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.
I ordered a very large order this year and out of all the salvias this is the number one choice. It has bloomed it's head off from early spring till summer and I'm sure it will continue to bloom for the rest of the year. It's a must for bright col...
Flowers by the Sea is a veritable treasure trove of gorgeous, fragrant, resilient plants; in particular their selection of Salvias or "Sages" is spectacular in its range and diversity. The 8 new species that now grace my garden arrived from fbts 3 days after placing my orders. They were packed flawlessly, fully rooted and ready to grow with plenty of fresh foliage! I could hardly believe I had ...
— Stephen Prins
This spring I ordered from 5 different plant sites. FBTS was by far the best. The plants were larger and better branched. Your packaging was superb! Each plant was still moist around its roots and the dirt was held in each pot so none was shaken loose. Your service is the best! Thanks.
— Linda DeRoze
Thank you so much for the shipment of beautiful plants! Every plant in my large order made it to Florida in good shape, and after the recommended period of recovery, they are now flourishing! I am delighted to have these great new additions to my salvia collection, almost all of which are never available in local nurseries and garden centers. I also really appreciated the personal communica...
— Jill Reed
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
All of the plants that I received are among the best sent by any vendor! They arrived incredibly full, intact and with blooms. For hard-to-find plants, FBTS is worth the price and shipping.
— dave sherron
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...
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 recently purchased two Black Sage plants from FBTS. For me it was "biting the bullet" to order them. Starting Black Sage can be difficult and I decided to purchase plants instead. For the price plus shipping I was expecting to get a couple of small starter plants in 3" pots. The day the plants arrived, my first thoughts on picking up the box were: "My. This is a large box for such a smal...
— Anthony Yeznach
I received my first order of salvias from FBTS this year. The quality of their plants far exceeds that of any other mail order source that I have used......and believe me, I do a ton of plants by mail order!!!!Packing was excellent and not as annoying as some places that use multiple rubber bands to hold things together!!! FBTS will be my first place to search for salvias now!Vicky
— Vicky Krost
I purchased an order of 30 salvias, milkweeds and agastache from FBTS. The plants were packaged well and arrived large and healthy, with the exception of two plants whose branches had snapped during shipping. The plants that were not damaged in shipping were surprisingly large, with the largest being about a foot tall and eight inches wide, and had healthy roots and leaves.