An Unexpected Star: Rose Marvel Sage

When I received samples of these Rose Marvel sage from Ball Floraplant last year I had mixed first impressions. I'm not usually a fan of pink – although this did at least have some depth to the color which intrigued me and really pushes towards more of a rosy-lavender shade. However, since I have found sage to be drought tolerant and both deer and rabbit resistant I knew I at least had to give it a fair trial. I'm so glad I did!

Garden-worthy attributes

Sandwiched between dwarf lavender (Lavandula angustifolia SuperBlue) and Rheingold arborvitae the colorful fat spikes of Rose Marvel sage really pop

Key facts

  • Grows 10-12" high (the basal foliage) – the flowering spikes take the height to 24"
  • Best in full sun (6-8 hours direct sun)
  • Average-dry soil
  • Hardy in zones 4a-9b

Personal notes

  • I have never fertilized these.
  • My soil in the test area is average, somewhat moisture retentive, amended clay. I use a mulch to conserve moisture and suppress weeds
  • My test area received 8 hours of direct sun in summer
  • These were given supplemental water once a week during their first season. I don't expect them to need any this year (year 2)
  • In year 2 (this year) these started blooming in mid-May and still have flowers five weeks later. In year 1 (last year) I received them as small, non-blooming plants in May or June. They began flowering in early August and continued until late September.

Combination ideas

Even the faded flower spikes have color which echoes the blooms of a DoublePlay Painted Lady spirea

Where to buy

These should be readily available at all good nurseries and garden centers. I also found a few online stores that still had them in stock (many were sold out for the season). Try here, here, and  here.

Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with any of these online stores and cannot personally vouch for their quality or service – but would love to hear from you if you choose to purchase from them.


  1. Belinda on June 25, 2019 at 4:10 am

    Thanks for the review of this plant. Happy to know about any garden addition that is rabbit resistant.

    • Karen Chapman on June 25, 2019 at 9:57 am

      Exactly how I feel!!