Salvia farinacea

Tried and Trouble-free Recommended by 4 Professionals
Common Name: mealycup sage
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Lamiaceae
Native Range: Texas, Mexico
Zone: 8 to 10
Height: 1.00 to 3.00 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to frost
Bloom Description: Violet blue
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Annual
Flower: Showy
Attracts: Butterflies
Tolerate: Deer, Drought, Clay Soil, Dry Soil

Culture

Tender perennial that is winter hardy to USDA Zones 8-10. In St. Louis, grow as a warm weather annual in average, evenly moist, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Tolerates poor soils and some drought. Plants grown from seed sown directly in the ground after last frost date may not bloom. Seed should be started indoors 10-12 weeks before last frost date. Set out seedlings or purchased plants after last frost date. If desired, cut back and pot up several plants in fall or take cuttings in late summer for overwintering in a bright but cool sunny window.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Native to Texas and Mexico, mealycup sage is a shrubby, clump-forming, tender perennial that typically grows 1.5-3’ tall on erect, branching, square stems. It features two-lipped, violet-blue flowers in 4-8” axillary and terminal racemes from summer to fall. Drooping, irregularly-serrate, ovate-lanceolate, gray-green leaves (to 3” long). Common name and specific epithet are in reference to the white powdery felting found on the upper stems and calyx (“mealy” means covered with powdery meal, “cup” is in reference to the calyx shape and farinacea comes from the Latin word for flour or meal). Cultivars are available in various shades of blue, purple, lavender, white and bicolor.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Susceptible to downy and powdery mildew..

Garden Uses

Beds, borders, meadows, cottage gardens, cutting gardens.