Home & Garden

This pretty sage is a wise choice for dry gardens

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.

Dark Dancer autumn sage

Salvia greggii ‘Dark Dancer’

Size: 2 to 3 foot tall and wide.

Bloom season: Red-violet blooms in spring and fall.

Exposure: Sun or light shade.

Pruning needs: Prune to increase branching when young and in late winter just before spring growth.

Water needs: Low; once established, water once or twice a month. Performs better with good drainage.

Snapshot: Autumn sage is a wise choice for dry gardens and this variety is especially pretty. Dark Dancer is a tough small- to medium-size evergreen sub-shrub that produces many showy and colorful wide-lipped flowers – not just in autumn, but spring, too. These red-violet blooms attract lots of hummingbirds. Bees and butterflies like them, too.

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