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Life After Lawn: Hummingbirds like a ‘Little Kiss’

“Little Kiss” salvia stays more compact than the popular “Hot Lips” variety.
“Little Kiss” salvia stays more compact than the popular “Hot Lips” variety. Special to The Bee

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.

“Little Kiss” dwarf sage

Salvia microphylla “Little Kiss”

Size: Up to 2 to 3 feet tall and wide.

Bloom season: Red and white bi-color flowers over a long season but heaviest in spring and fall.

Exposure: Full sun.

Pruning needs: Shape when young to keep compact.

Water needs: Medium low; once established, irrigate twice a month.

Snapshot: Love “Hot Lips” but don’t have the space? Then this “Little Kiss” is for you. This attractive, long blooming shrubby dwarf sage offers water savings along with white and red bi-color flowers, similar to the very popular Salvia microphylla “Hot Lips” but on a more compact plant. Wildlife likes “Little Kiss,” too. Salvias are attractive to hummingbirds and some native bees.

For more on “Life After Lawn,” click on arboretum.ucdavis.edu.

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