Marin Master Gardeners
University of California
Marin Master Gardeners

Plant Guide

Salvia leucantha

Common Name
Mexican Sage
CA Native
Plant Type
3' x 3'
Flower Color
Purple and White
Bloom Time
  • Fall
  • Spring
  • Spring through Fall
Silvery Green
Deer Resistant
Rarely Damaged
Wildlife Value
  • Attracts Beneficial Insects
  • Bees
  • Hummingbirds
Growth Rate
Adverse Growth Factors
Special Features
  • Erosion Control
  • Low Maintenance
  • Showy Flowers
Water Use
  • Drought Tolerant
  • Low
Soil pH
7.6-8.5 (alkaline)
  • Full Sun
Soil Type
Not Particular
Well Drained
Description and Cultural Plant Tips

S. leucantha is a great plant for areas where you need a dependable, strong growing plant. It can take over an area so it is great for those south facing hillsides or against a fence. It is one of the few plants that likes unimproved, alkaline soils.

Plant in well-drained unimproved soil slightly above the soil grade. Plants can run by suckering so make sure you have plenty of room for this plant or pull out in spring. Prune in spring down to the ground before new growth develops. If you prune again after the first flush, this plant will put on another full flower display later in the season. Will rot if there is too much water.

Hummingbirds and bees love this plant. Since it will bloom into December or sometimes longer, it is a great plant for overwintering hummingbirds.

No serious pests or diseases.


Master Gardener Comments

I have S. leucantha in an area of my yard where nothing else will grow. I use minimal water and no fertilizer and it still puts on a great show. It can be invasive so make sure you have plenty of room for it. I don't cut it back until early spring so that the hummers have something to eat most of the winter.


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