Blooming right now: Texas Sage or Cenizo (leucophyllum frutescens)

Since we had a splash of rain a few weeks ago, there are some beautiful things blooming out there.  It is so amazing what a little rain will do and how happy the plants are.

Texas Sage or Cenizo (leucophyllum frutescens)

This young Texas Sage self-started itself here last year. The Texas Sage (not a true sage) has a deep tap root and I didn’t get to moving it when it was young enough, so it will just stay were it is and be happy (so it seems). If you look behind it on the other side of the fence you can see another, larger more spindly one. These poor bushes were quite neglected by the second owner of our house. I severely pruned them a few years ago and they survived. So each year I prune a little more to see if I can get it to fill out a bit more.

When ever I find a baby Texas Sage somewhere in the yard I transplant it to a place I were would like it to grow. I have not been real successful at that.  I have dusted with a root hormone. I have watered with Super Thrive. I have also transplanted them to pots to get them established and then transplanted into the ground, still not with real good success. So far I have 7 that have pulled through out of probably 20-25 that I have tried.

Next to the larger older plant on the other side of the fence there are 2 more old ones. I have successfully transplanted babies between each one to fill in that fence area. Once those babies start to fill in I will see how the other older ones are doing and decide if I pull them out and start with younger ones. Time will tell.

I have heard that Texas Sage referred to as the “barometer bush.”  When it blooms some say it is going to rain. I do know that it blooms after we have had a rain or if we get some pretty heavy humidity. With our recent rain we are all enjoying their color right now.

There are a few things I love about this plants. It is very drought tolerant and lives happily in the full sun. In fact, in the time we have lived here, I have never watered these bushes at all. I also love the fact that they are evergreen, keeping their nice silvery green leaves all year round. The blooms, hard not to like those. They are spectacular.

Texas Sage in bloom

Here are some of the specifics on this nice evergreen bush courtesy of Dave’s Garden:

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)
24-36 in. (60-90 cm)
36-48 in. (90-120 cm)
4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)
24-36 in. (60-90 cm)
36-48 in. (90-120 cm)
4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 °C (10 °F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 °C (15 °F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 °C (20 °F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 °C (25 °F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 °C (30 °F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 °C (35 °F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 °C (40 °F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Bloom Color:
Magenta (Pink-Purple)

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
This plant is resistant to deer

Soil pH requirements:
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)
7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

Other sources of information on Texas Sage:

Sincerely, Emily

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6 Responses to Blooming right now: Texas Sage or Cenizo (leucophyllum frutescens)

  1. Joanna says:

    I love your plant posts !I guess the one question I have is does this plant have a scent like sage, or is it named for the colour and texture of its leaves? You must spend a lot of time gardening and nurturing all these plans and visiting with them too. I have neglected my city garden a bit and I have to move some of the baby plants that have seeded here and there; one of the hellebores is particularly prolific and a grass called stipa tenuissima, self seeds in the drive between the bricks. We have a fair few ants tunneling away and I think they are responsible for moving the seeds around indirectly a lot of the time. Do you have lots of ants?

    • Hi Joanna, The Texas Sage is not a true sage, so none of that sage scent to it. The flowers have a very slight scent, hardly detectable unless your nose is right up against the flower, even then it is so faint. We have Mexican Feather Grass (stipa tenuissima) here too. My neighbor has a bunch of it and it keeps spreading around. I transplanted a few plugs of it last summer, but it was just so dang hot it didn’t make it. I just planted some fountain grass in the front yard. I am hoping the deer won’t demolish it. I have caged it so it has a chance to root and grow a bit. I love spending time out in the gardens and planting new things. Concentrating on native plants and drought resistant plants from here on out. In the summer is it hard for me to be out in the heat & to tend anything out there, I spend time visiting things& working in the early am and late late pm. Oh yes, we have ants – fire ants. It is a love-hate relationship. Hate it when I get into them and have bites. Love that they eat flea and tick larva. So if they aren’t in a walk way or in a garden I leave them alone so they can do their jobs.

  2. karenish says:

    Oh, lovely! I wonder how well it would do in California’s dry summers?

    • Hi Karenish – what part of CA are you from? Texas sage does well in zone 8, 9 and 10. It does not like to be over watered or sit too long in water. It needs to be in an area that has good drainage and full sun. We lived in Palm Springs, CA for many years. Now that you asked, I wonder how well it would do there – desert, heat, little water, full sun – probably pretty well.

  3. Pingback: Sunday Photos: Purple | Sincerely, Emily

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