Mojave sage: a sage for all seasons

Salvia pachyphylla Mojave Sage Plant Select

If you are looking for a plant to add structure and backdrop in your garden, Salvia pachyphylla or Mojave sage may be just the plant for you. Mojave sage stands 36″ or better in the garden with a width of at least the same. It usually takes a couple of growing seasons for it to gain this stature. An outstanding feature of Mojave sage is the beautiful, intensely aromatic silvery-green foliage, topped with densely whorled bracts of lovely smoky mauve-purple that surround delicate violet-blue flowers. This sub-shrub perennial is native to the higher altitude of the California hills and prefers a full sun location, with good drainage being essential.

The semi-evergreen foliage adds wonderful winter interest to any garden. Mojave sage is hardy in Zone 5, but dry conditions are a must for over wintering. Once this salvia is established, a good fall pruning after flowering helps maintain its shape and keeps it from becoming too woody.

Mojave sage blooms all summer, continuing into the fall. It serves as a companion and excellent backdrop for penstemon, coreopsis, creeping veronica, lavender, and other smaller salvias, just to name a few. In your xeric garden, Mojave sage is a standout, guaranteed not to disappoint.

View the plant profile here.

Mojave Sage (Salvia pachyphylla)

Height: 18-24″
Width: 24-30″
Blooms: June to November
Sun: Full Sun
Soil Moisture: Moderate watering to xeric, once established
Hardiness: USDA zones 5-10
Culture: Loam or sandy soil

Thanks to Diana Reavis, Eason Horticultural Resources, for writing this piece.

8 responses to “Mojave sage: a sage for all seasons”

  1. Kathy Kimbrough says:

    I love mojave sage. It pairs nicely with many things but when combined with prairie zinnias, its magical.

  2. John Pilkinton says:

    Do you know of any place in Northern Nevada or California where I can purchase a Mojave Sage a sage for all seasons, I’m just looking for 1 replacement plant. Thx, ‘JP’

  3. Melissa Bell says:

    I have been looking for replacements of Mojave Sage for a couple of years now. The few plant catalogs are always out of stock. I’m baffled at the difficulty of finding some one/place that sells this sage. It’s a wonderful plant!

    • Pat Hayward says:

      I understand your frustration! Mojave sage is pretty difficult to propagate, and it seems that supply is seldom able to keep up with demand. There are many growers in the Denver area who’re supplying it to local garden centers, and I know there’s a wonderful grower in Salt Lake City, too. Any chance you can visit some of those areas? And Waterwise Gardening, LLC (David Salman) has several retail sales in spring and fall – perhaps a road trip would be in order?

  4. Dale Donahue says:

    Mojave sage is one of the best plants to use here in the desert areas of southwest Idaho. It thrives and blooms profusely and rarely needs water and loves sandy, ashy, and poor soils. Sometimes the plants exceed 36″ in height and 48 inches or more in width. It is very similar to our native Salvia dorrii, but is usually a much more robust form of this related plant. Usually will self-seed in the area. Hummingbirds are drawn to the plants.

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