Mojave Sage Information: Learn About Mojave Sage Care In Gardens

Mojave Sage Information: Learn About Mojave Sage Care In Gardens


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By: Mary H. Dyer, Credentialed Garden Writer

What is Mojave sage? Native to Southern California, Mojave sage is a woody shrub with aromatic, silvery-green foliage and spiky lavender blooms. Read on to learn more about this vibrant, dry-climate plant.

Mojave Sage Information

Mojave sage, sometimes referred to as rose sage, giant-flowered purple sage, blue sage or mountain desert sage, is easy to confuse with other types of sage or salvia plants. To eliminate mix-ups, be sure to request the plant by its botanical name: Salvia pachyphylla.

Hardy to USDA plant hardiness zones 5 through 8, Mojave sage plants are sturdy, drought-tolerant perennials that thrive in poor, dry, alkaline soil. Look for this easy-to-grow plant to reach mature heights of 24 to 36 inches (61-91 cm.).

Hummingbirds love the fragrant flower spikes, but deer and rabbits aren’t impressed and tend to pass Mojave sage in favor or more succulent fare.

Mojave sage is usually easy to find at garden centers, or you can start Mojave sage seeds indoors six to 10 weeks before the last frost. If you have an established plant, you can propagate Mojave sage plants by dividing the plant in early spring, or by taking cuttings from tender, mature growth any time the plant is actively growing.

Full sunlight and well-drained soil are essential, and plants in soggy, poorly drained conditions are unlikely to survive. Allow 24 to 30 inches (61-76 cm.) between each plant, as Mojave sage plants require good air circulation.

Mojave Sage Care

Caring for Mojave sage plants is uninvolved, but here are a few general tips on Mojave sage care:

Water young plants regularly. Thereafter, supplemental irrigation is rarely needed.

Prune Mojave sage lightly after each flush of blooms.

Division every few years will rejuvenate old, worn out Mojave sage. Discard woody sections and replant younger, more vibrant sections.

Mojave sage is generally pest resistant but any mites, aphids and whiteflies that appear are easy to treat with regular applications of insecticidal soap spray.

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Everything You Need To Know Growing White Sage for Smudging

Ame lives off-the-grid on her beautiful farm in Falmouth, Kentucky. She has been gardening organically for over 30 years and has grown vegetables, fruits, herbs, flowers, and ornamentals. She also participates in Farmers Markets, CSA, and mentors young farmers. Ame is the founder and director of Fox Run Environmental Education Center where she teaches environmental education programs in self-sufficiency, herbal medicine, green building, and wildlife conservation.

White sage is a desert native, but thanks to a rise in popularity of the practice of smudging, more people are interested in raising the attractive herb in their neck of the woods. If you don’t live in a desert climate, you may have wondered if you can succeed at growing white sage, but never fear. It takes a little extra work, but you can grow it almost anywhere.

White Sage (Salvia apiana) makes a beautiful landscape plant, as well as a medicinal herb. The silver/green leaves contain aromatic oils, and the flowers are popular with honey bees. Of course, white sage is also an important plant in spiritual cleansing ceremonies.

Whether you plan to use it for smudging or you are looking for a beautiful addition to your garden, white sage is a delight to have around thanks to its sumptuous scent and unique silver leaves.

Photo by Fox Run Environmental Education Center

You can use a number of different herbs in smudging rituals, including common sage, lavender sage, cedar, pinon pine, juniper or rosemary. For many people, however, white sage is the only way to go.


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