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Drought Tolerant

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Drought Tolerant

Drought tolerance is characterized by a plant's ability to get by on less water. Yet native climate often defines the boundaries of this trait. The plants in this list all share the ability to grow in arid conditions when water is scarce.

A plant that tolerates and perhaps thrives on less than 15 inches of annual rain may be overwhelmed by moisture in a state where drought lowers the annual average from 50 to 40 inches. But Flowers by the Sea also gladly provides information if you ask about Salvias and companion plants that are appropriate for drought in damper parts of the nation.

One definition of drought is a below-average amount of rain and snow over an extended period, such as during more than one growing season. Yet drought is caused by more than a shortfall of local precipitation.

Even if your area’s seasonal average of moisture is at a historically normal level, the level in another region may not be. If waterways and dams connect the two regions -- such as in the American West -- low river levels can mean decreased water storage and drought for both areas. Furthermore, if your region’s population is growing but its water supply isn’t, that can also lead to drought due to insufficiency.

This adds up to a web of trouble that can only be untangled through water conservation. One effective conservation measure is to design gardens with plants that are attractive yet need little water. These are called xeriscapes, waterwise landscapes and dry gardens.

Drought tolerance is closely connected to the term "xeric," a Greek word for "dry” and the root of xeriscape. Xeriscapic plants include species accustomed to arid climates or dry summer/wet winter growing conditions, such as along coastlines with Mediterranean climates.

The Salvias and companion plants in this list share the ability to grow when water is scarce. They are attractive even while surviving minimal summer water. Many are native to arid regions or are from Mediterranean climates.

Before ordering plants, please carefully consider your local growing conditions in order to select species that will be right for your climate and yard. We're happy to provide recommendations.

Plants


  • Salvia VIBE 'Ignition Purple'

    (Salvia VIBE®'Ignition Purple') Purple once was a color reserved for royalty. Salvia VIBE® 'Ignition Purple' has deep royal purple flowers that are rare in a Jame Sage hybrid.  They bloom spring to fall for your enjoyment.

    10.50
     


    New!
  • Salvia villosa

    (Hairy Sage) In 1877, J.G. Schaffner of Germany -- also known as Johann Wilhelm Schaffner -- collected the small, airy looking Salvia villosa while working as a pharmacist in the town of San Luis Potosi, Mexico.
    10.50
     


    Special Order Plant
    Special Order Plant   This plant is available by Special Order. Click for more information.
  • Salvia viscosa

    (Mid-East Sage) Native to the mountains shared by Israel and Lebanon, this tidy sage is drought resistant, heat tolerant and long blooming. Its basal foliage rises up and spreads only about 18 inches, but it has long flower spikes.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia x 'Allen Chickering'

    (Allen Chickering Sage) Whorls of tiny violet flowers punctuate the stems of this sage's fragrant, gray-green foliage. It is a hybrid of Salvia clevelandii and Salvia leucophylla.
    10.50
     


  • Salvia x 'Bee's Bliss'

    (Bee's Bliss Sage) If you are looking for a California native sage to use as a groundcover, Bee's Bliss is a fine choice. Low-growing, widespreading and colorful, it is ideal for choking weeds.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia x 'Celestial Blue'

    (Celestial Blue Sage) Fast growing and adaptable, this sage is a chance hybrid between Cleveland Sage (Salvia clevelandii) -- also called California Blue Sage -- and California Rose Sage (Salvia pachyphylla). It may also be related to California Purple Sage (Salvia leucophylla).

    10.50
     


  • Salvia x 'Christine Yeo'

    (Christine Yeo Sage) A chance hybrid of two Mexican sages --Salvia microphylla and S. chamaedryoides -- Christine Yeo Sage is long blooming and features deep purple flowers with white eyes.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia x 'Elk Bella Rosa'

    (Elk Bella Rosa Jame Sage) The large, creamy pink and burgundy flowers of this sage are stately in contrast with its deep green, veined, ovate foliage that is pleasantly fragrant. Elk Bella Rosa is as elegant as its name implies. It's also long blooming.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia x 'Elk Blue Moon II'

    (Elk Blue Moon II Jame Sage) The phrase "blue moon" signifies a rare event. Elk Blue Moon Jame Sage is an unusual combination for a Salvia x jamensis hybrid -- dusky violet flowers with pale-blue throats, dark blue calyxes and mid-green foliage.

