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Litta's Purple Sage

Salvia littae

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Litta's Purple Sage (Salvia littae) at Satellite Garden Centre

Litta's Purple Sage flowers

Litta's Purple Sage flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  5 feet

Spacing:  5 feet

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  (annual)

Other Names:  Perennial Salvia

Description:

A late blooming variety producing pretty magenta blooms in mid-fall; will become thicket-like if left untended; many leafy stems rise from the base and re-root if touching the ground; a welcome splash of autumn color in the garden

Ornamental Features

Litta's Purple Sage has masses of beautiful spikes of hot pink flowers rising above the foliage in mid fall, which are most effective when planted in groupings. The flowers are excellent for cutting. Its fragrant oval leaves remain green in colour throughout the season. The fruit is not ornamentally significant.

Landscape Attributes

Litta's Purple Sage is an herbaceous annual with a mounded form. 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 is a relatively low maintenance plant, and is best cleaned up in early spring before it resumes active growth for the season. 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. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Litta's Purple Sage is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Mass Planting
  • Border Edging
  • General Garden Use
  • Container Planting

Planting & Growing

Litta's Purple Sage will grow to be about 4 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 6 feet. When grown in masses or used as a bedding plant, individual plants should be spaced approximately 5 feet apart. Its foliage tends to remain dense right to the ground, not requiring facer plants in front. Although it's not a true annual, this 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 locations, and should do just fine under typical garden conditions. 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. This species is not originally from North America.

Litta's Purple Sage is a fine choice for the garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor pots and containers. Because of its height, it is often used 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.

 
 
Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Characteristics
Massing  Edging  Garden  Container 
Applications
Flowers  Attracts Wildlife 
Ornamental Features