Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

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?

Share

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

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.

 

More Herbs/Forbs Questions

Deer-resistant plants for under cedar and oak trees in Austin
June 22, 2010 - I have about 1.5 acres in southern Travis county. It's full of mature live oaks and cedar trees, and the soil is full of limestone. I've been gathering the limestone and using them to create raise...
view the full question and answer

Interested in a mini food forest
February 04, 2013 - I am interested in starting a mini "food forest" in a twelve foot by twelve foot patch of earth next to my house. I'd like to put a focus on making sure that the bulk of the plants I introduce are ...
view the full question and answer

Restoration of mistflowers suffering from wet season
June 27, 2007 - I have planted gregg's mistflower in a bed that receives morning sun and afternoon semi-shade. It was beautiful and covered with blooms and butterflies this spring, but suddenly has become brown and ...
view the full question and answer

Low maintenance grass for shade in Conroe, TX
September 15, 2012 - What is the best low maintenance grass to plant in front lawn shaded, no traffic area?
view the full question and answer

Growing Chile Pequin Indoors
December 09, 2015 - About a year ago I visited your page and as a result I planted 8 seeds in spring 2015 from a large Chile Pequin plant that came up wild in my Cedar Park home near Austin. The last harvest was late su...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.