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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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Monday - June 10, 2013

From: Llano, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Herbs/Forbs, Shrubs
Title: Texas sage near a granite outcropping from Llano TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have a large granite outcropping near my house. There are pockets that have spring flowers growing in them and is just beautiful in the spring. I want to plant other native plants in and about the granite. What plants do you suggest? Someone told me I couldn't plant anything near the rock because it heats up in the summer and cooks the roots. I love Texas Sage. Would a hedge of Texas Sage be possible?

ANSWER:

First, the story that not being able to plant anything near the granite slab because it heats up in the summer and cooks the roots. What do you think about the pockets of spring flowers growing already on that hunk of granite? They don't seem to be cooking. And the roots of plants are in the shade, protection and insulation of the earth, quite safe from the reflection of light and heat from that rock. In fact, the density of the rock probably means it is pretty cool inside, too.

Now, on to the Texas Sage. There are two plants native to Central Texas in or near Llano County with the common name "Texas Sage":

Leucophyllum frutescens (Cenizo) - an evergreen shrub

Salvia texana (Texas sage) - an herbaceous blooming plant

Follow each plantt link to our webpages on these plants to learn their sunlight requirements, soil and water needs as well as color and time of blooming. Since you mentioned you wanted to make a hedge, we are going to assume you meant the Cenizo, which is often sold as "Texas Sage." You will note that one of the pictures of this plant from our Image Gallery (below) shows the Cenizo trimmed as a hedge. We prefer it not trimmed too heavily as this removes a lot of the blooms. With some rain, this plant can bloom virtually year-round. And we think it will thrive and be beautiful in front of the chunk of granite.

 

 

From the Image Gallery


Texas sage
Salvia texana

Texas sage
Salvia texana

Texas sage
Salvia texana

Cenizo
Leucophyllum frutescens

Cenizo
Leucophyllum frutescens

Cenizo
Leucophyllum frutescens

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