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Description

The Point Sal Spreader purple sage is a robust spreading shrub that matures to 3 ft. tall, 6 ft. wide. It has similar pale green foliage and light purple flowers as the species, but is valued as a ground cover plant in native gardens for its contrasting foliage color. It is also a good plant for erosion control in combination with other drought tolerant natives that are adapted to warm and dry conditions.

Like other native California sage species, the Point Sal Spreader grows well in sunny locations and in fast draining soils. It is a large plant that needs space to roam; its spring time flower display is both soft and pleasing, as well as attractive to bees and butterflies.

Water Needs

Prostrate purple 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 winter months noted by an asterisk (*) when 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; it is desirable to have leaf litter and the top layer of soil beneath the stems to dry out between irrigation applications.

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, Native
Foliage Character: Evergreen
Habit: Spreading, Sprawling
Growth Rate: Moderate
Height: 3 ft.
Width: 6 ft.
Water Needs: Low 1
Foliage Color: Pale green
Flower Color: Lavender
Flower Season: Spring
Soil Adaptations: Well-draining soil
Exposure Adaptations: Heat, Drought, Aridity, All day sun
Function: Wildlife value, Slopes, Restoration, Parks and open space, Hummingbird plant, Foliage accent plant, Flowering accent plant, Banks, Background plant, Attracts bees, Fragrant foliage, Attracts butterflies

Maintenance

Pinch or prune back young plants regularly in the first year to encourage long-term development of a strong bushy structure. Don't worry about sacrificing flowers the first year, you will be repaid with more flowers and a longer lived better looking plant for many years in the future. Young plants allowed to develop too many long flower stocks without this pinching back in the first couple years commonly break apart under the weight of their own flowers (S). 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), and prune as necessary (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 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). Older plants grow less each year, so may only need a light cut back and dead-heading if set-up to have a nice form when young (3). These plants grow very wide over time. It may be hard to imagine a one gallon plant getting eight feet wide or more in a few years, but it will happen. Often this plant is grown too close to other plants, which leads to it growing over other plants, mounding higher than desired, and requiring more pruning than desired to keep it a reasonable size for the space. Only plant it if you have three room. If not, choose from one of the other great Salvias available. If growing as a (somewhat tall) ground cover, remove more upright growth as it develops to re-enforce a ground cover form.

References

Associations

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