Salvia Sonomensis: Sonoma Sage Ground Covers

Ed Wike
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Overview

Have you ever wondered what are the best ground covers for Texas? Are you tired of having to pull out grass and weeds from your yard?

When homeowners express these problems to us, we always point them in the direction of salvia sonomensis. This specific type of ground cover is known to withstand Texas weather like no other. Many reviewers of this type of ground cover plant mention that their salvia plants are able to withstand triple digit temperatures and long droughts without any issues.

Aside from it's ability to survive harsh conditions, the salvia plant is also extremely low maintenance. This means that homeowners can use this type of ground cover without having to worry about maintaining it. For comparison, a lot of homeowners who have been using the traditional grass as their type of ground cover have been constantly mowing or weeding in order to maintain their lawns. Since salvia doesn't require any maintenance, homeowners can save a significant amount of their time and money by using this type of ground cover.

Additionally, the salvia plant also has many uses. It's been used as an ornamental plant, ground cover, and in herbal remedies. For example, dried leaves of the salvia sonomensis have been known to be used as a treatment for wounds and minor cuts since it can help soothe wounds.

All About Creeping Sage

If you are looking for a ground cover that looks beautiful and is very easy to care for, you may want to check out these perfect plants. These aren’t your typical salvia plants; these are called sonomensis varieties, or sonoma sage. Sonoma sage is categorized by its compact and tidy habit. They are flowering, low-growing, woody, evergreen perennials. They are known to survive in very poor and dry soil.

You may be wondering how to grow this plant or where it originated. Well, this plant is a native hybrid of California and Mexico. This plant is also known and loved by the name of salvia greggii or Salvia sonomensis.

Types Of Salvia Sonomensis

There are more than 250 species of Salvia plants that come in both annual and perennial varieties. Salvia sonomensis is a herbaceous vine from Sonoma County, California, that is known for its perennating abilities. Salvia is a shrub that typically grows to a height ranging from 6 to 12 inches.

Unlike its branched counterparts, Salvia bracteata, exotic bractless salvia and salvia spiralis, which are simple leaved, Salvia sonomensis is branched in nature. The branches are able to withstand dry conditions and provide the plant with an attractive, compact, and rounded appearance.

It can grow up to lengths of 12 inches. The flowers are red and quite small. The plant’s flowers are 4 to 6 inches long, compact and shorter than the length of typical salvia plants. The common name refers to the red blossom of the plant. It is found in the United States and is generally considered to be a garden variety plant.

Salvia sonomensis can be used as an ornamental plant in the front of any flower bed. When planted in large, massed groups, the flowers add color to the landscape during the fall. The red leaf color and compact size of the plant make it an excellent addition to the garden.

Salvia Plant Care

Salvia is a flowering plant that has over three hundred types that come in a wide variety of colors and sizes. Now most of you know about the purple sage that you have been hearing about lately, but why pay the price when for a fraction of the cost you can grow your own beautiful sage plant.

As the owner of a Sage Plant, you have a lot of choices when it comes to the variety you select. Some of your choices are based on the climate of the region in which you live and the amount of light you have available. The variety of Salvia that you will want to try is the Sonoma Sage.

The Sonoma plant is also known as the “Mexican bush sage and the “Shell Sauce.” It is a ground cover and comes in many shades of pink, red, purple, and bluish-purple. It is also available in larger sizes, or dwarf versions.

Light & Temperature

The salvia sonomensis, commonly known as Sonoma sage ground cover, is a native perennial herb to the Sonoma Mountains of California. The first thing that you quite notice about this species is its exceptional foliage. The reason behind this being so spectacular is due to its environment. This makes it an excellent shade ground cover plant.

It is found growing in the Sonoma Mountains which rise above the bay of San Francisco, along its steep scenic hillsides and valleys. It enjoy cool, moist summers, warm foggy maritime winters, and dry summers making it an odd choice for a ground cover. Sonoma Sage is a great choice to grow at your home.

The Salvia Sonomensis blooms in bright yellow, from early summer to early autumn and the flowers are remarkable, in that each flower has four small petals. They grow very rapidly in spring by sending up to six inch tall stems which then stay with the plant looking like several small bushes and they stay low to the ground. This is what makes it so ideal, as it doesn’t need pruning as most salvia require.

Before planting your salvia sonomensis, it is crucial that you dig a hole of at least three inches to add your new plants. In order to make sure that you have the best outcome, it is best to install these during the spring. Also, it is important to know that you can also grow these from seed.

