen but cold deciduous.
Growth rate: Rapid.
Mature Size: 6-8' high and wide.
Flowers: Purple, pink or white flowers.
Bloom: Sporadically, spring through fall.
Fruit: A small seed capsule.
Leaves: Small, soft, covered with fine, silvery hairs, gray to greenish, oval with a slightly pointed tip, smooth margins. These leaves are not palatable. This plant is not a true sage nor related to mint.
Stems: No thorns.
Wildlife: Attracts bees. Not browsed by mammals.
Toxic / Danger: No.
Origin: Native to Texas and Mexico.

Cultivation and Uses
USDA hardiness zones: 8-11.
Heat tolerant: Yes, even reflected heat.
Drought tolerant: Yes.
Sun: Full sun. It becomes leggy in part shade.
Water once established: Deep water once a month. The soil must dry out between waterings. It is prone to root rot in damp soil.
Soil: Well drained, dry, low organic content, pH 6.6-8.5 (neutral to alkaline). Do not fertilize once it is established to avoid legginess.
Planting: It can be grown in a large container with drainage holes.
Prune: In late winter, before flower buds appear, remove less than one-third of the top growth. Use a hand cutter, not shears, for the best results. Sheared plants have few to no flowers. Allow the plant to grow 'spiky' for the best flower production. This plant responds well to pruning.
This is not an appropriate plant for topiary.
Disinfect cutting tools before pruning by placing them in a solution of three parts water and one part bleach for five minutes, then rinse with clean water and dry.
Litter: Low.
Propagation: Cuttings and seed.
Uses: Ornamental, hedge.

Texas Sage is a member of the Figwort family (Scrophulariaceae) and not a true sage (Salvia) which are members of the mint family (Lamiaceae). Other common names are Texas Ranger, Purple Sage, and Cenizo. This plant loves heat, humid weather and dry soil.
Leucophyllum laevigatum: Chihuahuan sage is related and similar in appearance.

Do you have additional information or a different experience for these plants that you would like to share? Email All contributions are welcome and appreciated.

Leucophyllum frutescens: Texas Sage - flowers

Leucophyllum frutescens: Texas Sage shrub

Latest update: February, 2019
© 2008-2024 by