    Note:  This is a new (2014) cultivar that we chose to replace the original 'Elk Blue Moon'.  It is a superior grower, and otherwise very similar.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia x 'Elk Bright Eyes'

    (Elk Bright Eyes Sage) Dark green and red calyxes support the raspberry-red flowers of Salvia x 'Elk Bright Eyes'. The pink throats of the blossoms are topped with white beelines, or eyes.  This is a unique and eyecatching color.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia x 'Elk Buttercup'

    (Elk Buttercup Jame Sage) Red flower buds unfurl into the surprisingly buttery yellow blossoms of Elk Buttercup. Subtly bicolored, the flowers have touches of light pink including fine hairs on the upper lip.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia x 'Elk Chantily Lace'

    (Elk Chantily Lace Jame Sage) What color are the flowers of this FBTS introduction?  Lavender? Periwinkle? Taffy?  Yes to all for this hard to describe but easy to love plant.

    10.50
     


    New!
  • Salvia x 'Elk Cotton Candy'

    (Elk Cotton Candy Jame Sage) Rosy hairs on the upper lip and pale white throats highlight the translucent, blush pink blossoms of Elk Cotton Candy Jame Sage. Dark, deeply contrasting calyxes support the medium-size flowers.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia x 'Elk Crimson King'

    (Elk Crimson King Jame Sage) Sometimes words fail us when trying to describe a unique new color. Definitely red, but with a clear blue overlay and a blue eye. Featuring masses of flowers that delight pollinators, this FBTS introduction is new for 2017.

    10.50
     


    New!
  • Salvia x 'Elk Lemon Light'

    (Elk Lemon Light Jame Sage) We are proud to offer this luminescent, pure yellow Salvia x jamensis -- a color breakthrough from our own breeding program. The bright, light blossoms cool the landscape similar to white flowers, but with colorful impact.  The glossy green leaves are quite small - a very attractive and distinctive characteristic.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia x 'Elk Lush Lavender'

    (Elk Lush Lavender Jame Sage) Pale white accents mark the throats of this sage's large, rich lavender flowers. In contrast, the calyxes cupping the blossoms are a dark blue-green. Overall, the look is serene.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia x 'Elk Peach Flambe'

    (Elk Peach Flambe Sage) Pale pink-to-peach edges surround the petals of Salvia x 'Elk Peach Flambe' like hints of petticoats. The deep maroon calyxes holding the flowers add drama to this small sage.

    10.50
     


    New!
  • Salvia x 'Elk Pink Cloud'

    (Elk Pink Cloud Sage) Abounding with clusters of large, soft pink flowers on spreading branches, Salvia x 'Elk Pink Cloud' has a fluffy, cumulonimbus look when spilling over the edges of a hanging basket

    10.50
     


    New!
  • Salvia x 'Elk Plum Parfait'

    (Elk Plum Parfait Jame Sage) It's a toss-up as to which are more dramatic -- the deep purple calyxes so dark they almost look black or the plum-colored flowers with pronounced white beelines. Elk Plum Parfait is a rare treat.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia x 'Elk Twilight's Rosy Glow'

    (Elk Twilight's Rosy Glow Jame Sage) Rosy red hairs accentuate the upper lip of each dusky, salmon-pink blossom of this cheery Jame Sage. The flowers are tiny but abundant and are supported by bright green calyxes.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia x 'Elk White Ice'

    (Elk White Ice Jame Sage) Never before have we seen such a pure white among the species to which Jame Sages are related. We love this purity as well as the bright green calyxes supporting the large flowers of Elk White Ice and giving it an overall crisp look.

    10.50
     


    New!
  • Salvia x 'Gayle Nielson'

    (Gayle Nielson Hybrid Sage) Whorl-like clusters of violet-blue flowers on slender stems as well as its height and width indicate that Gayle Nielson Hybrid Sage is related to some form of Salvia clevelandii.

