We began publishing our Everything Salvias blog in 2010 for your enjoyment and to help you "get it right" when growing sages that are often unavailable at local garden centers.
It seems like there is an endless bounty of stories to be told. But that's to be expected when covering a genus containing an estimated 900 species -- the largest group within the mint family (Lamiaceae). In addition to Salvias, we write about other species that are either mint family members or low-water companions for our many drought-tolerant Salvias. We welcome comments as well as suggestions for future blog posts.
To access articles rapidly based on your interests, please click on the categories below, which include do-it-yourself videos (Views from the Garden). If you subscribe to our RSS feed by clicking on the small orange button feed button
, you'll receive announcements when new blog articles appear. But please note: This is a dangerous place for a sage lover.
Category:Ask Mr. Sage Posted: Oct 19, 2014 02:55 PM Synopsis: Learn how to prevent root rot and keep dry-garden Salvias healthy by providing optimum growing conditions and avoiding overwatering. Ask Mr. Sage is a Q&A feature based on topics raised in calls and emails to Flowers by the Sea. This one, which concerns a Salvia species that is drought resistant and native to a dry climate, considers how to identify and prevent rot caused by a complex of soil pathogens that attack when roots.
Category:Views from the Garden Posted: Oct 15, 2014 08:51 AM Synopsis: Beneficial insects help control destructive insects in greenhouses and gardens. Flowers by the Sea uses beneficials to keep plants free of pests and to avoid use of harmful pesticides. FBTS is a horticultural farm in Northern California specializing in hundreds of ornamental Salvia species. In this video, FBTS horticulturist and co-owner Kermit Carter talks about the use of predatory mites called Persimilis and Fallacis to attack plant-eating spider mites and Encarsia wasps to control whiteflies. Carter shows how a tiny box from an insectary contains thousands of helpful insects, including ladybugs, which keep his farm free of pests. The microscopically small predatory mites come packaged with bean leaves that make it easy to distribute them in the garden. Paper strips for overhead hanging contain the wasp eggs. This video is part of the FBTS blog series Views from the Garden.
Category:Sage Experts Posted: Oct 9, 2014 06:00 AM Synopsis: A chance encounter with Pineapple Sage led organic chemist Dr. Richard F. Dufresne to become one of America's leading Salvia researchers. Sage Experts focuses on specialists -- both professionals and amateurs -- who have helped popularize the Salvia genus. Dufresne's life course changed the day he visited Rhode Island's Biodynamic Meadowbrook Herb Farm. The study of chemistry had already helped him to emerge from childhood confusion caused by ADHD. Discovering the heady pineapple fragrance of Salvia elegans at Meadowbrook gave him a cause.
Category:Everything Salvias Blog Posted: Oct 8, 2014 11:04 AM Synopsis: You don’t have to be a florist to create eye-catching designs with dramatic Salvias. By planting the right Salvias and complementary flowers in your garden as well as gaining a little knowledge about color combinations, well-balanced compositions, simple tools and cut-flower preservation, you are on your way.
Category:Ask Mr. Sage Posted: Oct 5, 2014 08:25 PM Synopsis: Overwatering harms desert plants more than underwatering. When growing them, you need to consider the quantity, duration and timing of watering. Excellent soil drainage is also essential. This article talks about how to identify overwatering and establish an effective watering schedule. Ask Mr. Sage is a Q&A feature based on topics raised in calls and emails to FBTS.
Category:Ask Mr. Sage Posted: Oct 3, 2014 08:55 PM Synopsis: It isn't easy being completely green. Flowers by the Sea explains why polystyrene packing peanuts are essential for shipping and what you can do with them after unpacking your orders. Ecofriendly reuses include donating them to shipping companies and using them to lighten container plantings. Ask Mr. Sage is a Q&A feature based on topics raised in calls and emails to FBTS.
Category:Sage Words About Wildlife Posted: Sep 29, 2014 06:00 AM Synopsis: Forgive the bad pun, but we almost wouldn't be without bees. These tiny pollinators make it possible for us to eat and experience the flowering beauty of the world around us. Honeybees -- the kind managed by beekeepers -- and thousands of wild species pollinate at least one-third of the plant species we eat. At Flowers by the Sea we've decided to improve our efforts to help the genus Apis. Our first step is to make it easier for you to find plants honeybees frequent by making our catalog easier to search for bee favorites.
