Thursday, September 25, 2014

My favorite plant this week: Salvia 'Mesa Azure'

I've thought of featuring Salvia microphylla 'Mesa Azure' as my favorite plant of the week several times but always passed it up in favor of something flashier and more photogenic.  This plant has had a place in my garden since May 2011, our first year in our current house.  I put in 3 plants in the border tucked into a corner of the front yard usually seen by no one other than myself.  With the exception of a few foundation plants that came with the house, most of the plants in this border have been changed out over the past 3 years but this Salvia has remained in place.  It always looks good, whether in flower or not; it tolerates our heat and drought; and it blooms at least half the year if regularly deadheaded.

Salvia 'Mesa Azure' seated next to Lomandra, Coprosma and Gaillardia in the front yard

I added another plant, purchased with a tag labeling it a "California friendly plant," in early June of this year.  Despite my reduced watering schedule, it settled in just fine in the backyard border.

Salvia 'Mesa Azure' shortly after planting in the backyard border in June 2014

The foliage is evergreen.  The flowers are relatively small and, despite its name, they're more violet-lavender, than blue.

A perennial shrub in my USDA zone 10b garden, I cut it back once a year when it stops flowering.  It's reported to grow 18-24 inches (45-61 cm) tall and almost as wide.   My oldest plants are just under 18 inches (45 cm) tall.  It can be grown in full sun or light shade.  My plants all get some shade until late morning or mid-day, after which they receive full sun.

If you're looking for a long-blooming, drought tolerant plant, this is one I'd recommend you try.  Salvia microphylla 'Mesa Azure' is my contribution to Loree's favorite plant of the week meme at danger garden.

All material © 2012-2014 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party


  1. Nice blue color!
    Nice with plants that bloom for long.
    Have a good day

  2. Another great choice Kris, I usually find salvia need some water while they establish and my salvia for the kitchen needs regular watering every year, but some others do very well. I will look for your choice because I love the string blue flowers but also the good stem colour.

  3. Nice plant, like it with the grasses in the top picture.

  4. Salvia is one of my favorites. The color of the unopened buds is beautiful! The flowers are beautiful too but the buds really caught my eye.....It's wonderful to have an "energizer bunny" or two in the flowerbeds! Happy Gardening!

  5. I can clearly see why it's become a favourite!

  6. Beautiful plant! I like all the Salvias--especially the ones that have such lovely shades of blue and purple. I can see why it's your favorite this week!

  7. Looks like a winner in your garden. I like the foliage as well as the flowers...

  8. Seems like a wonderful plant to have around. Low water needs plus colour for half the year!

  9. I am seeing salvia everywhere on blogs and wish I could plant it as a hardy plant...

  10. I love salvias and this one really is a winner.

  11. A very pretty shade of blue! -Jean


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