Perennials: Mexican Bush Sage - Plant of the Month: September 2015

Fall In Love with Perennials

Full bloom mum with pumpkinsNothing feels more like fall than Mums, gourds and of course pumpkins. I bought this mum at the local grocery store and it is a least 2’ across and gorgeous.  I wanted to fill in a corner of my deck, so I surrounded the beautiful large mum with fall splendor.  Since mum blooms only last a few weeks, I always try to buy mums that are full of unopened buds so I get the most enjoyment out of the blooms.   A few other hints that fall is just around the corner is to walk outside and not feel that oppressive heat. Just that slight hint of coolness and I know that the first cool front of the season is on its way down.

Here in Texas there are several plants that peak in the fall.   So many of the perennials look great during the spring and then go into survival mode for the summer and then peak again in the fall when it cools down a bit.

However, there are several that do very little all season long except prepare for the fall showing.

And today I am going to talk about one of my favorites…Mexican Bush Sage.

Mexican Bush Sage

Salvia Leucantha

Mexican Bush Sage, aka, Salvia LeucanthaMexican Bush Sage is a perennial that spends several months teasing us with a bloom here and there, but come fall, it shows off in all it's glory and let me tell you, it is well worth the wait.

Long, velvety, slender spikes in purple, or deep pink or white blooms will enhance your garden in September and October. Graceful foliage is a gray-green color and makes a good contrast to the green plants in your garden.

Mexican Bush Sage can grow up to 4' to 5’ tall and about 3' to 4’ wide and prefers full sun.  You may want to use this plant as a border plant or a specimen plant in your garden.  It is used commercially because it is drought and heat tolerant and very hardy in the southern parts of the United States.  It is pest and disease resistant and of course, deer resistant.

Mexican Bush Sage, aka, Salvia LeucanthaThis plant works will with other perennials like Artemesia or New Gold Lantana.  The gray foliage of the Artemesia is a great contrast to the gray green foliage of the Mexican Bush Sage. The Artemesia (see Plant of the Month - March) grows to about 2' and it a perfect way to add contrast in size.  New Gold Lantana (see Plant of the Month - August) also grows to about 2' tall and will bloom all summer so when the Mexican Bush Sage blooms in the fall you will have a nice contrast in the blooming perennials.

Mexican Bush Sage also makes a wonderful cut flower for fall arrangements and blends beautifully with all colors.   It is easy to care for but it should be cut back after the first frost.  Once the Mexican Bush Sage is three to four years old you can divide it to start new plants.  All you have to do is divide the clump when the plant is dormant which will be in the winter months and have more of this plant to move to another area or is a  great plant to share with friends and family.

Mexican Bush Sage, aka, Salvia Leucantha

Mexican Bush Sage adds greenery throughout the spring and summer, but
remember this plants is at is best in the fall when the color perks up your garden.   Not only will we have cooler weather to look forward to but this plant as well.  So why not try this plant in your garden and see how much beauty you will add to your fall garden.