Salvia microphylla Hot Lips
Hot Lips Sage
DetailsHot Lips Littleleaf Sage (Salvia microphylla 'Hot Lips') has distinctive, brilliantly colored flowers that make 'Hot Lips' Salvia a special selection. Blooming from spring until hard frost in fall, the flower color will vary seasonally. In the cooler times of spring and fall, the flowers are strongly bi-colored red and white. When it's hot, the flowers go solid red. Regardless of the time of the growing season, this ever-blooming selection is a beauty. The plant makes a small shrub with age and thrives in poor soils with plenty of heat and sun. Plant with Lavender (Lavandula) and white Appleblossom Grass (Gaura). Javelina resistant
|Common Name||Hot Lips Sage|
|Botanical Name||Salvia microphylla Hot Lips|
|Zones||7, 8, 9, 10|
|Light Requirements||Full Sun|
|Flower Color||Red, White|
|Mature Height||36-48" tall|
|Mature Spread||24-36" wide|
|Bloom Time||Early summer to late fall|
|Ships As||Potted Plant|
|Planting Time||Spring / Summer|
|Soil Type||Sandy Soil, Average Soil, Low Fertility Soil, Drought/Dry Soil, Well-Drained Soil|
|Soil Moisture||Average, Drought Resistant / Waterwise|
|Amount of Rain||10 to 20", 20 to 30", 30 to 40" (with care)|
|Advantages||Deer Resistant, Attract Butterflies, Attract Hummingbirds, Easy to grow, Fragrant Flower / Foliage, Good for Cut Flowers, Good for Containers, Native, Good Rockgarden or alpine plant|
|Ideal Region||Coastal California, Southwest, West, Pacific Northwest|
|Neonicotinoid-Free||Yes - Learn More|
|Ships to Hawaii, Alaska & Canada||No|
Tips For Growing Salvia
Salvia (commonly referred to as ‘Sage’) represent a huge family of ornamental plants that attract a variety of pollinators to their nectar rich flowers. They are resistant to deer and rabbits.
- Plant in full sun.
- Plant native Western Salvia varieties in soil that is low fertility and well-drained.
- Plant Old World Salvia in a wide range of soils (loams, sand) including clay.
- Many spring-flowering varieties of sage will re-bloom in fall if deadheaded after the first bloom.
- New transplants need regular irrigation their first growing season to establish themselves. Once established they will need regular, deep irrigation during hot, dry weather.
- During fall garden clean-up, wait to cut back the plants until spring for improved cold hardiness.
- In colder USDA zones (zone 6 and below) it is essential to give Native Southwestern and Southwestern hybrids protection from the extreme cold their first couple winters in the garden. Mound up pine needles or fallen autumn leaves over and around the base of the plant.
Western Native Salvia: : It is from the Western US that we find our most beautiful native salvia species. For attracting hummingbirds, there are no finer flowers than the Western native sages. Typically, this group of Salvia prefer ‘lean’ (not very fertile), well drained soils. They will grow in dry clay conditions in arid climates but will rot out in clay soils where there is more than about 15 to 18” of precipitation annually.
Western Salvia include:
- Salvia greggii - ‘Furman’s Red’, ‘Cold Hardy Pink’
- Salvia hybrids - ‘Maraschino’, ‘Raspberry Delight’, ‘Ultra Violet’ and ‘Burgundy Seduction’.
- Salvia pachyphylla and Salvia dorrii is recommended for arid western gardens.
- Salvia azurea and Salvia reptans - Early fall bloomers with excellent cold hardiness.
To get established in USDA zones 5 & 6, Western Salvia (noted above) must be planted in spring or early summer, not in the fall. Protect your new plants over their first winter or two in your garden. Cover each plant with a generous pile of clean straw or pine needles. This allows the plant's crown (junction of root and branches) to mature and obtain maximum cold hardiness.
Old Wolrd Salvia: The Old World Salvia include some of the very best, most durable, longest-lived perennials. These salvia are an excellent choice for gardeners across most of the United States. ‘Old World’ Sages bloom primarily in shades of blue, pink and white. They are well adapted to cold climates and a wide range of soils including clay. The European Salvia are incredibly attractive to honey bees, many of our native bees and bumble bees as well as butterflies.
Old World varieties include:
- Salvia syslvestris'Lyrical Rose', 'May Night', 'Little Night', 'Caradonna' and 'Marcus'.
- Salvia daghestanica
- Salvia verticiliata
More in-depth guidance for growing Salvia: Planting Nectar Rich Salvia to Attract Pollinators to the Garden, Sage Advice, The Spectacular Salvia and Cold Hardy, Late Summer / Early Fall Blooming Sages.
View more Planting Guides, or download our complete Planting Guide for tips on caring for your plants when you receive your order, as well as planting instructions for Perennials, Spring-Planted Bulbs, Fall-Planted Bulbs, Cacti & Succulents, Xeric Plants and more.
Plant Shipping: Buy now and we will ship your order at the ideal planting time for your region. Spring-Planted Perennial and Bulb orders will ship from February 27-June 30, warmest zones first.
Most plant and bulb orders arrive within 2-6 days, or less, of leaving our greenhouses in Colorado. This prompt delivery is provided without additional express charges.
Grass Plugs Will ship at planting time in spring, beginning in late February.
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Standard shipping costs are $4.99 and up, depending on the size of the order.
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Q & A
Suggested Companion Plants:
USDA Hardiness Planting Zones
To determine if a plant is sufficiently cold hardy, the USDA created numbered zones indicating winter low temperatures; the lower the zone number the colder the winter.
- If the coldest winter temperature expected in your area is -15°F (zone 5) then any plants rated zones 3-5 will survive the winter temperatures in your area.
- If you live in very warm winter areas (zones 9-11) plants with zones 3-4 ratings are not recommended. The lack of freezing winter temperatures do not provide a time for winter dormancy (rest).
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