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: Nov 20, 2014 08:22 PM Synopsis: Harsh winter weather in areas that normally have mild conditions can bring unwelcome surprises, including the death of favorite plants. This article talks about how and when to remediate frost damage to favorite Salvias in warmer USDA Cold Hardiness Zones. It concludes with a sidebar about a harmful cold snap in California's Bay Area that killed plants as well as birds in 1972 and which changed planting choices at the University of California Botanical Garden at Berkeley. Ask Mr. Sage is a regular feature that is based on topics raised in calls and emails we receive at Flowers by the Sea.
Category:Cultivating Color Posted: Nov 16, 2014 08:18 PM Synopsis: Luminous Salvia x jamensis pastel flowers began warming up nursery catalogs in the late 1990s. Their journey from steep Mexican mountains to American and European gardens began in the mid-19th century with the discovery of Autumn Sage (Salvia greggii). This is the second post in a two-part article about these Jame Sage hybrids of Autumn and Mountain Sage (S. microphylla). It opens our new Cultivating Color series and is based, in part, on the experiences and insights of Salvia specialist Dr. Richard F. Dufresne. We conclude with descriptions of 10 favorite Jame Sages.
Category:Ask Mr. Sage Posted: Nov 7, 2014 11:22 AM Synopsis: Ask Mr. Sage answers questions based on calls and emails that Flowers by the Sea receives. This one concerns how to select plants when you move to a different USDA cold hardiness zone, such as in a warmer climate.
Category:Cultivating Color Posted: Oct 31, 2014 10:21 PM Synopsis: Whether planned or accidental, hybrids happen. This is especially true among the closely related Southwestern and Mexican species of Autumn Sage (Salvia greggii) and Mountain Sage (S. microphylla). They are native to different areas of the Southwest and Mexico, but cross freely when they meet. This story is the first installment in a two-part series initiating our Cultivating Color series. It involves North Carolina Salvia specialist Dr. Richard F. Dufresne, who has helped us track the history of warm-colored S. x jamensis hybrids in the Autumn/Mountain Sage group.
Category:Ask Mr. Sage Posted: Oct 27, 2014 09:02 PM Synopsis: By spacing Salvias properly when planting, you avoid problems caused either by overcrowding or leaving too much space around individual plants. Most Salvias are healthier with good air circulation. Crowding leads to the spread of fungal diseases and pests, such as spider mites. Too wide of spacing may cause branches to break in high winds. By paying attention to plant measurements before planting, you can create a good spacing plan. Ask Mr. Sage is a Q&A feature based on topics raised in calls and emails to FBTS.
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.
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
I received my plants from FBTS Yesterday. I immediately opened the box and was in awe at the size and healthy condition of the plants even traveling from California to NY. The plants were perfect and even had blooms and buds ready to open when they arrived. I carefully unpacked them and placed them in a window with filtered sunlight for a couple of days prior to moving them onto my porch fo...
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 plants arrived quickly and they were in excellent health. So far, they are doing well in my yard despite the unusually dry weather we've had on the Monterey Peninsula this winter. I will definitely order from fbts again!
— S. Morrow
I am a delighted returning customer. FBTS provides beautiful, healthy plants with friendly and fast service.
I received my plant yesterday and it had been damaged during shipping afterwards I emailed the company and got a reply that they had processed a refund for my purchase no problems the whole thing was very easy once I receive the refused I will definitely be making another purchase. Thank you for your excellent customer service.
— Eric Phipps
I was so pleased the with plants when they arived they were healthy and are doing great. Will always purchase from flowers by the in the future
— Bonnie Smith
I received my salvia order today. The plants look great and I can't wait to see them bloom. Loved your selection of rare salvias. Thank you.
— Helena Hartje
I ordered Wendy's Wish salvia and Elk white ice salvia. I was thrilled to find the Wendy's Wish. It is one of my favorite salvias. I had never had a truly white salvia and it is stunning. The plants were in great shape after traveling from California all the way to Georgia. They are thriving in my garden. The hummingbirds cover these plants all day. I am so excited to have a source for salvi...
— Dianne Davis
I ordered 4 salvia this year. All arrived GREEN and VIBRANT--no wilt and no breakage. By far the best plant packing I have seen...but most importantly, all the plants went into the ground and took perfectly.I love the selection! Please keep scouring the world for new salvias. Also love the blog!Scott