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: Sep 8, 2016 06:19 PM Synopsis: Drought resistant California native sages thrive when planted in fall. It's easier for roots to become established when soil is warm, air temperatures are cooler and precipitation is increasing. Ask Mr. Sage is a regular feature of the Everything Salvias Blog and is based on calls and emails from customers.
Category:Ask Mr. Sage Posted: Jul 19, 2016 07:15 PM Synopsis: It's understandable to worry about the condition of plants following shipment in a box. However, Flowers by the Sea Online Plant Nursery is exceedingly careful to make sure your plants arrive in healthy condition. A satisfied customer sent us the photos in this article. Step by step, they illustrate the process of unpacking and hardening off FBTS plants received by 3-day ground delivery more than 1200 miles away from our Northern California farm.
Category:News Posted: Jul 13, 2016 08:44 PM Synopsis: Sometimes small changes help online plant nurseries to stay upbeat and, as the Bee Gees sang, to "keep staying alive." Flowers by the Sea, a specialty online Salvia nursery, has made a small increase in its minimum order fee from $20 to $25 to stay profitable and keep providing a wide variety of popular and rare Salvias and companion plants.
It is ironic that one of the least social types of birds inspires so much sociability in human beings. We refer to hummingbirds, which are the object of festivals and the communal effort of bird banding research nationwide. This is the third and final article in a series about renowned hummingbird expert Nancy L. Newfield, who grows many Salvias in her hummingbird gardens. We recount a visit to Louisiana to observe Newfield and her team banding hummingbirds in winter. You'll also find a rainbow of top hummingbird Salvias listed here.
Category:Everything Salvias Blog Posted: May 13, 2016 03:00 AM Synopsis: Botanists, horticulturists and gardening enthusiasts who love the Salvia genus are invited to Salvia Summit III – a global conference taking place from Friday, October 7, to Sunday October 9, 2016 in Berkeley, California. Lectures will be held at the Environmental Education Center of Tilden Regional Park, which is on the Berkeley boundary of the 2,079-acre park.
Category:Sage Experts Posted: May 5, 2016 03:00 AM Synopsis: Salvias are among the best hummingbird flowers and red is tops. That's what hummingbird researcher, Nancy L. Newfield began discovering more than 40 years ago. She found that flower nectar was more attractive than nectar feeders. This is the second article in a 3-part series on Newfield and hummingbird gardening. It includes an excerpt from her book Hummingbird Gardens and an FBTS list of red hummingbird favorites. Bud Hensley photographed the hummingbird pictured here enjoying Salvia subrotunda.
Category:Ask Mr. Sage Posted: Apr 19, 2016 07:04 PM Synopsis: A California native sage that looks like it is suffering from drought may actually have root disease caused by a water mold called Phytophthora. Natives are affected by types of this pathogen that strike when soil is moist and temperatures are hot. Ask Mr. Sage is a regular feature of the Everything Salvias Blog and is based on calls and emails from customers.
Category:Sage Experts Posted: Mar 28, 2016 03:23 PM Synopsis: Renowned hummingbird bander Nancy Newfield of southern Louisiana shares her journey from 1970s stay-at-home mom to citizen scientist and one of the nation's leading hummingbird researchers. This is the first article in a three-part series about Newfield's work and gardens, which abound with Salvias to feed hungry hummingbirds that overwinter in her suburban yard near New Orleans. It includes plant lists and the Louisiana Winter Hummingbird Project tally of banded hummingbirds from 1979 to 2015.
Category:Container Gardening Posted: Mar 10, 2016 04:50 PM Synopsis: Container plantings are welcome islands of color and fragrance whether in small or large yards. Their emergence signals the pleasures of summer, including icy glasses of lemonade. Potted plants have a mighty thirst, as well. Container garden plans for Salvias and companion plants need to factor in greater frequency of watering than the plants would receive in-ground.
Category:Getting Started with Salvias Posted: Feb 23, 2016 08:28 AM Synopsis: Salvias are a broad range of true sages in the mint family that grow worldwide. They include shrubs, perennials, annuals and subshrubs, which share both shrub and perennial characteristics. Flowers by the Sea, an online, mail-order Salvia nursery sells hundreds of Salvias.
One of my fav salvia. Grown near SFO, the plant is a vigorous grower. It is usually about 7ft tall in the summer and fall, and pruned down to 1-2ft in the winter.
The plant has a slightly "off" smell, but not too offensive.
I have been ordering plants from Flowers by The Sea for three years. I have received over 200 plants in that period, and they have always been healthy, clean, great looking plants. I usually get my plants on Tuesday and each Tuesday it feels like Christmas. Opening the carefully packed box and unwrapping each plant, I feel like a kid, getting just what I wanted and expected. After you put th...
— David Holland
We love our flower. They are doing great here in Oklahoma. Thank you so much for all your help.
— Tim and Connie Robinson
All four Salvias arrived in excellent condition. Set out immediately and noticed great root structure in all as I removed from pot. Set out in fall in Texas. First freeze scheduled for week of 11-12-14. Mulched well. Crossing fingers. NH
— Nancy Hancock
My last plants were broken on arrival.I called and was told to wait a month.Yup! They are dead as doornails.
— patricia small
Very nice healthy plants arrived at my door. Great packaging to keep them safe. I received emails for taking care of my plants, when they would be shipped and when to expect them. I have beautiful growing salvia that are blooming black and blue already. Extremely happy with this company. Really appreciate all the information. Thanks Flowers by the Sea...great job.
— Cathy Stoops
Superb packing and beautiful plants! So glad I bought from FBTS!
— Scott D
I love Fowers By The Sea ! Their plants always arrive arrive carefully packed and ready to grow. The quality of the plants are excellent. All have been vigorous , healthy and beautiful ! I've not had a single problem with any of my orders. Flowers By The Sea is top notch and if grades were given (retired teacher) I'd give them A+.
— spencer cornish
The plants we received are excellent in every way. With just a couple of weeks in the ground, there is already a bloom stalk on Mango Popsicle. We couldn't be more pleased. We will definitely recommend you, and have done so on one of the ATP Forums.
— Janice Krause
Careful attention to detail wins my loyalty. The plants arrived in flawless condition. Their wrapping paper still damp!!!! The plants them selves are hearty and healthy. I love exploring the world of salvias in my challenging environment.
— Judy aries
Great service, outstanding selection. I'd order from them again.