Vermilion Bluffs® Mexican sage: red hot for hummers!

Salvia darcyi Pscarl Plant Select

Shalene Hiller, Horticulturist with the City of Westminster (pictured here), invited the Marketing Committee to meet at the City of Westminster’s Heritage at Westmoor Golf Course on August 5 and they were thrilled to see how beautifully these plants are still performing!

The species Mexican sage (Salvia darcyi) was collected by John Fairey and Carl Schoenfeld in the Sierra Madre Oriental in Mexico in 1991, and introduced into commerce at Yucca Do Nursery in Hempstead, Texas. It’s normally listed as hardy to USDA Hardiness zones 7-10, but several plants at the Heritage proved to be winter hardy near Denver. Because of their unique cold hardiness, this selection, VERMILION BLUFFS® was introduced through Plant Select® in 2007.

VERMILION BLUFFS® grows to be a large perennial, easily 4′ tall and 3′ wide, and virtually blooms all summer. The crimson red color is striking and nearly guarantees that hummingbirds will find your garden if they’re anywhere in the neighborhood! This selection has proven to be cold hardy to USDA hardiness zones 5-9, a fantastic new choice for gardeners in colder areas.

The Heritage at Westmoor is an official Plant Select® demonstration garden partner, and the gardens around the clubhouse are open to the public. While you’re there, be sure to have a meal or beverage at the Grill – the food is great, and the views are fantastic.

View the plant profile here.

Vermilion Bluffs® mexican sage (Salvia darcyi ‘Pscarl’)
Height: 36-40” inches
Width: 28-32” inches
Blooms: August to October
Sun: Full sun or part shade
Soil Moisture: Moderate to xeric (Little to no irrigation needed once established.)
Hardiness: USDA zones 5b-10
Culture: Loam soil is best.

Learn more about Heritage at Westmoor Golf Course.

10555 Westmoor Drive
Westminster, CO 80021
Golf Shop: 303-469-2974

24 responses to “Vermilion Bluffs® Mexican sage: red hot for hummers!”

  1. betty harris says:

    Can I get just this plant rather than a mix of plants

    • Ross Shrigley says:

      Yes of course. However, if you’d like more pollinators to visit, get a mix of plants.

  2. Lori Norton says:

    I planted a number of these last year in Santa Rosa California. We had a very wet winter and many of my vermillion bluff sage did not survive. Could it have been due to the wet winter? I also wonder if maybe I cut them back too severely. Any thoughts? Thank you.

    • Ross Shrigley says:

      Zone-wise these plants should do well there. These plants do not like wet winters in flat gardens, they grow better on slight slopes. Hand trim them back cutting off the dead in spring. If your going to cut back in fall to tidy up, cut down to about 8″ from ground.

  3. Anne Farber says:

    I just planted this plant in Santa Fe NM. Should I much the plant with compost?

  4. Sandi Bicknell says:

    I planted these for the first year in Arvada, CO and this is the first year I have had a steady stream of hummingbirds! I love, love, love it!

    Is there anything I can do to help winterize it?
    It is facing south and gets sun nearly the entire day.

  5. Diana Honest says:

    This is the second season for my Vermilion and all the above branches are dead, does it come up from the roots each year?

  6. Cathy Goodman says:

    Should I fertilize Mexican Sage?

  7. LYNDA MEIER says:


    • Ramona says:

      Yes..I see this is months old ..but I planted seeds indoors and have 6 containers of them. they were VERY successful and the seeds were 3 years old

  8. Nancy Holden says:

    Where can I purchase them?

  9. Marge says:

    Does Vermillion Cliffs sucker ?
    Does it take over and get out of control as Russisn Sage does?

    • Ross Shrigley says:

      It will seed around if you live in CA or similar climate but does not sucker or get out of control like Russian Sage. Enjoy!

  10. Margaret Morey says:

    Is Vermilion Bluffs patented or trademarked?

  11. Roger says:

    Should Vermilion Bells be pruned to the ground in late winter or early Spring?

    • Ross Shrigley-Plant Select says:

      Trim back to about 3-5 inches above the ground and that will protect root crowns from late freezes. Enjoy!

  12. Julie Trujillo says:

    Hello. Could I plant this in a container?

    • Ross Shrigley-Plant Select says:

      Yes, and it will look great in full sun! It probably won’t live through the winter unless you store it in a protected area like an unheated garage.

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