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Grow & Care Guide for Mexican Sage

mexican sage

Mexican Sage, Salvia leucantha, is a beautiful flowering plant that is popular among gardeners for its stunning purple flowers and attractive foliage. It is a low-maintenance plant that is relatively easy to grow, making it an ideal choice for both novice and experienced gardeners.

It is a member of the mint family and is known for its attractive flowers, which are often used in floral arrangements. Mexican Sage plants can grow up to 4 feet tall and 3 feet wide, and they typically bloom from late summer to early fall. They are drought-tolerant and can thrive in a wide range of soil types.

In this article, we will discuss how to grow and care for Mexican Sage, Salvia leucantha, so that you can enjoy its beauty in your garden.

Grow & Care

Mexican Sage, also known as Velvet Sage or Mexican Bush Sage, is a stunning plant that is sure to add a pop of color and interest to any garden. With its long, velvety purple flowers and silvery green foliage, Mexican Sage is a true showstopper.

Not only is it visually appealing, but it also attracts pollinators like bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds to your garden. With its hardy nature and low maintenance requirements, Mexican Sage is a must-have for any gardener looking to add some excitement to their outdoor space.

Whether planted as a border plant, a filler plant, or as a background plant in mixed borders, Mexican Sage is sure to impress. Here are some tips on how to successfully grow and care for this plant:

mexican sage
Mexican bush sage Source: Bennilover


Mexican Sage plants require full sun to thrive, so it is essential to choose a location that receives at least six hours of sunlight per day. They also need well-draining soil, as they are susceptible to root rot in soil that is too wet. If you live in an area with heavy clay soil, it may be necessary to amend the soil with sand or compost to improve drainage.


Before planting your Mexican Sage plant, it is essential to prepare the soil properly. Start by removing any weeds or debris from the planting area. Then, use a garden fork or tiller to loosen the soil to a depth of at least 12 inches. If the soil is heavy or compacted, you may need to amend it with organic matter such as compost or aged manure to improve its texture and fertility.


Once the soil is prepared, it is time to plant your Mexican Sage plant. Dig a hole that is slightly larger than the root ball of the plant. Gently remove the plant from its container, being careful not to damage the roots. Place the plant in the hole and backfill with soil, tamping it down firmly around the base of the plant. Water the plant thoroughly after planting to help settle the soil and remove any air pockets

mexican sage
Mexican sage Source: vmiramontes


Mexican Sage plants are drought-tolerant and do not require frequent watering. However, they will need to be watered regularly during their first growing season to help them establish a strong root system. After the first year, you can reduce the frequency of watering to once a week or less, depending on the weather conditions in your area.


Mexican Sage plants do not require heavy fertilization, but they will benefit from a light application of a balanced fertilizer in the spring. Use a fertilizer that is low in nitrogen, as excessive nitrogen can result in excessive foliage growth at the expense of flower production. Avoid fertilizing the plant in the fall, as this can stimulate new growth that is vulnerable to winter damage.


Mexican Sage plants benefit from annual pruning to help maintain their shape and encourage new growth. The best time to prune your plant is in late winter or early spring before new growth begins.

Start by removing any dead or damaged branches, cutting them back to healthy wood. Then, use a pair of pruning shears to trim back the remaining branches to about 1/3 of their length. This will help stimulate new growth and encourage a bushier, more compact plant.

Pests and Diseases

Mexican Sage plants are relatively resistant to pests and diseases, but they can still be affected by a few common problems. One of the most common pests is the spider mite, which can cause damage to the leaves and flowers.

To control spider mites, spray the plant with a strong stream of water or use a mild insecticidal soap. Powdery mildew is another common problem, which can be controlled by applying a fungicide or removing infected leaves.

Salvia leucantha
Salvia leucantha Source: Jean


Mexican Sage plants can be easily propagated from stem cuttings or by division. To propagate from stem cuttings, select a healthy stem and cut it to a length of about 4 inches. Remove the lower leaves and dip the cut end in rooting hormone.

Plant the cutting in a well-draining soil mix and keep it moist until it roots. To propagate by division, dig up an established plant and divide it into smaller sections, each with its own root system. Replant the divisions in well-draining soil and water thoroughly.


Mexican Sage plants are hardy in zones 8-11, but in colder climates, they may need some extra protection during the winter months. Mulch around the base of the plant with a layer of straw or leaves to help insulate the roots. You can also cover the plant with a layer of frost cloth or burlap to help protect it from cold winds and frost.

Are They Use As Indoor Or Outdoor Plant?

Mexican Sage, Salvia leucantha, is primarily grown as an outdoor plant due to its preference for full sun and well-draining soil. It is a hardy plant that can tolerate high temperatures, drought conditions, and low humidity, making it a popular choice for xeriscaping.

However, in areas with colder climates, Mexican Sage can be grown as an indoor plant in containers. It is important to provide the plant with sufficient light, warmth, and humidity if grown indoors, and it should be watered sparingly to avoid root rot.

Overall, while Mexican Sage is most commonly grown as an outdoor plant, it can also be grown indoors as long as the proper growing conditions are provided.

Medicinal Usage

Mexican Sage, Salvia leucantha, has a long history of medicinal use in traditional herbal medicine. The plant contains various compounds that are believed to have medicinal properties.  Here are some of the medicinal uses of Mexican Sage:

Respiratory Health

Mexican Sage is commonly used to treat respiratory ailments like coughs, colds, and bronchitis. It contains essential oils that help to soothe inflammation and irritation in the respiratory tract, making it an effective natural remedy for respiratory issues.

Digestive Health

It is also believed to have digestive properties, helping to relieve digestive issues like bloating, gas, and indigestion. The plant contains compounds that can help to improve digestion and stimulate the production of digestive enzymes.


The Plant has anti-inflammatory properties that can help to reduce inflammation throughout the body. This can be beneficial for a range of conditions, including arthritis, gout, and other inflammatory conditions.

Anxiety and Stress: Mexican Sage has a calming effect on the nervous system, making it an effective natural remedy for anxiety and stress. It can help to reduce feelings of anxiety and promote relaxation and restful sleep.

Skin Health

Mexican Sage contains compounds that are beneficial for skin health, helping to soothe inflammation and irritation and promote healing. It can be used topically to treat a range of skin conditions, including acne, eczema, and psoriasis.


It is important to note that while Mexican Sage has been used for medicinal purposes for centuries, more research is needed to fully understand its therapeutic properties and potential side effects. As with any herbal remedy, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional before using Mexican Sage for medicinal purposes.


Mexican Sage is a versatile and beautiful plant with many benefits. From its stunning velvety flowers to its potential medicinal uses, it is a plant that is well worth considering for your garden.

Whether you are looking to attract pollinators, improve your respiratory health, or simply add some color and interest to your outdoor space, Mexican Sage is a plant that can meet your needs.

With its easy maintenance and hardy nature, it is a great choice for both beginner and experienced gardeners alike. So why not give Mexican Sage a try and see what this amazing plant can do for you?

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