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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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Monday - July 12, 2010

From: Mokena, IL
Region: Midwest
Topic: Herbs/Forbs
Title: Mexican sage bushes in Mokena IL
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have two Mexican sage bushes; can they be planted in Illinois and survive the winter?

ANSWER:

Salvia leucantha, Mexican bush sage, is native to Mexico and Central America, and therefore out of our range of expertise, which is plants native to North America as well as to the area in which they are being grown. From this Floridata site, Salvia leucantha,  we learned that it hardy from USDA Hardiness Zones 8 to 10. It can sometimes be raised as an annual in colder zones, but it blooms so late in the Summer, indeed in the Fall, that it may already be frozen back before it ever gets the chance to bloom. Your location in Will County, northeast Illinois, is Zone 5a to 5b. We wouldn't encourage your spending time and resources on trying to get it to perennialize, or even bloom one season.

Pictures of Salvia leucantha from Google.

 

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