Mexican Scarlet Sage flowers
(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)
Height: 6 feet
Spread: 4 feet
Hardiness Zone: 8b
Beautiful scarlet flowers adorn this upright shrub in late winter and early spring; capable of growing very tall but branches tend to break from wind and rain; annual hard pruning prevents this; very fast growing and vigorous; foliage is very aromatic
Mexican Scarlet Sage features delicate spikes of scarlet flowers rising above the foliage from late winter to early spring. It has green foliage throughout the season. The fragrant heart-shaped leaves do not develop any appreciable fall color. The fruit is not ornamentally significant.
Mexican Scarlet Sage is a multi-stemmed deciduous shrub with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its average texture blends into the landscape, but can be balanced by one or two finer or coarser trees or shrubs for an effective composition.
This shrub will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, and should only be pruned after flowering to avoid removing any of the current season's flowers. It is a good choice for attracting butterflies and hummingbirds to your yard, but is not particularly attractive to deer who tend to leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;
Mexican Scarlet Sage is recommended for the following landscape applications;
- Mass Planting
- Border Edging
- General Garden Use
- Container Planting
Planting & Growing
Mexican Scarlet Sage will grow to be about 6 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 4 feet. It has a low canopy, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 5 years.
This shrub does best in full sun to partial shade. It is very adaptable to both dry and moist locations, and should do just fine under average home landscape conditions. It is considered to be drought-tolerant, and thus makes an ideal choice for xeriscaping or the moisture-conserving landscape. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution, and will benefit from being planted in a relatively sheltered location. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in winter to protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. This species is not originally from North America.
Mexican Scarlet Sage makes a fine choice for the outdoor landscape, but it is also well-suited for use in outdoor pots and containers. With its upright habit of growth, it is best suited for use as a 'thriller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination; plant it near the center of the pot, surrounded by smaller plants and those that spill over the edges. Note that when grown in a container, it may not perform exactly as indicated on the tag - this is to be expected. Also note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.