How To Grow Autumn Sage Salvia

Last Updated on April 9, 2024 by Real Men Sow

Autumn Sage Salvia is the longest-blooming sage in crimson red. It signals spring and continues to bloom right through autumn. This knee-high bloomer is loved by both hummingbirds and gardeners. It deserves a prominent spot in the garden’s most hot spots. 

This little shrub is a staple in the Southwestern Garden because of its compact size, rich green foliage, long bloom period, and a profusion of attracting flowers. You can use it as a border plant, in pot gardens, or to add color to your landscape.

Propagating Autumn Sage

Softwood cuttings and root divisions are the best ways to propagate autumn sage. Here are some tips to help you propagate your through softwood cuttings.

  1. Use sharp pruners in late summer and fall to trim three to four inches from the tips of non-flowering, actively growing stems. Each cutting should be taken apart except for the two top leaves.
  2. Use a mix of regular potting mix, sand, or vermiculite to fill four-inch pots. The cuttings should be soaked in rooting hormone before being planted in their pots.
  3. To retain moisture and humidity, water the cuttings well.
  4. You should place the pots in a sunny, bright area at 68 degrees Fahrenheit for three weeks until they grow roots.
  5. Take the pots out of the bags and grow the plants in a sunny spot throughout the winter. Once the daytime temperature is 70 degrees or above, your new autumn sage plants are ready to be transplanted in the garden.

Root division is another common method. This happens when the stems that have been overwintered are just starting to shed their leaves. Use a shovel to remove the whole root ball. Then, use a knife or trowel to divide it into four equal parts. Once the root ball is removed, divide it into quarters with a shovel. Keep them watered until they become established and actively growing.

How to Grow Autumn Sage from Seed

After the flowers have died, the seed pods can be collected and dried. Once the seeds are inside, they can then be split open. You can either start the seeds indoors with a commercial potting mix mixed with sand or in an outdoor garden.

Seed propagation takes longer than cuttings and division. The seeds take about three weeks to germinate and then sprout. After that, the seedlings need to be nurtured for several weeks before being ready to transplant in the garden. However, basal or stem divisions can often produce flowering plants within their first year.

General Care Guide for Autumn Sage


This plant is best suited for full sun in most areas. However, it can tolerate some shade in hot climates.


The soil should be moderately fertile and well-drained. Autumn sage can tolerate clay-based soils, but will not thrive in rocky soils.


After planting, water regularly. Plants require no more than an inch of water per week once established. Don’t overwater. In many areas, rain is sufficient. Autumn sage, like most salvias, is not tolerant to excessive moisture. You can plant it in a container, or in a xeriscape garden if your soil is not suitable.

Temperature and Humidity

This salvia is native to Texas, New Mexico, and Mexico. It is highly tolerant to heat and humidity. The temperature tolerance of autumn sage is about 15 degrees Fahrenheit. Lower temperatures can cause damage or even death to plants. In warmer climates (zones 8, 9), it is often evergreen throughout the winter, but it becomes deciduous in zones 6, and 7.


All sage plants, including autumn sage, are light feeders. You may not need to feed your soil if it is moderately fertile. A handful of slow-release, balanced fertilizer can be applied around the plant’s base each spring.


Salvia likes to be pruned in the late winter or early spring, before new leaves develop. This woody perennial shrub can be pruned in March. Mid-summer pruning is a good time to prune autumn sage and to revigorate it. Mid-summer pruning encourages massive blooms.

Pests and Plant Diseases of Autumn Sage

The autumn sage plant is almost disease-free and loves dry conditions. However, there are some pests to be aware of:

  • Leafhoppers are tiny insects that can cause small yellow or white spots on its leaves, and are very common. A horticultural soap is the best way to control leafhoppers . Chemical pesticides are also available.
  • Slugs and snails will come to your garden to eat any plant or mulch that is too moist. These pests are discouraged by autumn sage, which prefers dry conditions.
  • Rosemary beetles eat leaves and create ragged holes. You should pick them off by hand. However, if you’re not comfortable with handling insects, pesticides can be used to kill them. However, chemical pesticides can also be used to kill garden pollinators.
  • Whiteflies, and Aphids are also problems with autumn sage. They can be easily controlled using horticultural oils or soaps.

Although it is not susceptible to many plant diseases, crown rot can be a problem if it’s struggling in densely drained soil. This plant is particularly sensitive to wet winter conditions.

Common Problems With Autumn Sage

Although autumn sage is generally a problem-free plant you might notice these issues:

Yellow Leaves

Although it is tempting to water plants more frequently in hot weather, they can only tolerate about 1 inch of water per week. Additional irrigation is not usually necessary if you get regular rain. Too much water can cause the yellowing of the leaves.

Brown Leaves and is Falling Off

If they are exposed to too much sunlight, autumn sage plants can become brittle in hot climates. Plants can become damaged if they are exposed to temperatures above 110°F for too long. In such cases, it is best to plant autumn sage in shaded areas that get some shade during the afternoon heat.

Wilting Leaves and Stems

Overwatering or watering too frequently at the wrong time can cause autumn sage to wilt. You should water your autumn sage in the morning, and not in the afternoon. This is because humidity can rise quickly around the plant, leading to wilting.

Real Men Sow
Real Men Sow

Hello, I’m Pete and I’m currently based in the west of Scotland, in a small place called Rosneath, where I’m exploring my garden adventures. I personally started gardening around 6 years ago and initially, I started out by growing my favorite fruits and berries, such as strawberries, Raspberries & Gooseberries. Since then I’ve added a lot of vegetables and working closely with my neighbor, it’s been a lot of fun.