Texans, what if I told you there was a native Texas plant that shares a similar trait with us? Texas sage is known for blooming after a hot wave of humid air, or rain. If you're from Texas, you know Texans love stepping outside when the sky looks like Gotham City, just so we can feel the humidity and say, "I can sense the rain, already!"
Texas, there's no denying the barometer bush, or Texas sage. You might know the Texas plant by its common names, Texas Ranger, Cenizo, or Leucophyllum frutescens. As much as we love claiming Texas sage, these evergreen shrubs are also native to New Mexico and northern Mexico.
Texas sage is a low maintenance native plant. It's pest and deer resistant. Really, all it takes is a little bit of easy care for this shrub to thrive in warm and dry climates. They love full sun and are drought tolerant. Alkaline soil with good drainage is best. Over-watering is something you want to avoid, so don't stress out about watering sage plants every day. In fact, too much water in soil with poor drainage is the one thing that will definitely cause your sage shrub trauma in the form of root rot.
If you're in USDA hardiness zones 8 through 11, you should have some luck with sage plants. Plant Texas sage in the fall and prune the plants in early spring for the best natural appearance.
Texas Sage has two different types of foliage. Green, and silver. If you've heard the term Green Cloud, this is the type of Texas Sage that has green foliage and purple blooms. The silver leaf has silvery foliage. They're both beautiful shrubs that produce lavender flowers, but I can only imagine how silvery foliage looks in the wintertime.
If you really want the purple flower color to stand out, try planting Texas sage with silver foliage. The bright flowers start to bloom in spring, but blooming bursts occur every 4 to 6 weeks up until fall in most regions.
Green Texas sage has bright green leaves with the traditional purple sage flowers, though sometimes you get pink flowers.
Greenery is normal the goal for a healthy garden, but I guess you could say silvery foliage has grown on me.
Texas sage seeds are expensive but can be difficult to find. Be careful searching for cheap sage seeds online, because you could end up with scarlet sage seeds. If you'd like a cheaper option, I recommend buying a live plant.
This post was originally published on December 31, 2019.