En Español

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.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?


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.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

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!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Monday - July 12, 2010

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


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


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.


More Herbs/Forbs Questions

Native border plants to stop erosion
February 18, 2015 - I need native border plants to assist in stopping soil erosion due to water run off from rain and the Catawba River.
view the full question and answer

Container Plants for Lubbock, Texas
June 22, 2015 - Hello! I am looking for plants suitable for container gardening for a west facing porch in Lubbock. Plants need to be super tough to endure the baking sun, constant wind, dry air, extreme temperatures...
view the full question and answer

Opinion of 5 best native garden plants in Oklahoma from Burneyville OK
September 07, 2013 - What would you say are the 3 to 5 BEST native garden plants for south central Oklahoma?
view the full question and answer

Suppliers for Lantana urticoides
March 23, 2007 - I would like to plant yellow Lantana in my beds because of the hot drought conditions we have in north central Texas. Where can I find this to plant now?
view the full question and answer

Perennials for mountain cabin in Southern California
July 26, 2010 - We have a mountain cabin at 7,000ft elevation in S. California. Please recommend native perennials. Thanks.
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center