Surface to 1/16"; requires light
Sow indoors 6-8 weeks before setting out after frost. Use a sterile seed starting mix and cover lightly with vermiculite to retain humidity. Water from the bottom by placing in a tray so that the water is soaked up instead of wetting the foliage to prevent damping off. Keep at about 65-75°F until all have germinated then grow on at 55F.
Direct sow in zones 7+ after last frost.
PLACEMENT & CULTIVATION
Mealy-cup sage is native to Texas and Mexico, where it is perennial. In northern gardens it is a reliably vigorous grower that comes into its own midsummer when it is full of upright flower wands of beaded florets that look as if covered in shorn velvet. It attracts butterflies and tolerates heat and drought. Site in cottage gardens, mixed borders and large containers. Pinch back once plants reach 6" tall to encourage bushiness, and deadhead for neatness and continued bloom. Wonderful cut for bouquets.
About 1" per week, though it will tolerate some drought
Prior to planting, mix in about 2" of compost. A midseason application of organic fertilizer is beneficial for continued bloom all season.
Diseases & Pests:
Prevent powdery mildew by spacing plants apart for increased air circulation. Aphids can be washed off leaves with a strong stream of water or insecticidal soap applications.
When to Cut for Bouquets:
Cut when about 1/2 of florets are open.