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Mr. Smarty Plants - Mealy blue sage drooping from Canyon Lake TX

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Tuesday - May 07, 2013

From: Canyon Lake, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Herbs/Forbs
Title: Mealy blue sage drooping from Canyon Lake TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Mealy Blue Sage @ 4 ft Tall - Planted three Mealy Blue Sage last year and they topped out at 2 ft tall. This year they are 4 ft tall in early May, and many of the stems are growing near horizontally. Plants receive sun until 2PM. I don't believe I over-fertilized. What's causing this growth?

ANSWER:

If you follow this plant link Salvia farinacea (Mealy blue sage) to our webpage on this plant, you should note this line right at the beginning of the first paragraph;

"This 2-3 ft. upright or sprawling perennial, usually forms a mound as wide as the plant is tall."

The fact that you mentioned fertilizer brings to mind the fact the native plants that are planted in the right place don't need fertilizer at all. We think you may have overloved your plants. As you can see from this USDA Plant Profile Map, Mealy blue sage is most definitely native to Comal County, and seems to be doing just fine. We selected some pictures from our Image Gallery, below, to illustrate our point.

From our webpage, here are the growing conditions of this plant:

"Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
Soil Description: Limestone soils. Calcareous, Limestone-based, Caliche type, Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Clay.
Conditions Comments: Mealy blue sage grows well in perennial borders and wildflower meadows. The foliage is aromatic and deer resistant. When new basal foliage appears, cut the old flower stems to keep the plants lush. Will bloom off and on throughout the summer. Butterflies and hummingbirds enjoy the nectar. Mealy blue sage provides an attractive mass of color in beds, borders and naturalized areas. Wet soil will make the plant leggy and weak."

Note the instructions for cutting back old flower stems to keep the plant lush. And it has low water use, so wet flowerbeds will make the plant leggy and weak.

 

From the Image Gallery


Mealy blue sage
Salvia farinacea

Mealy blue sage
Salvia farinacea

Mealy blue sage
Salvia farinacea

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