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Description

Bee's bliss sage is a low growing and spreading shrub with ascending stems that can reach1-3 ft. tall and up to 5 ft. wide. Leaves are pale green with a wrinkled surface and strongly pungent when crushed. Medium blue-purple flowers develop on 6-10 in. long ascending spikes in early spring. Like many sages, bees find abundant pollen on flowers.

This recently introduced sage cultivar has become a popular choice for native plant gardens across the Inland Empire where it is used on banks, along walkways and borders and in small masses as a ground cover. Morning dampness and overhead irrigation spray can lead to powdery mildew problems on new foliage in early to late spring. However, warm weather and sunny exposures remedy this issue. Tolerant of temperatures to 15°F; prune in late fall to maintain a tighter form.

Water Needs

Bee's bliss sage grows best in sunny locations on well drained soils and with low amounts of supplemental water during summer. The chart shown below provides a recommended baseline guide to the monthly irrigation schedule and volume of supplemental water needed to maintain healthy growth throughout the average year. It should be noted there are several months indicated by an asterisk (*) when winter rains can provide sufficient moisture and irrigation is not needed. The high and low range of moisture indicates it can grow with varying amounts of water; stems will sometime root when in contact with moist soils.

Irrigation Schedule and Graph

Low Water Use Plants

Irrigation Schedule 1

  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
Runs per Month 0x to 2x 0x to 2x 0x to 2x 1x 1x 1x 1x 1x 1x 1x 0x to 2x 0x to 2x
Inches per Run 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1"
 
Inches per Month 0" to 2" 0" to 2" 0" to 2" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 0" to 2" 0" to 2"

Range of supplemental summer water: 7"
Range of supplemental winter water: 0"-10"

 
0"-2"
0"-2"
0"-2"
1"
1"
1"
1"
1"
1"
1"
0"-2"
0"-2"
  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
For more information on how to use this Irrigation Schedule and Graph, click here.

Plant Properties

Plant Type: Shrub, Ground cover, Native
Foliage Character: Evergreen
Habit: Spreading
Growth Rate: Moderate
Height: 1 ft. - 3 ft.
Width: 5 ft.
Water Needs: Low 1
Foliage Color: Pale green
Flower Color: Purple
Flower Season: Spring
Soil Adaptations: Well-draining soil
Exposure Adaptations: Drought, All day sun
Function: Wildlife value, Rock gardens, Raised planters, Hummingbird plant, Foliage accent plant, Flowering accent plant, Borders, Banks, Attracts bees, Attracts butterflies

Maintenance

Generally bee's bliss sage requires little to no maintenance after establishment, but can be pruned if desired. When young, pinch back growth near the center of the plant to encourage a nice ground cover form and prevent a lumpy mounding form (3). If pruning is desired, after spring / early summer flowering, can be headed back by removing as much of the new-ish growth as desired (1). Doing so immediately after the first bloom encourages subsequent blooms, but sacrifices the development of seeds for wildlife to eat (S). Remove dead seed heads in the Fall (October) (1). Consider leaving some of the pruned dry seed heads in the garden for food, nesting material, and habitat for birds and other critters you want around (S). Cut back by up to 1/3 to 1/2 or more of the leafy part of the branches in Fall to keep compact form, just make sure to leave at least two leafy nodes per branch as plants might not push new growth if cut below leafy nodes into old wood (3). Salvia "Bee's Bliss" can be prone to powdery mildew. It is often a seasonal issue in the winter to spring which will go away in warmer weather. If mildew is a persistent problem, it is not worth using fungicides, but better to replace with a more suitable plant for the site conditions (S).

References

Associations

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