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Graham’s sage, a superb shrub sage

Graham's sage flowers, or Salvia grahamii

Graham’s sage is a cute shrub plant that bears flowers from spring to fall.

Graham sage key facts

Name – Salvia microphylla or grahamii
Family – Lamiaceae
Type – perennial

Height – 24 to 40 inches (60 to 100 cm)
Exposure – full sun
Soil – light, well-drained

Flowering – April to October

Pink or carmine red flowers make the Graham’s sage a cute ornamental plant.

Planting Graham’s sage

Planting of Graham’s sage can indifferently take place either in spring or fall for specimens purchased in pots or containers.

  • Graham’s sage requires an emplacement that is well endowed with sunlight to bloom.
  • It fares well in well drained soil, be it ordinary or even quite rich.

Propagating Graham’s sage

Graham’s sage can be spread via cuttings at the end of summer on semi-hardened wood or via layering in spring or fall.

If sowing from seed, sow Graham’s sage during the month of March under a cold frame.

  • In any case, select a full sun location.

Watering Graham’s sage

Graham’s sage tolerates the sun well and will survive long bouts with no rain, but will be most beautiful if watered regularly.

  • Regular watering in summer helps the leaves stay green and ensures continuous blooming.

If growing Graham’s sage in pots, don’t wait for the soil to be completely dry before watering again; simply water often but in moderate amounts.

Pruning and caring for Graham’s sage

Caring for graham sageGraham’s sage, if properly settled in, only requires reduced care and will bloom repeatedly for years. Here are the few good practices that will enhance the blooming in the long run.

At the end of winter

Proper pruning at the end of winter will give the plant some vigor, reshape it and enhance the blooming of the Graham’s sage.

  • Feel free to cut back really short, it will bounce back even more beautiful than ever.

In spring

Adding flower shrub fertilizer granules will significantly increase the blooming.

  • A small handful of granules at the foot of the sage plant, shuffled into the ground a bit, should last a year.

In summer

If you feel your Graham’s sage is growing sparse or stops blooming, water evening or morning every day, in moderate amounts.

In fall

Prepare your Graham’s sage for winter by tipping a thick mound of mulch around its base to protect from the cold.

All there is to know about Graham’s sage

Grahamii sage is one of the most ornamental and flower-bearing shrub sages.

Unlike other sage varieties like medicinal sage, it isn’t edible.

It grows in the wild in the South in the United States (Arizona), as well as in Central America, more specifically Mexico.

Its name microphylla comes from Greek and means “little leaves”. Its leaves, incidentally, smell delicious when they are crumpled.

Note also that Graham’s sage is one of the most hardy sage varieties, since it resists freezing down to 5°F (-15°C).

Smart tip about Graham’s sage

Graham’s sage is perfect to set up a low flowered hedge. Additionally, plant a few in your vegetable patch, since it repels cabbage white.

Images: Pixabay: Helga Kattinger; Public Domain: Peter de Lange
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