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:Sage Experts Posted: Jul 19, 2014 11:31 AM Synopsis: The Sage Experts series focuses on Salvia specialists — both amateurs and professionals -- in settings ranging from botanic gardens to universities. Kathy Musial, curator of live collections at Southern California's Huntington Gardens, is the subject of this profile. If you imagine a great dinner party involving lots of garden talk, Kathy Musial would be an ideal guest who could share her experiences plant trekking in Australia and Chile or co-managing some 14,000 varieties of plants at Huntington.
Category:Salvia Small Talk Posted: Jul 18, 2014 11:10 AM Synopsis: Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay once housed prisoners, many of whom helped beautify "The Rock" by working in prison gardens. Nowadays, volunteer gardeners keep the island flowering with the help of long-blooming, drought-tolerant Salvias
Category:Ask Mr. Sage Posted: Jul 18, 2014 10:53 AM Synopsis: Ask Mr. Sage is a question-and-answer feature based on calls and emails received at Flowers by the Sea. This inquiry concerns whether FBTS ships plants to foreign countries and parts of the nation outside the continental U.S. The simple answer is "Yes." The complicated answer about shipping to foreign countries is that the process is time consuming, costly and highly regulated. We won't break exportation rules
Category:Portraits in Gardening Posted: Jul 14, 2014 07:00 AM Synopsis:Portraits in Gardening is a new blog series from Flowers by the Sea that profiles customers who are passionate about the Salvia genus. This post features Illinois gardener Michael Kampf who has succeeded in growing many kinds of Salvias despite the frigid winters and fiercely hot summers of the Chicago area. He began gardening when 6 years old with encouragement from his mother and fell in love with Salvias at age 12.
Flowers by the Sea ships plants year round. However, at any given time we may be out of stock for plants in high demand. Clicking on the Email me when back in stock button causes you to receive an email immediately when the plant is back in stock. Our limited availability policy explains why the production of some plants is limited to particular times of year.
Category:Everything Salvias Blog Posted: Jul 2, 2014 11:02 PM Synopsis: Pollinators lose important food sources when Salvias and other nectar-rich flowers are destroyed by spider mites. This is Part 2 of a two-part series about understanding and overcoming these dangerous pests. Along with the non-chemical interventions described in Part 1 of this series, gardeners sometimes need the help of predatory insects and mites, insecticidal soaps and horticultural oils. Pesticides called miticides may also eventually be necessary, but should be the last resort.
Category:Everything Salvias Blog Posted: Jun 30, 2014 12:38 AM Synopsis: Salvias often suffer when spider mites become legion in gardens. This is Part 1 of a two-part series about understanding and overcoming these dangerous pests. As summer temperatures rise, so do the numbers of the family Tetranychidae -- spider mites -- especially if conditions are dry. Controlling spider mites in your Salvia garden may be as simple as keeping plants hydrated and regularly spraying the little nippers off foliage. Or it may take a number of interventions, including biological controls, such as predatory mites, as well as the use of insecticidal soaps, oils and pesticides
Category:New at FBTS Posted: Jun 25, 2014 01:28 AM Synopsis: Most bat faces only look beautiful to their mothers. However bat-faced Cuphea schumannii seems pretty as punch to hummingbirds in search of a sweet drink of nectar. If you take a close look at the ragged, open end of each flower, you'll see two, tiny, lavender petals standing straight up like bat or mouse ears. So, despite its common name, Orange Cigar Plant, this species is known as a bat-faced Cuphea. Aside from being excellent for attracting pollinators, Cupheas are becoming important agricultural crops that reduce pesticide use.
Category:Everything Salvias Blog Posted: Jun 22, 2014 02:23 PM Synopsis: Sage Experts is a new feature on our Everything Salvias blog. It focuses on horticulturalists -- both amateurs and professionals -- in settings ranging from botanic gardens to universities. All have expertise in cultivating plants in the Salvia genus. This first profile talks about Argentina's Rolando Uria, an agronomy professor at the University of Buenos Aires and a presenter at the 2013 Salvia Summit II. Uria is well known for discovering Salvia 'Amistad'.
