How to Plant Mexican Sage


Mexican sage is an evergreen perennial that is native to eastern and central Mexico. The plant grows into a bush-type clump and flowers spring through fall. The stems may reach 1 to 4 feet tall, with clumps up to 3 feet wide, depending on the length of the growing season. The flowers are whirls of tightly spaced blooms on tall stems. The deep purple color attracts butterflies, bees and hummingbirds. Mexican sage is hardy in USDA planting zones 7 through11. You can also find dwarf Mexican sage bushes at your local nursery.

Step 1

Choose a location that has full sun and is higher than most of the landscape. Plan to plant the Mexican sage in early summer in colder areas, in spring to early summer in warmer climates and anytime in hot climates.

Step 2

Dig a hole twice the diameter and 3 inches deeper than that of the container. Remove all the weeds and grass from the soil. Mix together 1 part soil with 1 part compost. Throw in a couple handfuls of sand if your soil does not drain well. Place 4 inches of amended soil back into the planting hole.

Step 3

Remove the plant from the container and place into the planting hole. Adjust the soil so the plant is sitting at the same level it was in the container. Fill in around the plant with the remaining amended soil, and hand-tamp down.

Step 4

Water the plant thoroughly immediately after planting and every other day for two weeks while the roots are getting established. Afterward water the plant once a week unless there is sufficient rain. Mexican sage is drought tolerant but will be thicker and have more flowers if watered regularly.

Step 5

Apply a balanced fertilizer once you start to see growth and again midsummer. Follow manufacturer's directions for the amount to apply.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Compost
  • Sand
  • Balanced fertilizer


  • University of Florida: Salvia leucantha Mexican Sage, Mexican Salvia
  • University of Florida Extension: Salvia leucantha
  • Cenica Costa Master Gardeners: Ornamental Salvia (Sage)
Keywords: planting Mexican sage, growing Mexican salvia, Salvia leucantha

About this Author

Dale DeVries is a retired realtor with 30 years of experience in almost every facet of the business. DeVries started writing in 1990 when she wrote advertising and training manuals for her real estate agents. Since retiring, she has spent the last two years writing well over a thousand articles online for Associated Content, Bright Hub and Demand Studios.