Salvia chamaedryoides (Germander Sage) - This wonderful mostly evergreen subshrub has a small dense mounding and spreading habit. It grows to 12 to 18 inches tall by 3 to 4 feet wide and spreading slowly outward from shoots from a spreading rootstock - it tends to mound towards the middle with branches spreading out along the ground on the periphery. It has small narrow half inch long e gray-green leaves and dark blue flowers that appear almost year-round, except in the coolest of seasons when the plant drops some leaves, becoming somewhat semi-deciduous. Peak blooming period is mid-spring through late fall.
This Salvia does best in full sun to very light shade in well-draining soil where it requires little watering once it's established. It is cold hardy to 5-10°F and can be grown down into USDA zone 8 and possibly 7 where it will often regrow after freezing to the ground. In hot inland locations does better with some shade and occasional irrigation. A great plant with sparkling blue flowers for use as a small-scale ground cover for the dry or occasionally irrigated garden and good at the front of the border. It is a good plant for attracting hummingbirds.
Germander Sage is native to the high Chihuahuan desert from 7,000 to 9,000 feet in the Sierra Madre Oriental mountain range in Mexico. The name Salvia comes from the name used by Pliny for a plant in the genus and comes from the Latin word 'salvere' meaning "to save" in reference to the long-believed healing properties of several Sage species and its specific name comes from being like germander, Teucrium chamaedrys, which gets from the Greek words 'khamai' meaning "ground" and 'drus' meaning "oak" and this is thought to mean dwarf-like in stature, thought others note that the similarity is because both plants having a spreading rootstock. Other common names include Mexican Blue Sage and Blue Oak Sage.
We have grown this great sage since 1989 and have long lived plants in our garden in areas that only receive one (or less) irrigation application in the summer months – it is a GREAT drought tolerant plant. It seems that people who have problems with it are generally over watering this plant or planting it in too heavy a soil! We also grow a somewhat similar plant a href="plantdisplay.asp?plant_id=4318" target="_blank">Salvia 'Marine Blue' that is sometime listed as a cultivar or hybrid of Salvia chamaedryoides but it really seems to us to be similar but unrelated.
Information about Salvia chamaedryoides displayed on this page is based on our research about it conducted in our library and gathered from reliable online sources. We include observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery gardens and in other gardens that we have visited, as well as how the crops have performed in containers in our own nursery field. We will also incorporate comments that we receive from others about this plant when we feel it adds information and particularly welcome hearing from anyone who has any additional cultural recommendations that would aid others in growing it.