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The Canary Island sage is large and robust mounding shrub that quickly reaches 5-8 ft. tall and up to 10 ft. wide. Distinctive arrowhead shape leaves are pale green; dense hairs occur on the underside of leaves and on stems. Colorful purple flowers and deep magenta calyces develop on tall panicles for a bold display in early to mid spring.

Canary Island sage is both a large and colorful plant. The combination of purple flowers and magenta calyces produce a bold display of color; foliage is a striking silvery-white that provides year round interest. This is a fast growing and short-lived species, that is best suited to background and border areas and as a temporary color accent plant as other parts of the garden mature. Plant in full sun with ample room and in well-drained soils low to very low amounts of water. Heavy pruning is needed to help maintain smaller sizes. However, avoid contact with hairs on leaves and stems. It is hardy to 20°F.

Water Needs

Canary Island sage is highly adapted to sunny locations on well drained soils and with low amounts of supplemental water during summer following the flowering cycle. 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; watering according to the higher part of the range in early to mid-spring will sustain a more abundant flowering cycle.

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"

  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
For more information on how to use this Irrigation Schedule and Graph, follow this link.

For information how to calculate your irrigation system’s schedule and precipitation rate, please follow this link.

Plant Properties

Plant Type: Shrub
Foliage Character: Evergreen
Habit: Sprawling, Robust, Mounding
Growth Rate: Short-lived, Fast
Height: 5 ft. - 8 ft.
Width: 10 ft.
Water Needs: Low 1
Foliage Color: Pale green
Flower Color: Purple, Magenta
Flower Season: Spring
Soil Adaptations: Well-draining soil
Exposure Adaptations: Drought, All day sun
Function: Hummingbird plant, Foliage accent plant, Flowering accent plant, Borders, Background plant, Attracts bees, Attracts butterflies


After blooming, individual flower spikes will die back. Cut them back to about one foot tall. They will regrow the next spring (11) Other pruning can be done in late fall or early winter (D).



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