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The Plant Guide

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‘Tricolor’ sage

Salvia officinalis 'Tricolor'

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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 ornamental value, too—green leaves with white margins which are suffused with pink or purple. It forms a 1- to 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 is tolerant of alkaline soils, but cannot survive wet winter conditions.

Noteworthy CharacteristicsAttracts butterflies.

CareProvide moist but well-drained soil in full sun. This species tolerates alkaline soil, but not wet or poorly drained soils.

PropagationDivide in spring. Take cuttings spring through fall.

ProblemsPowdery mildew, rust, stem rot, fungal leaf spots, whiteflies, aphids, mealybugs, spider mites.

  • Genus : Salvia
  • Plant Height : 1 to 3 feet
  • Plant Width : 1 to 3 feet
  • Zones : 6, 7, 8, 9
  • Characteristics : Attracts Pollinators, Deer Resistant, Evergreen, Fragrant Foliage, Showy Foliage
  • Uses : Color, Containers, Dry areas, Foliage, Ground Covers, Small Spaces, Sun
  • Tolerance : Deer Tolerant, Drought Tolerant, Frost Tolerant
  • Moisture : Dry to Medium
  • Bloom Time : Early Summer, Late Spring
  • Light : Full Sun
  • Maintenance : Low
  • Growth Rate : Moderate
  • Foliage Color : Multicolored
  • Plant Type : Perennials
  • Plant Seasonal Interest : Spring Interest, Summer Interest

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