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Salvia Microphylla Hot Lips or Sage Hot Lips
The compact shrub Salvia Microphylla Hot Lips will readily attract a bevy of birds and butterflies to any garden. From the start of summer until the first hard frost, Salvia Hot Lips produces an abundance of unusual two-toned red and white flowers. The bi-colour flowers resemble a pair of white lips with a red outline. During the hot nights of summer, the flowers usually turn completely red. However, even the heat of summer doesn’t slow down flower production. When autumn approaches and the nights become cooler, Salvia Hot Lips blooms again turn bicolour. Shearing the plant shortly after its first flush of flowers are produced in the early summer helps encourage the shrub to create even more blooms. The flowers can also be cut and brought indoors for long-lasting flower bouquets.
The Sage Hot Lips shrub is a favourite choice for xeriscapes because of its exceptional drought hardiness. However, it also grows well in a cottage garden setting and makes a fantastic border shrub. The shrub is usually a popular addition to any Mediterranean style garden. The rugged little bush also makes an ideal addition to any carefree wildflower garden. The nonstop blooms will attract a wide assortment of bees and other beneficial insects to the landscape. It is also deer resistant so ideal for a woodland garden.
Fast growing, the Salvia microphylla will quickly reach its full growth potential of 1 meter tall and 1 meter wide. It grows best when planted in fast-draining soil. During the first growing season, water the Salvia microphylla deeply so the shrub develops its root system. Once established, the shrub rarely requires much supplemental watering to thrive. The plant can be pruned in the late summer or early winter if desired to maintain its shape. For best flowering, plant in a full sun location.
A native of the Chiapas area of Mexico, the Salvia microphylla was first introduced to the United States by Richard Turner of the Strybing Arboretum in San Francisco, California after his maid brought the plant into the United States from her homeland. In areas with relatively mild winters, the shrub remains an evergreen year round. When grown in a place with moderately cold winters, the shrub grows only as a semi-evergreen. The shrubs slightly fuzzy foliage is fine textured, almost lacy, and a light green colouration.
Its relatively low water requirements and carefree nature make the Salvia microphylla Hot Lips a favourite choice for any type of garden. If you are seeking a compact shrub that requires virtually no care to thrive but will produce ample flowers throughout the summer then look no further than Hot Lips. This diminutive shrub provides only positives to any garden setting.