Texas Hummingbird Sage
Origin: South West USA & Mexico
A member of the Lamiaceae or Mint family, this scarlet sage is a favorite of hummingbirds and butterflies.
It is a perennial in warmer climates and an annual where winter's low temperatures stay below freezing for days or months at a time, in other words, hardy to about 30 degrees F. G rowing to about two and a half to three feet, this sage is perfect for natural garden areas where it attracts the winged wildlife. It is drought tolerant and does best in full sun. The showy bright red flowers are about an inch long and arranged in loose spirals around the upright stem. It puts on a continual show of blooming from early summer to first frost.
My personal experiences with Texas Hummingbird Sage have been great. Here in the Northeast, it requires little to moderate water and starts blooming in July through September. It's not picky about the soil type and naturally occurs in dry soils and waste places. I have found that it's very easy to save the seeds, dry them and re-seed the following year.
Every time that I have planted it, this sage has attracted hummers. One year, I had some planted in containers which I moved inside at night when the deer came by. In the morning, I would find a hummingbird anxiously hovering outside the door, waiting for me to move it back outside.
It makes a wonderful alternative to the commercial nectar feeders because it doesn't require as much effort to maintain.