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Life After Lawn: Germander sage gives dry garden the blues

With bright blue flowers, germander sage is a low-growing evergreen perennial that stays in bloom from spring into fall.
With bright blue flowers, germander sage is a low-growing evergreen perennial that stays in bloom from spring into fall.

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.

Germander sage

Salvia chamaedryoides “Marine Blue”

Size: Up to 2 feet tall by 4 feet wide.

Bloom season: Many intensely blue flowers over the whole plant; bloom heaviest in spring and fall.

Exposure: Full sun.

Pruning needs: Shear after bloom to remove old flower stalks and induce branching and rebloom.

Water needs: Low to medium; blooms longer and better with a little extra water; once established, water deeply twice a month.

Snapshot: This perennial is one tough drought-busting plant. Native to Mexico, this sage is deer resistant, too, while attracting bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. A low, rounded evergreen, germander sage features silver-gray leaves and produces beautiful blue flowers over a long season, from spring into fall with some summer flowers, too. Marine Blue variety is considered to be the best grower in home gardens. A little extra water is rewarded with a lot more blooms.

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

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