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Hummingbirds flock to this red sage

Garden Gems: Furman’s Red autumn sage is more cold hardy than other autumn sages.
Garden Gems: Furman’s Red autumn sage is more cold hardy than other autumn sages.

This is one part in a weekly series featuring the UC Davis Arboretum’s “Garden Gems” series – 45 can’t-fail, easy-care, low-water plants well adapted to our region and that add sparkle to drought-tolerant landscapes.

Furman’s Red autumn sage

Salvia greggii ‘Furman’s Red’

Size: Up to 3 feet tall and 2 feet wide

Bloom season: Bright red flowers from late spring through fall.

Exposure: Full sun or partial shade; blooms better in sun.

Pruning needs: Prune heavily to shape in late winter and again after initial spring bloom to encourage good branching.

Water needs: Medium to low; once established, water deeply once a week or every other week.

Snapshot: Red autumn sage blooms a lot more than September through November. Prodigious and showy ruby red blooms start in late spring and keep going until frost. A small shrubby perennial with spoon-shaped leaves, this sage is native to Texas and northern Mexico. Furman’s Red is more cold hardy than other varieties of autumn sage. Without much water, it grows well on slopes and thrives in hot sun. It’s very attractive to hummingbirds. Another plus: Deer don’t like it.

For more on “Garden Gems,” click on arboretum.ucdavis.edu.

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