Xeric and stylish gardening in San Antonio, Texas

The Purple Corner

If you garden in Central Texas (or zones 8-10) and you don’t have Mexican Bush Sage (Salvia Leucantha), you need some!I call this “the purple corner” of my garden.  When the Mexican Bush Sage blooms in the spring and the fall here in San Antonio, they put on an incredible show.  Here I planted three Salvia leucantha in the back row for the bigger footprint, namely height, although it has a tendency to get leggy at the bottom which I am not wild about.  So….I planted several of the ‘Santa Barbara’ variety in the front rows for their more compact, less leggy shape to cover up the legginess of the back row.  I am happy with the results.  I cut mine down to the ground (to the first little signs of new growth) in early spring when there is no danger of frost/freeze and they come up anew.  I also cut all of them back after their spring bloom as well (I was not sure if I was supposed to do that) and they put on new growth over the summer and have been blooming machines this fall.  We have had a lot of recent rain I will say.  But I will also say, that these got watered MAYBE 4 times all summer since the spring rains.

Look at those long, fuzzy flower spikes – I just love ’em.  And so does the wildlife!  Plant yours this fall so it has many months to establish before next summer.  You will not regret it.

Do you have this plant in your garden?  How do you care for yours?


  1. I also like this plant, but have no experience with it myself actually, and never saw it until I moved to Texas. I have also never seen it so low to the ground (I like what you did!). Can you buy this plant at the big box stores and is it to late to plant it this year?

    • Hi Steve – thanks so much! :) The “low to the ground” you commented on may just be that you are used to seeing the Mexican Bush Sage, and not the Mexican Bush Sage ‘Santa Barbara’??? NOW or next month, would be a PERFECT time for you to plant one…or better yet SOME! They will have plenty of time to establish and be warriors next summer. I planted mine in this way, and it worked well for me. Nice succulents on your blog by the way!!!!!!!! – xericstyle

      • Oh and I am not sure if you can get one at a big box store – sorry. You will likely have much better luck going to a nursery.

  2. Oh I really like your Mexican Bush Sage! that is beautiful! It has that somewhat wild mediterranean kind of feel to it that I love.

    • Thanks Louis – I especially like the unruly look too – no gumdrops here. LOVE that wild and crazy…natural form. – xericstyle

  3. I love Mexican bush sage too and have several plants in my garden. It’s so gorgeous at this time of year!

    • Hey Pam! It is such a cool plant – it is your first garden where I fell in love with it. That purple is just electric, eh?! – xericstyle

  4. Looks a great plant, Salvia usually does well here too, they do need some water until they are well established but then mine survived without any water at all this summer. Christina

    • Hi Christina – yes for sure, that is why I think fall planting is great, at least in central Texas where I live. They establish well with cooler temperatures and more rainfall – come summer they are tough as nails. Happy to hear that your Salvias made it through, they sure are incredible. I have not met a salvia thus far that I don’t love! – xericstyle

  5. Salma Quraishi

    I can’t believe we managed to kill this in our garden. I need to try again, you know I loved the leucantha, despite the legginess. In the pic the santa barbara and leucantha look seamless. So smart!

    • I KNOW you LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVVVVVVVVVEEEEEEEEEE the Mexican bush sage, believe me. Ha! More like an obsession. :) You know I love you girl! Add some this fall!!!! – xericstyle

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