UC Master Gardeners, Santa Clara County, CA
University of California
UC Master Gardeners, Santa Clara County, CA

Water Wise Plants

Salvia clevelandii

SAL-vee-uh kleev-LAN-dee-eye
Common Name
Cleveland Sage
Plant Type
Mature Size
3 ft. wide and tall
Water Requirements
Very Low: water deeply several times a summer
Sun/Shade Requirements
Full sun
Flower Color
Maintenance- Design- Planting Tips

'Winnifred Gilman' is a Salvia cultivar that is compact and has lovely violet-blue flowers. It is one of our favorite late spring California natives because the grey-green foliage smells like a chaparral morning.

Like many sages, these are short-lived plants. Even with regular pruning, Salvia clevelandii needs to be replaced every five to ten years when the stems become woody. We like to prune 'Winnifred Gilman' back by about a third in the late summer and early fall to prolong the life of the plant and maintain a nice shape.

We previously had a Salvia clevelandii 'Whirly Blue' in the water-wise garden. It was beautiful, but grew too large for our compact perennial garden. We removed it and replaced it with 'Winnifred Gilman'.

If you want to learn more about Salvias, we suggest reading Betsy Clebsch's The New Book of Salvias. 

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