Category:Everything Salvias Blog Posted: Jun 17, 2014 11:22 PM Synopsis: Native plants, including California's many indigenous sages, are like the boys or girls next door who were overlooked until outsiders discovered their good looks and other fine attributes. For the longest time, native species didn’t get respect in home gardening – a sizeable oversight considering that California alone has more than 5,500 native plants. Natives are roughly defined as species that were growing in America before European colonization. Flowers by the Sea cultivates hardy, drought-resistant California Salvias that are native to a broad swath of the West Coast ranging from Northern Baja to Southern Oregon. The 26 California natives detailed here are all drought resistant and many tolerate heat. They are well suited to waterwise, xeriscapic landscapes, including dry gardens in which plants must survive despite almost no supplemental watering.
This is a really beautiful sage. Seems to love the dry heat of inland empire southern California where mine have been growing surprisingly rapidly. Nice bushy shape, attractive mid green foliage, and blooms a lot in 90+ weather in full sun, zone...
WOW!!! I just received another shipment of plants froom FBTS. These plants are Beautiful. Perfect condition big healthy salvias!I can't say enough positive things about Kermit and Vikki. By far the best place to buy salvias from. I wouldn't think of buying elsewhere without seeing if they have the plant I am looking for first.I honestly cannot recommend them more highly. Don't...
— Rose Hodges
I recently bought 5 salvias in two varieties. I was impressed on how quickly they came and how carefully packaged they were. I cant wait to watch them mature, and will defiantly be buying more from you in the future! Thanks!
— Elizabeth Thompson
Never have gotten a delivery so quickly of mail-order plants and what's more, the plants were superior in quality to anything I've seen before. We have great nurseries in Berkeley and nearby but I must say, these were spectacular!
I received my first order (of salvias) three days ago - they came to North Texas via regular mail and look great. They are large, no leaf drop, and are already over the 'not so perky' phase that comes with being shipped; several have open blooms already. I appreciate the very reasonable prices which help offset the cost of postage. Great selection - I have already made a second order. (Can't...
— Doris Wilkinson
My Salvias arrived fresh and lovely. I have been luxuriating in their fragrance this past week. "Doris," the name I've given my Salvia dorisiana is so nicely vertical. She looks particularly regal among my houseplants and smells like she is wearing a bit of fruity perfume. Thanks for the great plants and shipping.
Just received my 3 Plectranthus Mona Lavender and I was amazed at the more than excellent packing. What surprised me the most was that it was in transit for 7 days from California to Florida. I expected them to be somewhat droopy, but immediately out of the box they are healthy, beautiful, not dried out at all and have great color. This is the best care I have seen from a plant mail order co...
— Marsha Carbaugh
Thank you for the plants that arrived today. They look great.
Thank you for the very well-packaged shipment I received today. I appreciate your time-consuming efforts at weight reduction for shipping: these plants are bohemoths that should-if I do my part- overwinter and leap out of the ground next Spring! In the midst of all of the challenges you have faced, I remain grateful for your professionalism and consideration.
Just wanted to say that the plants offered from Flowers By The Sea are "top shelf" material.As a former professional Grower of over 30 years, I can attest to their quality.Not only quality but the size of their 3.5 inch plants that they ship simply amazes me.I have ordered from several websites over the years... and I must say, that FBTS offers the largest sized plants that I have ev...
— Al Robinson
I ordered 2 Salvia plants on 06/10/12 and recieved them on 06/14/12; not only were the plants healthy, but Flowers By The Sea was generous enough to include a slightly different Salvia to me as a gift! Even better is the fact that I was interested in both to begin with. I placed my order here because of the lower cost of the item of interest to me... I'm glad I gave this company my busines...