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SALVIA microphylla 'Hot Lips'

Image of Salvia microphylla 'Hot Lips'

James H. Schutte

Family

Lamiaceae

Botanical Name

SALVIA microphylla 'Hot Lips'

Plant Common Name

Baby Sage, Hot Lips Sage, Small-leaved Sage

General Description

When faced with the summer heat, 'Hot Lips' keeps blooming and shining. This ornamental sage is a shrubby perennial that originates from the southwestern United States and Mexico. It has sparse, fragrant foliage of medium green and upright, semi-woody stems. Throughout the warmth of late spring, summer and fall it produces beautiful two-lipped, tubular flowers — the bottom lip being large and fan-shaped. These are white with red edges, and are highly attractive to hummingbirds.

Hot Lips sage requires full sun and average to poor soil that is perfectly drained. Once established, it is low-maintenance and tough. It is an excellent choice for sunny borders, containers or hummingbird gardens. In more southerly climates, it is evergreen. Interestingly, in excessive summer heat the flowers are more fully red and not as numerous. Once temperatures are more moderately warm with comfortable evenings, the flower production increases drastically and flowers are the distinctive red with white.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 8

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    7 - 12

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Tender Perennial

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun

  • Height

    3'-4' / 0.9m - 1.2m

  • Width

    2'-3' / 0.6m - 0.9m

  • Bloom Time

    Late Spring, Early Summer, Summer, Late Summer, Early Fall, Fall, Late Fall

  • Native To

    Southwestern United States, Mexico

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant, Average Water

  • Habit

    Upright/Erect

  • Seasonal Interest

    Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White, Red

  • Flower Color Modifier

    Bicolor

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    Yes

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    Semi-Evergreen

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Bedding Plant, Mixed Border, Tropical, Wildflower

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Hummingbirds, Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes