South American Sage flowers
(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)
Height: 4 feet
Spread: 24 inches
Hardiness Zone: (annual)
Other Names: Blue Purple Calyx Sage
Striking bright blue flowers emerge from dark purple calyx in congested whorls at the top of the flowering stalk from mid-winter to early spring; very fast growing and vigorous; prefers well drained garden soils
South American Sage features showy spikes of blue flowers with purple calyces rising above the foliage from late winter to early spring. Its fragrant pointy leaves remain dark green in colour throughout the season. The fruit is not ornamentally significant.
South American Sage is a multi-stemmed annual with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its medium texture blends into the garden, but can always be balanced by a couple of finer or coarser plants for an effective composition.
This plant will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, and should only be pruned after flowering to avoid removing any of the current season's flowers. It is a good choice for attracting butterflies and hummingbirds to your yard, but is not particularly attractive to deer who tend to leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;
South American Sage is recommended for the following landscape applications;
- Mass Planting
- Border Edging
- General Garden Use
- Container Planting
Planting & Growing
South American Sage will grow to be about 3 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 24 inches. Although it's not a true annual, this fast-growing plant can be expected to behave as an annual in our climate if left outdoors over the winter, usually needing replacement the following year. As such, gardeners should take into consideration that it will perform differently than it would in its native habitat.
This plant does best in full sun to partial shade. It is very adaptable to both dry and moist growing conditions, but will not tolerate any standing water. It is considered to be drought-tolerant, and thus makes an ideal choice for a low-water garden or xeriscape application. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution, and will benefit from being planted in a relatively sheltered location. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in winter to protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. This species is not originally from North America.
South American Sage is a fine choice for the garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor pots and containers. With its upright habit of growth, it is best suited for use as a 'thriller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination; plant it near the center of the pot, surrounded by smaller plants and those that spill over the edges. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.