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: 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.
Category:Butterflies in the Garden Posted: Feb 19, 2016 10:29 AM Synopsis: Wildscaping a butterfly-friendly garden in Southern California is an act of kindness, especially toward imperiled species. Gardeners from Santa Barbara southward may want to group coastal sage and chaparral plants in their butterfly gardens, because those are among favorite sources of nectar for adult butterflies and host plants for caterpillars. Sages are popular nectar choices. Plants, such as Milkweeds and Impatiens, that work well both as nectar providers and caterpillar hosts are important additions.
Such a wonderful plant - big and bold fuzzy leaves with a pleasant fruity fragrance. Planted in big pots in partial shade. They've been very happy in the hot humid summer - love lots of water. Wish I could bring them inside to over winter when it ...
Kermit and crew have always been good about suggesting plants for a particular habitat I've got in mind, and the plants have been well-grown and well-shipped. They've even gone a bit off-list to make a personal grouping selection for me. Their newsletter is very informative and interesting. I'll write more about my latest purchases - 4 different lobelias -- a bit after I get 'em in the ground. ...
— Tony Borowiecki
I have purchased over 20 Salvias this year to build a hummingbird garden here in South Jersey zone 7. I have purchased many plants online for several years, but this was the first time from FBTS. The prices are great, especially considering the size and the health of the plants I received. I'm very impressed with the whole process, including the website and ordering, the shipment scheduling, pa...
— Joe Szymanski
My plants arrived quickly and in very good condition. With watering they were completely revived within a few days and are thriving in the garden.
— Linda Rubio
Both plants arrived quickly and in healthy condition. They are growing quickly and beautifully. The one is blossoming and the hummingbirds like it. Very good value for the price and service.
— Margaret Paul
JUST LETTING YOU KNOW THAT I RECEIVED THE SALVIAS I ORDER THE NEXT DAY AFTER YOU SHIPPED THEM. THE NINE PLANTS THAT I ORDER WERE IN GOOD SHAPE PLUS THE FREE ONE THAT YOU GAVE ME.SINCE THEY WERE MOIST I LET THEM REST OVER NIGHT AND PLANTED THEM IN GALLON CANS.THE NEXT DAY AND THEY LOOK GOOD.I WILL BE ORDERING FROM YOU AGAIN. VIRGINIA
— virginia furtado
Thanks for the fast service, and the very healthy plants. I've had them about a month now and they are doing very well. I sat outside for awhile yesterday and a hummingbird flew into my little flower garden, straight to the 7-up plant I got from you. She went from flower to flower all over that plant then few off again. I was just thrilled. Love hummers!
I ordered a variety of salvias this year, and they all arrived excellently packaged, healthy, very well rooted, and ready to go outdoors. This is the second year I've ordered from Flowers by the Sea; the salvias I planted last year are already blooming up a storm and beautiful, so I can't wait to see how everything that is new this year looks after a long growing season. Thank you for offerin...
Thank You for the Great Service and 5 Beautiful Cherry Chief Sage plants. All arrived safe and sound because of the Great detail of packing them! The Plants spent 4 days under Grow Lights because of the threat of hail and damaging winds in my part of Texas. Been in-ground now approx. 3 weeks and all 5 have buds and will flower shortly! Followed Your advice given for My handling of the arriving ...
— Patrick Abdo
I have been ordering Salvias from Flowers By The Sea for several years now. They are a real treasure! I have not found another nusery with such an amazing selection of species Salvias. All plants always arrive in excellent condition - perfectly packed and packaged and of the perfect size for transfer into the garden. This company has everything covered - a perfectly designed website, with e...
The plants are so beautiful: large, healthy and just ready to grow and bloom. These are among the best salvias I have ever received. The selection of plants is fantastic too. My first order, but it certainly won't be the last!