    10.50
     


    New!
  • Salvia x 'John Whittlesey'

    (John Whittlesey Sage) Hardy, vigorous and long blooming, John Whittlesey Sage is a hybrid of D'Arcy's Sage (Salvia darcyi) -- a native of Mexico -- and Mountain Sage (S. microphylla), which is native to the American Southwest and Mexico.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia x 'Maraschino'

    (Cherry Red Mountain Sage) This isn't just another red sage. Brilliant cherry-red flowers with dark purple bracts and cold weather tolerance to USDA Zone 6 make this a valuable landscaping plant.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia x 'Nuevo Leon'

    (Nuevo Leon Hybrid Sage) Imagine tiny, smooth, green leaves and deeper lavender-blue flowers than those of Salvia lycioides x greggii 'San Isidro'. With its midnight purple flowers, Nuevo Leon is a dramatic Salvia greggii hybrid.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia x 'Pozo Blue'

    (Grey Musk Sage) Lavender flowered, this is a fast-growing, chance hybrid of California Blue Sage (Salvia clevelandii) and California Purple Sage (Salvia leucophylla).
    10.50
     


  • Salvia x 'Purple Stem'

    (Purple Stem Sage) Deep purple stems and cobalt blue flowers with pronounced white beelines and dusky gray calyxes cause this sage to command attention.

    11.50
     


    New!
  • Salvia x 'Sally Greenwood'

    (Sally Greenwood Sage) Sally Greenwood's small gray-green leaves are a striking backdrop for the complicated, velvety royal purple of its abundant flowers overlaid with a blue sheen. It's an unusual sage both in color and its tight, mounding habit.
    10.50
     


  • Salvia x 'Scarlet Spires'

    (Scarlet Spires Sage) This is a brilliant cross between the sturdy D'Arcy's Sage (Salvia darcyi) and the beautifully colored 'Raspberry Delight' Littleleaf Sage (Salvia microphylla 'Raspberry Delight').

    10.50
     


  • Salvia x 'Starlight'

    (Starlight Sage) This is a white-flowering hybrid of White Sage (Salvia apiana) and Black Sage (Salvia mellifera), two California natives often seen growing together in the wild. Starlight blooms from winter into summer, attracting honeybees.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia x 'Waverly'

    (Waverly Sage) A pale pink to lavender blush adds delicate color to the white flowers of Waverly Sage, which are supported by plum-colored calyxes. Its mid-green leaves are lance shaped and veined.

    10.50
     


  • Salvia x jamensis 'California Sunset'

    (California Sunset Hybrid Jame Sage) Entranced is the only word to describe how we felt when we first saw the sunset pastels of this Jame Sage. After growing it for multiple seasons, we are just as impressed by its compact, well-branched form.
    10.50
     


  • Salvia x jamensis 'Caviar'

    (Caviar Hybrid Jame Sage) Rosy green calyxes support the long-blooming, creamy salmon-pink flowers of this Jame Sage. It creates lots of buzz among honeybees and hummingbirds seeking its rich nectar and pollen. Caviar is a hybrid of Autumn Sage (Salvia greggii) and Mountain Sage (Salvia microphylla).
    10.50
     


  • Salvia x jamensis 'Dyson's Orangy Pink'

    (Dyson's Orangy Pink Hybrid Jame Sage) Many Salvia x jamensis hybrids remind gardeners of sunrise, such as Dyson's Orangy Pink. Light green calyxes faintly striped with red cup its luminous pale salmon pink blossoms with creamy throats.

    10.50
     


    New!
  • Salvia x jamensis 'Full Moon'

    (Full Moon Hybrid Jame Sage) The luminescent, bicolor pastels of many Salvia x jamensis are difficult to capture in photos, but easy to appreciate when viewed up close. Full Moon is a compact, long-flowering Jame Sage that has pale, creamy yellow blossoms with a touch of rose that are cupped by dark green calyxes.
    10.50
     


  • Salvia x jamensis 'Shell Dancer'

    (Shell Dancer Sage) So many sages combine resilience and loveliness. This includes Salvia 'Shell Dancer', which withstands heat and drought yet has delicate looking blossoms and lush green foliage.

    10.50
     




Take a Quick Look at a group of Salvias
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Reviews


Plant is doing well but not yet the showy plant described. Providing great late summer color and survived a week of 100+ temps without any attention.
Ms. linda allen
Sep 7, 2017