This is one part in a weekly series featuring the UC Davis Arboretum’s “Life After Lawn” series – 45 can’t-fail, easy-care, low-water plants well adapted to our region and ideal for drought-tolerant landscapes.
Salvia chamaedryoides “Marine Blue”
Size: To 2 feet tall by 3 to 4 feet wide
Bloom season: Many intensely blue flowers over the whole plant; bloom is heaviest in spring and fall, intermittent during summer.
Exposure: Full sun
Pruning needs: Shear after bloom to remove old flower stalks and induce branching and re-bloom.
Water needs: Low water, but blooms longer and better with extra irrigation; once established, water deeply once to twice a month.
Snapshot: This low-growing sage produces masses of unusually clear blue flowers from late spring through fall. Small, rounded gray leaves cover the handsome evergreen shrub, which tends to hug the ground and can reach 4 feet wide.
Native to the high desert of Mexico, this easy-care sage loves the sun, and its bright-blue flowers bring the sky down to earth in the low-water garden, creating a mass of gray and blue. And beneficial insects love it, too.
This “Marine Blue” hybrid tends to grow better in Sacramento than the true native variety. Hardy down to 20 degrees, this sage looks excellent with yellow-blooming plants such as Euryops; that plant combination can be seen on the UC Davis campus along Old Davis Road. You also can see specimens in the arboretum’s Ruth Risdon Storer Valley-Wise Garden on the UC Davis campus.
Clearance sale: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Arboretum Teaching Nursery, Garrod Drive near LaRue Road, across from Veterinary Medical Building. Here’s your chance to bring home several plants from the “Life After Lawn” series at bargain prices.
For more on “Life After Lawn,” click on arboretum.ucdavis.edu.