Plant of the Month – Purple Phlomis

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Purple Phlomis
Purple Jerusalem Sage
Phlomis purpurea 

  • Plant Form: Evergreen shrub
  • Water Use: Low
  • Mature Size: 2-4 ft. tall x 3-4 ft. wide
  • Exposure: Full sun, light shade
  • Bloom Time: Spring (Mar-May), Summer (June-Aug)
  • Native to: Spain, Portugal, Morocco
  • Hardiness: Cold hardy to 15°F

There is so much to like about Purple Phlomis! It thrives in hot, dry areas of your yard while needing very little water, produces unusual but beautiful purple flowers from spring through summer, has leaves so soft you want to pet them, and takes heat and cold in stride.

Purple Phlomis offers a beautiful solution for hot, dry areas of a yard, forming a large mound of wooly leaves with whorls of rose-lavender, hooded flowers skewered in tiers on long spikes of fuzzy stems. Its softness belies it tough nature, since it is drought-tolerant, heat tolerant, cold hardy, low maintenance, resists browsing by deer, and requires very little summer water once established. Butterflies and bees love the flowers, adding good habitat to your yard. The cut flowers make nice bouquets, and after the flowers fall away, the seedpods create interesting dried arrangements. Flowers allowed to go to seed attract songbirds in fall and winter. Cut back to about 1 foot tall in late fall. While this drought-tolerant shrub tolerates some shade, it may get leggy with too much shade. Use as an accent or specimen plant, in borders and beds, or massed in the garden. Ideal plant for rock gardens, butterfly and hummingbird gardens, Mediterranean gardens, and any xeriscape garden.      

Check out our “Garden Tasks” for May