Water

Sonoma sages are drought-tolerant ground covers that are hardy in USDA zones 5-8. No matter where you are located, your soil should be well-drained. If you do not have well-drained soil, the area should be raised or the ground should be hollowed out to facilitate drainage.

To get the most blooming and long-lived plants, you must water them regularly. Water your Sonoma sage several times a week during dry periods. It is best to do this early in the day, since watering in the morning helps to remove any humidity after the dew has dried.

Side-dressing your ground cover with a granular fertilizer or controlled-release fertilizer at the beginning of the season will help to increase blooming.

You will significantly increase your bloom success by planting them in full sun. Although they will tolerate partial shade, the blooming effects of the Sonoma sage will be diminished.

Soil

This attractive plant is well known for its many varieties and adaptability to different growing situations. It makes for an efficient ground cover flower in many situations, and its few needs make it one of the best choices for small gardens or containers.

The Salvia sonomensis is native to the mountain areas of Northern Mexico, and it is growing well on the slopes of the Sierra Madre Mountains at altitudes between 5,000 and 10,000 feet. It is a member of the mint family (Lamiaceae), and it is the official flower of Sonoma County, California.

This shrub-like plant is best suited to homes in USDA zones 8b to 10.

Fertilizer

The most common fertilizer used for Salvia is called Miracle Grow. It is an all-purpose plant food used for most plants. There are varieties of Miracle Grow, and their instructions all recommend an application at specific intervals, usually weekly to monthly.

Before fertilizing, you need to know if you have a specific type of plant. Salvia can be grown as an annual or a perennial, and the fertilizer recommendations vary according to the life style. Annual Salvia will need to be replaced every year, so you want to be attentive of how much sweeter the soil becomes. Perennial Salvia will live for several years, and you want to keep the soil just the right amount of sweet.

You can also use Milorganite, which is available at most home improvement stores. This is recommended for a complete plant food for all plants. Milorganite is a liquid fertilizer, and it is applied with a mister. When sprinkling it across the soil, you can do a watered down application or lay it out in a circle and let it seep in naturally.

If you plan to be fertilizing on a regular basis, you should consider getting a scale that will accurately measure the amount of fertilizer you are applying. This is done with a material called Parts Per Million.

Propagation

Propagation of plants from cuttings is a very simple process of taking a plant cutting and cultivating it to a point where it can be planted in the ground on its own.

This method is a very popular method to propagate several types of plants.

Some of the plants that can be propagated using the cuttings method include:

  • Herbs
  • Flowering plants
  • Shrubs
  • Trees

Until such a time when the plant is capable of taking care of itself, it is imperative that a new owner continue to care for it. The most important elements to do so are:

Ensure that the soil surrounding the plant is kept damp but not wet. Watering the soil when it feels dry on the surface is all that the plant will need. Consistent watering is critical to the plant’s success. A constant supply of water allows the plant to get its requirements and ward off any possible disease that may try to affect it.

Buying the right plant pot for the plant is crucial. The pot should provide adequate space and support for the plant to grow upright. The design of the pot should give the plant ample room for its roots to become established and spread around.

Non-organic fertilizers should never be used on plants that are still in their infancy. Use a slow release fertilizer or a balanced organic fertilizer to help the plant keep its balance of nutrients.

Pruning

Sage plants are fairly low maintenance on their own. They are perennial, and most can still bloom if cut back before the coldest part of winter is in. That being said, they do require pruning.

The overall rule of thumb is that you should only prune your sage that is out of shape or in need of shaping. If there are branches that are dead and need cutting off, go ahead and go ahead and take them out. If there are flowers that you can't reach with the watering wand to cut them out manually, cut them off at the main stem.

The only time you should ever cut flowers off your sage shrubs and if you are doing it to keep them blooming longer.

Normally, you should not be pruning off branches. However, if you are putting it in a pot, for example, make it look nice and prune it of extra branches so it’s not too tall.

Sonoma Sage Problems

Sonoma sage is a plant that is native to the Sonoma Valley. The plant is a low-growing evergreen that blossoms with small, bright yellow flowers. The plant is a very good ground cover that can grow up to 2 feet tall and about 10 feet in diameter. It grows in a variety of environments and is resistant to diseases, pests, and fungus infections specifically Powdery Mildew and Leaf Spot.

