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The Plant Guide

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Common sage

Salvia officinalis 'Purpurascens'

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Cooks and gardeners alike are indebted to this evergreen perennial for the unique, pungent flavor and aroma that its gray-green leaves produce. This cultivar has leaves suffused with steely-gray purple. It forms a 1.5-foot-tall and wide bush with woody stems that may be trimmed back to newly emerging growth or strong stems in spring. In early to mid-summer, it sends up lavender-purple flower spikes; it has both ornamental and culinary qualities in an herb garden. It tolerates alkaline soils, but cannot survive wet winter conditions.

Noteworthy CharacteristicsSalvias are some of the showiest plants for containers, annual borders, and mixed borders. Butterflies and hummingbirds love them. 

CareProvide moist but well-drained soil in full sun. Tolerates alkaline soil.

PropagationDivide in spring. Take cuttings spring through fall.

ProblemsNothing serious, but root rot may occur in wet soils.

  • Genus : Salvia
  • Plant Height : 1 to 3 feet
  • Plant Width : 1 to 3 feet
  • Zones : 5, 6, 7, 8
  • Uses : Containers, Ground Covers
  • Tolerance : Deer Tolerant, Drought Tolerant, Frost Tolerant
  • Moisture : Dry to Medium
  • Bloom Time : Early Summer, Summer
  • Characteristics : Fragrant Foliage, Showy Foliage
  • Light : Full Shade
  • Maintenance : Low
  • Growth Rate : Moderate
  • Plant Type : Perennials
  • Foliage Color : Purple/Burgundy
  • Plant Seasonal Interest : Spring Interest
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