White Sage Salvia apiana Plant
White Sage is native to the low to medium elevations of the coastal sage scrub and chaparral of southern California and adjacent Baja California. The plant is a medium sized shrub that is three to five feet tall and just as wide. The woolly foliage is fragrant and silver gray. The stems carry small whorls of white flowers in late spring and early summer. Flower spikes can be to seven or eight feet high.
White sage is drought deciduous. That means that it will lose some leaves in response to drought. This is a characteristic of plants from the costal sage scrub community. To keep the plants from losing many leaves in the summer, they can be watered sparingly, but this also tends to shorten their life.
How to Grow White Sage
White sage is recommended for Sunset zones 7-9, 11, and 13-24 or USDA zones 8-10. Plants should be grown in full sun. The plant is drought tolerant. The plant is sensitive to cold and damp winters. Plants should be grown in well-drained soil. Plants may be difficult to grow in areas with high humidity. White Sage has highly aromatic, waxy gray leaves that are used for incense.