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: Jan 27, 2017 04:07 PM Synopsis:You might expect the foliage of a plant called Anise-Scented Sage (Salvia guaranitica) to smell robustly like licorice, which shares the same fragrance as anise. Some gardeners detect a hint of licorice after crushing a leaf, but many say the foliage merely smells sweet. These popular sages are native to Brazil where indigenous peoples used their leaves as a medicine. Flowers by the Sea grows many varieties in a wide range of sizes and flower colors
Category:New at FBTS Posted: Jan 21, 2017 08:45 AM Synopsis: A love of birds can grow into a passion for gardening. The reverse is also true. Sometimes these passions result in the development of excellent plants, such as Salvia x 'Margie Griffith' -- one of our newest introductions at Flowers by the Sea, our family farm and online nursery. Margie Griffith Sage grows up to 96 inches tall and wide in bloom. In some parts of its USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 8 to 11 it feeds hummingbirds nearly year round.
Category:Ask Mr. Sage Posted: Sep 8, 2016 06:19 PM Synopsis: Drought resistant California native sages thrive when planted in fall. It's easier for roots to become established when soil is warm, air temperatures are cooler and precipitation is increasing. Ask Mr. Sage is a regular feature of the Everything Salvias Blog and is based on calls and emails from customers.
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.
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
I have made and received 2 orders from FBTS and have been very pleased. They have been nice, big plants and have adapted to the Oklahoma weather nicely. The last shipment was made when the weather was hot and the salvia plants looked liked they would rather have stayed in California but I planted them out quickly and they look very happy now. You can be sure I would not hesitate to order again.
— Carol Wycoff
All arrived heathy and when promised. I'm now awaiting their growth and bloom.
Finally getting to tell you how pleased I am with the Salvias I ordered. They were better than I expected.Packed beautifully to make the cross country trip. I have planted them in my garden and am patiently waiting for them to bloom. One has started Salvia macrophylla Tall Form. The color is beautiful. My only fear is living in the Northeast our weather can be unpredictable and fall sometimes c...
— Mrs. Judith Hobbs
so glad i found FBTS in an article in the NYT. the quality of the flowers is superb and the service is great. now where to plant all the cupheas and salvia?
— Shotsy Faust
The plants arrive in great condition and have started growing without any problems. The whole experience was very favorable. I highly recommend them.
— Dennis Murphree
the nelson cuphea looked very, very healthy with generous leafage and a strong root system
Kermit and Vicky are so pleasant to work with. They sent the package promptly and the plants are absolutely gorgeous! There was a mistake with the order and they were wonderful to work with on the correction. Highly recommended!
— Ian Simpkins
I received my Salvia in a very timely manner in excellent condition. It is growing very rapidly and is looking very fresh and healthy. I really appreciate the many different Salvias that are available through Flowers by the Sea. The collection is not available anywhere else, I'm sure. I'm so happy I found their web site, which by the way, is the most outstanding and informative web site I h...
— D. Chairez
Thank you so very much for the wonderful service. I received my order quickly ,at the appropriate time and in pristine condition. Unfortunately I Cannot comment on the individual plants growing hardiness as they are still in hardening off process. Here in N.Y. We are still not frost free and we are actually expecting a frost tonight- may 22nd believe it or not.the plants are beautiful & very h...