Italian Phlomis Phlomis italica

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Non-toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
Balearic Island sage


Phlomis italica, commonly known as Balearic Island sage, is a perennial plant that is renowned for its distinctive foliage and flowers. This plant bears a series of sage-like, textured leaves that exhibit a rich green hue, often with a slightly fuzzy or hairy surface, which is typical of many plants in sage families. The leaves are arranged oppositely on the stems, creating a visually pleasing symmetry. The Balearic Island sage blooms with whorls of hooded flowers that can be of a soft pink to purplish color, adding a splash of color to the landscape. These flowers are tightly packed in tiered rings around the upright, multi-branched stems and are known to attract pollinators, including bees and butterflies. The plant itself presents a bushy appearance with a robust, woody base from which its stems extend. Overall, the appearance of Phlomis italica is characterized by its sage-like leaves and showy flowers which sit atop leafy stems, contributing to its overall ornamental value. Even when not in bloom, the Balearic Island sage's foliage provides a pleasing backdrop for other plants in a garden setting.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Balearic Island Sage, Italian Phlomis

    • Common names

      Phlomis italica.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Phlomis italica, commonly known as Italian Jeruslaem Sage, is not widely recognized as a poisonous plant to humans. Despite this, it is always advisable to exercise caution and avoid ingesting plants that are not commonly used as food, as individuals can have allergic reactions or individual sensitivities to plants that are otherwise considered non-toxic.

    • To pets

      Italian Jerusalem Sage is not commonly listed as a toxic plant to pets. However, pets may have different sensitivities, and individual animals can sometimes react poorly to plant materials that are not traditionally considered poisonous. If you suspect your pet has ingested this plant and is showing signs of illness such as vomiting, diarrhea, or changes in behavior, consult a veterinarian promptly.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      3 feet (0.91 meters)

    • Spread

      3 feet (0.91 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Ecological Support: Provides nectar and pollen for bees and other pollinating insects, supporting biodiversity.
    • Drought Tolerance: P. italica is well-adapted to dry conditions, requiring minimal water once established, which conserves resources.
    • Landscaping: With its attractive foliage and flowers, Phlomis italica can enhance the aesthetic value of gardens and landscapes.
    • Erosion Control: The root system helps to stabilize soil, reducing erosion especially in arid and semi-arid regions.
    • Wildlife Habitat: Native species like P. italica provide suitable habitat and shelter for local wildlife, contributing to ecosystem health.
    • Seasonal Interest: Offers vibrant color and visual interest during its blooming season, generally in late spring or early summer.
    • Cultural Significance: Phlomis italica may have cultural or historical importance in certain regions where it is indigenous or has been traditionally used.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    • Anti-inflammatory: Phlomis italica is believed to contain compounds that can help reduce inflammation.
    • Antimicrobial: The plant may have properties that inhibit the growth of certain bacteria and fungi.
    • Antioxidant: It may possess antioxidants that protect cells from damage caused by free radicals.
    Please note that information on the medical properties of Phlomis italica may not be well-documented in scientific literature, and the uses mentioned might be based on traditional or anecdotal evidence rather than clinical studies. Always consult with a healthcare provider before using any plant for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Phlomis italica, commonly known as Italian Phlomis, can be used as a natural dye source, providing a range of colors depending on the mordant used.
    • The dense, woolly foliage of Italian Phlomis can be used as a stuffing material for small cushions or as an insulating layer in traditional crafts.
    • Because of its structural form, Italian Phlomis can be planted as part of a wildlife garden to provide shelter and nesting sites for birds and insects.
    • The dried flowers and leaves of Italian Phlomis can be incorporated into potpourri mixes for their texture and aesthetic appeal.
    • Italian Phlomis can be used in landscape design as a natural erosion control agent due to its sturdy root system.
    • Fibers extracted from the stems of Italian Phlomis can be used in the making of paper or for crafting small, decorative items.
    • When dried, the robust stems of Italian Phlomis can be used as natural kindling for fire starting in camping and outdoor activities.
    • As a natural repellent, the aromatic leaves of Italian Phlomis can be scattered to deter pests in gardens and homes.
    • Italian Phlomis can serve as a companion plant in agriculture, possibly deterring specific pests due to its scent and foliage.
    • The seeds of Italian Phlomis, when dried, can be used for creating textured elements in jewelry or as beads in craft projects.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    Italian Phlomis is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    Italian Phlomis is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Resilience - Phlomis italica, commonly known as Balearic Island Sage, is adapted to dry, rocky soils and harsh sunlight, symbolizing the ability to thrive under tough conditions.
    • Protection - With its sturdy and robust nature, this plant symbolizes a protective barrier, often cultivated in gardens to signify a safe haven or sanctuary.
    • Healing - Balearic Island Sage is used in traditional medicine, representing healing and the restoration of balance.
    • Adaptation - The plant's capability to endure in diverse environments symbolizes adaptability and the capacity to adjust to various life circumstances.

