Fantastic Design Plant: Blue Sage

There’s plenty going on in the fall if you have some blue lavender. Bumblebees are dangling from its tubular blossoms as hummingbirds fuel up in their migration south, and the aromatic scent of the plant’s leaves is spicing up the deep fall musks.

Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens

Common names: Blue sage, pitcher sage, sage
Botanical name: Salvia azurea
USDA zones: 4 to 9 (find your zone)
Water requirement: Tolerates drought; prefers regular water from well-drained clay, sandy or rocky soils
moderate requirement: Full sunlight to some shade
Mature size: 3 to 4 ft tall and 1 to 2 feet broad
advantages and tolerances: Attracts beneficial insects; simple to grow on your own from seeds; bull resistant
Seasonal curiosity: Early to midfall blossoms; spent flower heads provide winter interest.
When to plant: Early spring to late fall; mulch well in late fall to reduce frost heave.

Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens

Distinguishing traits. Blue sage is a real blue blossom, which is rare in the plant world, especially for a noncultivar. It grows well in full sun and medium to dry lands, never putting up a fuss. It really gradually spreads to form a clump 1 to 2 feet in diameter with many flower stalks. Salvia azurea ‘Nekan’ is a hardy, bigger-bloomed game located in northern Lincoln, Nebraska.

Powell Gardens, Kansas City’s Botanical Garden

How to use it. Blue Shrimp may go almost anywhere due to its small footprint. Tuck it among grasses or mounding perennials, and let it tower above them in late fall, adding striking yet subtle interest into an October backyard.

Revealed with gold aster

Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens

Planting notes. Salvia azurea will quietly self-sow, but what’s even more fun would be to collect its little seeds and sow them yourself inside over winter. You will know when to collect seeds from the brownish color of the outer pod (as seen here).

The seeds easily germinate with no remedy, and the leaves are a fragrant delight in chilly January as you get a head start for spring planting. Cut it back 50 percent only once before July 4 for a bushier and shorter habit, or leave it for the tall spikes which hummingbirds prefer.

More: Keep Your Garden On Point With Spikes of Purple

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