Category:Cultivating Color Posted: Sep 23, 2014 08:49 PM Synopsis: It isn't easy describing green in the garden. Foliage can span greens so pale they are almost white to blue-greens so deep they murmur the forest primeval. Amid this range, you'll find shimmering silver- and gray-leaf species. To locate these types of Salvias and companion plants in the Flowers by the Sea catalog, please visit our new Gray and Silver Leaf Plants category in our catalog menu at the top of every page on our website. This article includes a small sampler of our selection.
Category:Views from the Garden Posted: Sep 20, 2014 09:19 PM Synopsis: Fall pruning of Salvias requires only light trimming of spent blossoms, which is known as deadheading. It increases bloom for Autumn Sage (Salvia greggii) and Mountain Sage (Salvia microphylla), which are particularly abundant with flowers in autumn. In this video from Northern California's Flowers by the Sea farm, FBTS horticulturist and co-owner Kermit Carter, shows how to use sharp hand pruners to quickly remove flower spikes that have gone to seed. Carter explains how flowering plants have less energy to put into blossoming if they are setting seed. Removal of spent blossoms improves a plant's appearance and makes continuous bloom possible. FBTS specializes in the Salvia genus, which contains some 900 species. This video is part of the farm and online nursery's blog series Views from the Garden.
Category:Ask Mr. Sage Posted: Sep 20, 2014 04:46 PM Synopsis: Learn how to determine the best start and stop times for fall planting. Ask Mr. Sage is a Q&A feature based on topics raised in calls and emails to Flowers by the Sea. This post concerns fall planting and provides tools for making decisions based on local frost dates and temperatures.
Clearly I am addicted to Flowers by the Sea! I think I've just about ordered at least one of everything! The plants are all super healthy, and arrive in great shape owing to the (patented?) packing method. The hummingbirds, bees and butterflies are in 7th heaven. I HIGHLY recommend FBTS for all the plants they offer, not just the salvias. I got some terrestrial orchids that are doing...
— Laurel Burik
I recently received my very first order from Flowers by the Sea Nursery in Northern California. It won't be my last. I had researched a lot online about Salivas and although many of the more exciting varieties seemed suitable for my climate -- I knew no nursery that grew them -- meaning I would have to try growing them from seed (not exactly my first choice). Then I found Flowers by the ...
— Dan Tyson
Although the plants from FBTS are smaller than you would get if you bought them in gallons, they go into the ground really well! I recently redid an area of the front yard with a combination of gallon plants from the local nursery and smaller plants from FBTS, and while almost all the plants from gallon pots look stressed and partially died back, the plants from FBTS all look happy and healthy....
— Brooke M
When I received my order the plant had snapped in half during shipping, I contacted them and told them about it and they promptly sent me a replacement that arrived in awesome condition! The plants were both very healthy and green despite the first one being broken. The quality of the plants was far above any other nursery I have ordered from.
I am a delighted returning customer. FBTS provides beautiful, healthy plants with friendly and fast service.
I was feeling glum today, and then UPS delivered my new plants from FBTS (doing a nice job of placing the box right side up). I opened it immediately to discover that all the plants were moist, green and healthy. I fell in love with the sweet fragrances of Salvia lyciodes x greggii 'Ultra Violet' and Salvia lyciodes x greggii 'Ultra Violet' as well as the fascinating variety...
I recently received my first order of salvias from Flowers by the Sea. The plants were immaculately packaged. All the salvias had well developed root systems without being potbound. Despite their long journey they have a recovered quickly. I am very reliant on specialist mail order plant nurseries due to my location and this is one of the best I have ever used! I will definitely rely on them ag...
— Cindy Evans
I am always hesitant to order plants by mail, having had some disappointing experiences, but my first order from Flowers by the Sea was perfect in every way. We marveled at the incredible care shown in the way the plants were packed for shipping. All 14 plants in our order (mostly salvias) arrived in perfect condition and perfect health, many with blooms, all with clear signs of ongoing growth....
— Ananda Patterson
I just received my 1st order of plants and I am thrilled by the condition and by the quick delivery time. Spectacular service.May I suggest that you include your excellent print out on after- care of plants upon receipt with orders.
— Carol Terry
The plants I received yesterday arrived in great shape, thanks for the extra care you took in packing! I've purchased quite a few salvias recently but can't comment much on any of them yet as they're all too new. I'm trying a variety and excited to see if they all survive the winter here in Portland, Oregon. Thanks again.