Thursday, October 1, 2009

Hello, S. leucantha, Goodbye Purple Datura

Know When to Hold 'Em, Know When to Fold 'Em.
Sometimes you just know when it's time for a planting to be removed. There are still blossoms, the plants are still green, but the usefulness is gone. Other flowers need to take the stage.

I debated leaving the purple Daturas until frost, maybe even pruning them to enhance the lacquered-look black stems. Most of the blossoms are done, leaving lots of knobby dark seed pods, some dry and opening. Eventually they had to go to make room for Salvia leucantha to make a stunning fall show. I left one small one that had young buds, in another bed.

Most of the Mexican Bush Sage in my garden has purple calyxes with purple flowers. Janie shared the purple calyx/white flowers cultivar. Shown together, you can see the difference. The calyxes are very velvety and fun to feel.

Salvia leucantha is hard in zones 8-10; treat it as an annual elsewhere. It doesn't begin to bloom until the days grow short, making a beautiful fall display when summer annuals are beginning to flag.
Found this little video while looking for the lyrics to Know when to Hold 'Em, too Cute.

You'll want to hold and fondle Mexican Bush sage blooms and they dry beautifully.


  1. I pulled out all my annuals this week and it pained me to do so was time. I've got Mexican and Russian sage and love that look this time of year.

  2. I should have pulled up all the marigold but I couldn't since there was a storm in our area last Tuesday. Well, I think the plants will have to wait until my next trip up.
    In my garden, once some plants are pulled up I can just go ahead and re-plant something else for my garden never sleeps :-). Guess my next crops will be cleomes and maybe impatiens! Can you imagine that?!

  3. The blooms on my Chaste tree look similar to your Mexican Sage. And those datura seedpods are cool! Yes, it's time to pull out impatiens other annuals that's succumbed to our recent cold nights. I appreciate your note on Blotanical, NellJean ;)

  4. Yep, I am definitely folding them now. Love the Kenny rogers youtube clip. That's funny.

  5. Hello Nell,

    I love you Salvia photo. We grow that here in AZ too! However, I don't have any in the garden right now. I think I will go out to the nursery to get one though.

    Thank you for the inspiration!

  6. Love the Russian sage when it's left to dry in the garden. I've got it in my garden still too. The annuals have been pulled though and replaced by some mums to brighten things up. -Jackie

  7. Do you keep your Purple Datura seeds? I keep just a couple of pods for seeds and break the others off all summer to keep it blooming. I love the blooms but it is such a stinky plant to work with.
    Your Mexican sage is sure pretty. My poor Russian sage died this year for some reason. I did not think even I could kill it ;-)

  8. Thanks for the chuckles. I am holding onto most of my plans so far. I was going to move some things around, but my knee is still hurting, and my ankle still swollen from my fall 2 weeks ago. I imagine I won't be doing any digging unless it decides to heal. A track coach from where I work said if this would have happened 20 years ago, I'd be healing quicker. I never thought of that. They say I have osteoporosis, but no bones broke, so I'm thankful for that.


I look forward to comments and questions and lively discussion of gardening and related ideas.

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