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Santa Barbara Mexican Sage

Salvia leucantha 'Santa Barbara'

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Santa Barbara Mexican Sage (Salvia leucantha 'Santa Barbara') at Satellite Garden Centre

Santa Barbara Mexican Sage flowers

Santa Barbara Mexican Sage flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Santa Barbara Mexican Sage (Salvia leucantha 'Santa Barbara') at Satellite Garden Centre

Santa Barbara Mexican Sage

Santa Barbara Mexican Sage

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Santa Barbara Mexican Sage (Salvia leucantha 'Santa Barbara') at Satellite Garden Centre

Santa Barbara Mexican Sage foliage

Santa Barbara Mexican Sage foliage

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Plant Height:  24 inches

Flower Height:  3 feet

Spread:  6 feet

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  (annual)

Description:

Lovely violet flower spikes adorn this upright shrub nearly year round; cut back annually in late winter to maintain upright form; very fast growing and vigorous; excellent cut or dried flower for arrangements

Ornamental Features

Santa Barbara Mexican Sage has masses of beautiful spikes of violet flowers rising above the foliage from late winter to late fall, which are most effective when planted in groupings. The flowers are excellent for cutting. Its fragrant narrow leaves remain grayish green in colour with curious white undersides throughout the year. The fruit is not ornamentally significant.

Landscape Attributes

Santa Barbara Mexican 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 is best pruned in late winter once the threat of extreme cold has passed. 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.

Santa Barbara Mexican Sage is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Mass Planting
  • General Garden Use
  • Container Planting

Planting & Growing

Santa Barbara Mexican Sage will grow to be about 24 inches tall at maturity extending to 3 feet tall with the flowers, with a spread of 6 feet. 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 prefers dry to average moisture levels with very well-drained soil, and will often die in 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 is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America.

Santa Barbara Mexican 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.

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