Every 1-2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Spring to Summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    The Balearic Island Sage generally prefers dry to medium moisture levels and requires less frequent watering. It is a drought-tolerant plant that can be watered once every 7 to 10 days during the active growth season and even less during dormancy in winter. When watering, provide a deep soak to encourage deep root growth, using approximately 1 to 1.5 gallons per plant, ensuring that the soil is allowed to dry out between watering sessions. Adjust the frequency based on the weather conditions and the soil's moisture level, as overwatering can lead to root rot.

  • sunLight

    Balearic Island Sage thrives best in full sun with at least six hours of direct sunlight daily. It adapts well to various lighting conditions but for optimal growth and flowering, choose a spot where it receives ample sunlight throughout the day. It can tolerate partial shade but may not bloom as prolifically.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Balearic Island Sage prefers warm climates and grows best in temperatures between 60°F and 80°F. It can tolerate a minimum temperature down to about 25°F but should be protected from frost. This plant is not suited for very cold environments and should not be exposed to temperatures below the freezing point for extended periods.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning Balearic Island Sage is essential for maintaining a compact and tidy growth habit, as well as promoting more vigorous blooming. Prune in the late winter or early spring before new growth begins, removing any dead or damaged stems and shaping the plant as desired. Pruning can be done annually to encourage fresh growth and to keep the plant looking its best.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Italian Phlomis requires well-draining soil with sandy or loamy characteristics, ideally with a pH ranging from 6.0 to 7.5. A mixture of two parts potting soil, one part coarse sand or perlite, and a handful of peat or compost is recommended to ensure good drainage and fertility.

  • plantRepotting

    Italian Phlomis doesn't need frequent repotting; it should be done every 2-3 years or when the plant outgrows its current container. Choose a slightly larger pot to give the roots room to expand.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Italian Phlomis can tolerate a wide range of humidity levels but will thrive best in conditions that replicate its natural Mediterranean habitat, which means it prefers a drier environment.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place in bright, indirect light with good air circulation.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in full sun and shelter from strong winds.

    • Hardiness zone

      7-10 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Phlomis italica, commonly known as Balearic Island sage, begins its life cycle with seed germination, which is highly dependent on environmental conditions like temperature and moisture. The seedlings develop into rosettes with large, hairy leaves during the vegetative stage. The plants enter the reproductive stage in late spring or early summer, sending up tall spikes adorned with whorls of yellow flowers that attract pollinators such as bees. After pollination, the flowers develop into nutlet fruits, which are dry and contain seeds that are dispersed by wind or animal activity. The plant is perennial, so it can survive through multiple seasons, entering a period of dormancy in the winter with lower temperatures and shorter daylight hours. In the following spring, it regrows from the rootstock, continuing its life cycle for several years.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring to Summer

    • Phlomis italica, commonly known as Balearic Island sage, is best propagated through seed sowing. Seeds can be sown in late winter to early spring, ideally in a greenhouse or indoors where temperatures are controlled. The seeds should be placed on the surface of a well-draining seed starting mix, lightly covered with soil, and kept moist but not wet. Germination can be enhanced by providing a temperature of around 70°F (approximately 21°C). Once seedlings have grown large enough to handle, they can be transplanted into individual pots and gradually acclimatized to outdoor conditions before planting them out in their final positions in late spring or early summer. This method is favored for its simplicity and effectiveness in producing new plants that are true to the parent species.