Pronounciation: SAL-vi-a coc-CIN-e-a
Sunset All zones depending on use
USDA All zones depending on use
Landscape Use: For mixed flower borders and gardens, accent, mass color, border background, and container plant.
Form & Character: Delicate to sprawling and rangy, not restrained, tropical to subtropical.
Growth Habit: Tropical sage is a short-lived herbaceous perennial often treated as a spring and fall warm season bedding plant in Phoenix. It has a moderate growth rate and can sprawl to 3 feet in height with near equal spread once mature.
Foliage/Texture: Leaves opposite, dark green, pubescent, oval to cordate to 2.5 inches long on slender stems, occasionally pubescent; medium fine texture.
Flowers & Fruits: Flowers are situated on terminal spikes to as much as 12 inches in length, many colors ranging from white to scarlet red including some that are bicolored, to 1 inch in diameter; fruit are an inconspicuous paper capsule that are capable of reseeding in moist urban garden settings.
Seasonal Color: Tropical sage is a free-flowering accent bedding plant throughout the growing season. Most productive during the spring and fall in Phoenix.
Temperature: Freeze intolerant, tropical sage also struggles in the desert heat. It's imperative that it is not placed in western exposure locations in Phoenix.
Light: Full sun to partial shade, shade from western summer sun is mandatory in Phoenix.
Soil: As with many other salvias, tropical sage needs a fertile, well-drained soil amended with organic matter for best performance.
Watering: Regular water is needed to maintain luster and a dense canopy. Drought results in a lose of foliage making the plant look sparse.
Pruning: Head back severely in late winter if you intend to grown tropical sage as a border perennial.
Disease and pests: Nematodes
Additional comments: This salvia gives a nice tropical to subtropical effect. There are many varieties with different flower colors.