Master Gardeners: Forsythia sage | Home And Garden

Last spring, my wife and I were procuring at an Austin nursery that is regarded for marketing indigenous plants and other plants that are drinking water smart. I was searching for purple and purple blooming plants, and the nursery staff directed me to the sage/salvia place. I observed the red Texas sage (Salvia coccinea), and added 6 vegetation to my wagon.

The subsequent early morning, I started picking out planting spots and placing the several crops in open spaces. Turns out, there was a plant labeled Forsythia sage mixed in with the purple Texas sage. The name indicated that it would bloom yellow, but considering that a sage was a sage, I chose a web-site for the plant not totally understanding what to anticipate.

A lengthy wait

As the plant grew, I noticed some discrepancies among this sage and the half dozen other versions I have in my back garden. The plant was quite herbaceous with thick dim inexperienced foliage, sort of like a spinach leaf. It sprawled all more than the put and would not bloom. Then, in November, flower spikes started to variety and what a great shock the plant was.

A minimal qualifications details

Forsythia sage (Salvia madrensis), according to the North Carolina Point out Extension, is a “perennial plant native to Mexico in the Lamiaceae (mint) family.” Its species identify “madrensis” is derived from the locale in which it grows in its indigenous habitat, the Sierra Madre Oriental mountain variety. Wikipedia notes that it grows at “4,000 to 5,000 feet elevation in warm, damp places.”

Increasing circumstances

I planted my Forsythia sage in an space that receives morning shade and afternoon solar. That may clarify its sprawling, floppy advancement. According to the Central Texas Gardener, “morning sun is ideal, or solar all over the working day, but not whole blast all day, specially afternoon.” The report notes that “Forsythia sage is not far too certain about soil ph, but very good drainage would be a advantage.”

Growth habit

The Forsythia sage is similar in condition and behavior to the Amistad sage (Salvia Amistad) that I have experienced in my garden for lots of several years. The stems are ridged and square and the plant can be quite big. The leaves are deep eco-friendly and make a statement on their personal. The Central Texas Gardener states that the plant can be “5-8 feet broad with 3 foot tall bouquets.” I really don’t know if it is my plant’s area or the fact that it was the initially 12 months, but it only grew to about 3 toes significant and 3 feet wide. The Amistad sage does get about 5 toes superior.

Bloom time

Just one of the very best things about the plant is the time of 12 months that it blooms. My plant was expanding effectively, but would not bloom. I had about given up, when I seen bloom spikes were beginning to type at the stop of just about every stem. This development was in late Oct. A fall bloomer. Who knew? To say the minimum, I was both surprised and delighted. The blooms lasted till the very first freeze.


The Forsythia sage did die down to the roots through the tough February freeze. The Central Texas Gardener states that it is “generally hardy to zone 7” and that the plant should be “cut to the ground in late winter season/early spring.” The sage is now putting out shoots from the roots and I system on transferring the plant to a far better site. Then I will get started some new plants from the underground shoots.

Winner, winner

Uncomplicated to develop. Attractive dazzling yellow flower spikes. Fall bloomer.

The Gardeners’ Filth is penned by customers of the Victoria County Master Gardener Affiliation, an educational outreach of Texas A&M AgriLife Extension – Victoria County. Mail your questions in care of the Advocate, P.O. Box 1518, Victoria, TX 77901 or [email protected], or remark on this column at