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How to Care for a Mexican Sage Bush

Mexican sage is a perennial herb native to tropical and subtropical conifer forests in Mexico. The plant typically reaches about 4 feet in height and 3 feet in diameter and produces colorful flowers that can be white, purple or lavender. Mexican sage is used solely for ornamental purposes but should not be confused with the common sage seasoning. Mexican sage is a low-maintenance plant that requires only routine care to thrive in the home garden.

Plant Mexican sage during early spring in a location that receives full sunlight and is composed of fertile, well-drained soil. Spread a 1-inch layer of aged manure over the planting site and use a garden hoe to incorporate it into the soil. Space Mexican sage bushes 36 inches apart.

Water Mexican sage only during periods of drought, when more than two weeks have passed without significant rainfall. Mexican sage is drought resistant and can survive with little supplemental watering. Do not splash water on the foliage, since moist leaves are more susceptible to disease.

Feed Mexican sage bush once per month using a balanced 10-10-10 NPK fertilizer. Water the plant both before and after applying to prevent root burn and release the nutrients into the soil. Apply following the instructions provided by the manufacturer.

Remove faded or dead Mexican sage flowers as often as possible to encourage the formation of additional blossoms. Use your fingers to pinch off the flowers as close to their point of origin as possible to minimize damage.

Use pruning shears to cut back Mexican sage to about 6 inches from the ground in late fall. Spread a 6-inch layer of mulch over the plant to protect the roots from cold damage. Remove the mulch in early spring to allow normal growth to resume.


Use a thick mulch to protect Mexican sage, such as evergreen boughs or wood chips.

Place hummingbird feeders in windows near a Mexican sage bush to attract hummingbirds.

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