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: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.
Category:Getting Started with Salvias Posted: Feb 13, 2016 02:43 PM Synopsis: Severe winter chill and summer heat coupled with extreme humidity are challenges that gardeners face in the Midwest. Many Salvias are excellent choices as long-blooming annuals in the region while others -- ones that can withstand cold winters -- are reliable perennials. Flowers by the Sea Online Plant Nursery explains the confusing Midwest boundaries from Ohio west to Kansas and North Dakota south to Missouri. It talks about the range of USDA Plant Hardiness Zones in the region and the kinds of sages that grow best there.
Category:Salvias Down South Posted: Feb 4, 2016 06:13 PM Synopsis: A little bit of a hot color warms the garden landscape; a lot sizzles. Salvias that are red, orange, salmon and intensely pink make eyes snap to attention when grown en masse or as highlights complementing cool-colored perennials. Texas is home to a number of tough, drought-resistant species that can make a garden look hot. In this article, Flowers by the Sea focuses on nine to light up southern landscapes.
Category:Quick Digs Posted: Jan 30, 2016 05:48 PM Synopsis: This is the first article in our new Quick Digs series about preparing for spring in Salvia gardens. As spring approaches and daylight grows longer, first steps for preparing Salvia gardening include recording sages already planted before planning new purchases, repotting cuttings and seedlings, inventorying garden tools and turning the compost heap. When the first new growth arrives, you'll be prepared to remove weeds before they choke sages and other perennials that are re-emerging.
Plants arrived today, only 4 days after ordering. The plants are large and sturdy, the largest and best I've ever had after decades of buying plants by mail from many different nurseries. Just wonderful plants. The smell when the plants are ...
Very satisfying service. Plants arrived as promised, though one was damaged. I notified fbts and received a refund. Plants are doing well, as they were healthy and we followed the complete and understandable instructions for preparation and planting. Many thanks. I have recommended this company to others.
— Carol Sherrill
From Coast to Coast in 3 days!So happily excited I was to receive my order Wed. Oct. 23, Charleston, SC.I placed my order on 10/19 & was notified of tracking # as expected but sometimes don't get. I knew UPS would have it here, SC by Thursday but it arrived early by a day. Yippy. The pkg. packing was more than expected! Way above good shipping standards. Plants arrived in beautiful conditi...
— Marie Lewis
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...
Lovely salvia plants, two out of three of them extra lush, and very well packaged!
— Marcy S.
The plants arrived in excellent condition; they are planted and thriving beautifully. The planting instructions that were emailed to me were explicit and a huge help since I have never had sage in my garden before now. Kermit was a great help in selecting plants for my area and zone.
— Gail Green
We were very impressed with the great condition of the Salvias when they arrived after being shipped to Alabama from California. They looked very green and strong. We followed FBTS's planting instructions and the results have been excellent! FBTS's Salvias have grown really well with beautiful flowers that have drawn butterflies and hummingbirds. Even though our area has received much less than...
— Emil Kunze
The salvias I received are big and beautiful. I just planted them. Salvias have the most gorgeous color range. You lucky guys in zone 8!!
— gini illick
I am 81 years old and have cultivated rhododendrons, camellias, dwarf conifers, etc. for over 50 years. During that time I have come to know many excellent growers and nurserymen. I have never encountered anything comparable to fbts!! That Kermit and Vikki Carter provide an outstanding selection of exceptionally grown plants is only the beginning. They have set a incomparable standard by the gl...
— Gerry Czamanske
I am a Salvia fanatic and have fell in love with this company and their amazing selection of unusual salvia. Keep them coming!!!!Colleen
— colleen james
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...