Monday, October 10, 2011

Plant Review - Mexican Bush Sage (Salvia leucantha)

 This wonderful salvia produces large vibrant purple blossoms from March through November.  At great addition to any hummingbird garden, Mexican Bush Sage loves full sun but will also grow in part shade as long as it gets about 6 hours of sun per day.  Reaching 4 feet tall and wide, these plants provide wonderful cut flowers.  This plant
actually prefers a slightly alkaline soil, which is why it grows well in all parts of San Diego County.
          Mexican Bush Sages are very easy and forgiving plants to grow.  Although they do best in well draining soil, if you have a heavy clay soil, don’t worry.  Just add a small handful of gypsum to the bottom of the planting hole and mix with the soil.  After planting your Mexican Bush Sage add a Best Pak to the side of the hole before backfilling the soil.  Best Paks are slow release fertilizer packets used by landscape contractors to help establish a new garden.  Best Paks are sold at Miramar Wholesale Nursery and Hydroscape.  
          After planting, here is a brief timeline for maintaining your Mexican Bush Sage;
January – Add 2 handfuls of GroPower Plus fertilizer around the base of the plant.  This will get the plant ready to start producing the new growth needed for a great flower show in March
March – Add 5 BestPaks around the base of each plant.  You do not need to break up the packets, just bury under your mulch. The other great feature of this plant is how easy it is to dig and divide.  This is great way to make more Mexican Bush Sages. This month is the best time to do this, once the plant has begun to sprout its new growth.
July – Now that the Spring blossoms have faded, cut your Mexican Bush Sages in half.  This will encourage your plant to produce another round of spectacular blooms for the Fall.  Also add 2 handfuls of GroPower Plus fertilizer around the base of the plant. 
September – Add 5 BestPaks around the base of each plant. 
December – The Fall blooms have faded, so now is the time to prune the Mexican Bush Sage all the down to the ground.  In January new growth will begin to sprout from the base.

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