The plant is best suited for pots or in hillside landscaping, as the plant can become invasive if not contained.

Ground covers such as Salvia sonomensis do not often pose problems; however, when they do occur, they are usually connected to either drying out or getting too much water and fertilizer. To prevent these problems, simply water the plant when the surrounding soil is dry to the touch. Fertilization of the Sonoma Salvia in the spring can help prevent the plant from having yellowing leaves or dying back due to lack of nutrients. Decrease to yearly fertilization, once the plant is established, as high levels of fertilizer can lead to problems such as salt buildup, which leads to burning of root tissue. This can also increase the need for fertilizer in order to promote growth.

Similarly, once the plant is established, maintenance is minimal.

Growing Problems

Plants grow in different ways. A few special plants combine many different growing methods, and some need special care to thrive. Sonoma Sage is a perennial ground cover with deep green fuzzy leaves. In the spring it grows white flowers and spreads quickly. These plants will all germinate and spread but only some will plant themselves and keep coming back.

In most areas, this plant is grown as a decorative ground cover for a slow, gradual spreading. It’s tolerant of poor soil, drought, and extreme heat. Pair it with an aggressive annual or perennial that needs time to grow in and fill in spaces for a natural looking clean border.

A little care makes a big difference. Pinch back your plants as they grow. To keep the plant’s profile from becoming too rough, keep about the top half of the plant about 4” to 6” tall. When it fills the area you want, you can cut it back hard at the beginning of the fall season. It’s nice and easy to use and will give you a good ground cover in practically any location in your yard. It will stay under control if you keep clipping it back in the late summer or early fall.

Pests

If you have decided to add a new plant to your garden, you will need to check if your plant is vulnerable to any kind of pests. There are a number of pests that can attack salvia sonomensis. A regular check on a daily basis and applying a variety of remedies will help you to keep your garden and your salvia healthy and free from infection and constant outbreak.

When you keep plants in your garden, you are saving them, not just from physical danger, but also from diseases. Diseases are caused by microbes. Most of the time they don't affect you but they can be highly dangerous for the plants in the garden. Pests begin attacking plants from leftovers of decomposed plants and organic matters such as fruit peels, rotten eggs, and even animal feces.

Sometimes, plants from the same family have the same natural enemy, so it is highly recommended that you feed the infected plant with the extract that is made from its own family. Also, it might be in the best interest to figure out which family the plant belongs to, so you can have a backup protection in your storage.

During the process of getting rid of the pest, make sure you are wearing the proper protection such as a face mask.

Diseases

Salvia sonomensis is a beautiful ground cover with an amazing aroma and a multitude of benefits.

It is also extremely easy to cultivate. It requires no pruning and is hardy even in wet climates with low humidity. As you watch it cover previous landscape scars, you will soon be growing it in all your landscaping projects. It thrives in difficult and difficult areas and is able to colonize swiftly to compensate for all the dead space that usually ends up creating dead areas. Its hardiness and the one-two punch of its ease of care and growth make it an ideal landscape plant for all locations.

But how do you control a beautiful ground cover like salvia sonomensis? The answer is special care and attention to the first 2-3 years of its existence. It is still weak in its first years and it is this time that you need to take special care of it.

First Year “ Get a Fertilizer

The first thing you should do in trying to control salvia sonomensis is to put a special fertilizer. The kind of fertilizer you use will depend on what kind of soil mix you created. You must make sure that the fertilizer has slow-release characteristics, so you don't overdo it.

Frequently Asked Questions

Salvia sonomensis is one of the best plants to use as a ground cover since it’s easily maintained and requires very little space. It’s ferny looking leaves grow about 1 in long and have attractive white hairs that provide a nice contrast to the dark green leaves. Like many plants that are easy to grow, it’s an evergreen, which means that it will provide a beautiful, verdant shade cover year round if it’s well maintained.

Here are some frequently asked questions about Salvia sonomensis.

Q: “What does salvia sonomensis look like?”

A: Salvia sonomensis is a lovely perennial that grow upright and is about 1 ft. tall. It has ferny leaves that grow 1-3 in. long and have small white hairs that give it a delightful white appearance. It grows quickly and can cover a lot of ground. It’s easily and quickly maintained without a lot of effort.

Q: “What colors does salvia sonomensis come in?”

A: This plant is available in an array of color combinations depending on what you plan to do with them. They come in pink, white, red, purple, and even blue.