The Q&A Archives: Mexican Bush Sage Stems Falling Over

Question: Planted a Mexican Sage bush 2 months ago. Growing fast with lots of blooms. Up to 3 ft and now the branches are falling over. Have lost half the plant. Is this typical? Heard there is a dwarf version.

Answer: Salvia mexicana, the Mexican sage, is a shrubby perennial from central Mexico. It is robust, with erect growth to 10' or taller, and 3'-5' in width. Wind will cause the branches to lean over. To keep your plant compact, remove flower stems and shape the plant as blooms fade. Frequent watering produces excessive, brittle growth, and may cause the stems to fall over. If you've been watering (and fertilizing) your Mexican sage on a regular basis, you may be contributing to its floppy growth habit. Water infrequently but deeply, and hold off on any fertilizer applications. You can cut your plant back after blooming to reduce its size.

Salvia leucantha, the Mexican Bush Sage, is a lower growing evergreen shrub (3'-4') with the same requirements for care (little water, no fertilizer). Perhaps that's the dwarf version you've heard about.

Good luck with your plant!

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