How To Grow Autumn Sage (Salvia greggii) In Your Garden

Salvia greggii, commonly known as Autumn Sage, is a perennial sub-shrub.

This plant is treasured for its richly colored aromatic flower. It is also well known for its heat resistance.

Salvia Greggii Desert Blaze
Salvia Greggii Desert Blaze Photograph by Serres Fortier; CC.

It is native to Texas and Mexico, and this drought-tolerant plant is a staple for landscaping water-wise areas.

Salvia Plants are great to grow if you wish to attract pollinators such as hummingbirds and butterflies to your garden.

Autumn Sage typically grows to a height of about 2 to 3 feet (0.6 to 0.9 m), with a a similar spread. It boasts small, oval-shaped, aromatic leaves.

Plants carry tubular flowers that come in a variety of colors, including red, pink, purple, and white. These bloom from spring until the first frost.

Some of the things that gardeners appreciate about Salvia greggii are its long blooming period, low water requirements, and its ability to attract beneficial wildlife.

Plants are suitable for USDA Zones 7 to 9. It makes an excellent choice for rock gardens, borders, xeriscaping, or for use as a container plant.

How to Grow Salvia greggii in the Garden

Autumn Sage thrives in a location with full sun, but can tolerate light shade. It prefers well-drained soil, and can tolerate a wide range of types, from sand to clay.

Pink Autumn Sage
Salvia greggii 'Pink' image by Andrey Zharkikh, CC.

Propagation of Salvia greggii can be achieved through seeds, cuttings, or division.

Seeds should be started indoors about 6 to 8 weeks before the last expected frost.

When propagating from cuttings, first take a 3 to 4 inch (7.5 to 10 cm) piece from a non-flowering stem in early summer. Next, remove the lower leaves, dip the end in a rooting hormone, and then plant it in a well-draining medium.

When dividing, do so in early spring by separating the plant into smaller pieces, and replanting immediately.

Once established, Autumn Sage requires only minimal care. Although it is drought-tolerant it will appreciate an occasional deep watering during prolonged dry periods.

Prune in late winter to help maintain shape, and to promote denser growth.

While Salvia greggii is generally pest and disease-resistant, it can occasionally be affected by whiteflies or powdery mildew. Regular checks for these along with prompt treatment should help to keep your plant healthy.

Quick Salvia greggii Growing and Care Guide

Scientific Name: Salvia greggii.

Common Names: Autumn sage, Texas sage, Cherry Sage.

Growing Zone (USA / UK Hardiness): USDA Zones: 7-9. RHS Hardiness Rating: H4 (Hardy – Average winter).

Best Used For / Garden Location: Ideal for mixed borders, xeriscapes, and butterfly gardens. Prefers full sun locations.

Plant Details

Life Cycle / Plant Type: Evergreen subshrub.

Plant Height: 2-3 feet (0.6-0.9 m).

Plant Spread: 2-3 feet (0.6-0.9 m).

Blooms: Late spring to first frost.

Flower Details: Tubular flowers, often red, but can also be pink, purple, white, or yellow.

Leaf Foliage: Small, aromatic, gray-green leaves.

Fruit: Not significant.

Growing Conditions and Location

Best Light Conditions: Full sun.

Suitable Soil Types: Prefers well-drained, sandy or rocky soil.

Sowing, planting: Plant container-grown plants in the spring.

Germination time: Not typically grown from seed.

Propagation: Propagate by softwood cuttings in spring or semi-hardwood cuttings in fall.

Plant Care: Water regularly during first growing season. Once established, it's drought-tolerant. Prune in late winter.

Growing in pots and containers: Suitable for containers with adequate drainage.

Growing as a House plant: Not typically grown as a houseplant.

Further Information

Miscellaneous: Attracts hummingbirds and butterflies. Resistant to deer and rabbits.

Pests and diseases: Watch for whiteflies and powdery mildew.

Common Cultivars / Varieties: 'Furman's Red' has deep red flowers. 'Desert Blaze' is variegated with red flowers.

Family: Lamiaceae, the Mint family.

Native: Native to Texas and Mexico.

References and Further Reading: TTU Salvia greggii Plant Information; Penn State Salvia greggii Mirage; University of Arkansas Plant of the Week Autumn Sage.

Common Questions

Does Autumn sage make a good garden or landscaping plant?

Autumn sage can make an excellent plant for the garden and for landscaping usage for dry areas. It is a prolific bloomer that readily attracts pollinators, it is drought-tolerant, and is a fairly low-maintenance choice.

Is Salvia greggii a fragrant plant?

Salvia greggii has a pleasant fragrance, especially when its leaves are crushed. It can greatly contribute to a garden's sensory appeal.

What is the perfect location to grow Salvia greggii?

Salvia greggii does best in a location that has full sun to light shade, and prefers to have a well-drained soil. It is well-suited to rock gardens, borders, and for use as a ground cover in sunny areas.

Is Salvia greggii invasive in the USA, if so in which states?

It is not considered invasive in the USA, and is native to Texas. While it can spread in optimal conditions, it does not pose a threat to native plant communities.

How do I remove Salvia greggii from my garden?

To remove Salvia greggii from the gardeb, first cut back the plant and then dig out itse root system. Regular deadheading is also worthwhile, as it can help prevent unwanted spread through self-seeding.


Salvia greggii thrives in full sun and prefers a dry, well-drained soil. This drought-tolerant perennial produces vibrant, tubular flowers, from spring through to the frost.

I hope that you have enjoyed reading this guide on how to grow Salvia greggii. You may also enjoy the following growing guides: How to grow Garden Sage, Perovskia, and Sanvitalia plants in the garden.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *