Texas Sage / Purple Sage

Easy Plants for Desert Gardens

Purple sage and a wooden wagon
••• work by Lisa Kling / Getty Images

The Texas sage is sometimes referred to in Phoenix as the purple sage. The Texas sage is one of several desert plants that I recommend for people who want desert plants that are perennial (you need to plant them only once), hardy, low care, relatively drought resistant, easy to find, pretty cheap to buy, and provide lovely color many times during the year. There are several varieties, but they all have purple blooms.

The shrubs thrive in USDA Zones 8-11, so the Phoenix area is well within the range.

See more Purple Sage/Texas Sage pictures.

The botanical name for Texas sage or purple sage is Leucophyllum frutescens. These are evergreen desert shrubs that flower several times throughout the year. The most common forms of sage that you'll see in the Phoenix area are the Green Cloud (green leaves, bright flowers) and the Thundercloud (silvery-green leaves, lighter purple flowers, and a spikier appearance).

Sage bushes take full sun and are drought-tolerant. Those beautiful bright purple blooms will come out after rain or when it is humid. You can also encourage blooming by giving them extra water. Let the ground dry out between waterings.

The toughest challenge when it comes to Texas sage bushes is that you want to trim them to keep them neat, or to make a hedge out of them, but then you'll cut off all the purple flowers!

So the trick to the Texas or purple sage is to prune when they are not flowering, and then let them grow out a bit when they are.

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