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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). But please note: This is a dangerous place for a sage lover.

Explore the Categories:

Here are all of our articles:
Garden to Kitchen: Holiday Scent of Sage

Posted: Thursday, November 29, 2012
Synopsis: Nothing says holidays like the fragrance of sage coming from the kitchen. It has even inspired writers, such as newspaper columnist and mystery novelist Denise Hamilton. Sage is the stuff of musky perfumes, fragrant Christmas candles and great homecooked meals cooking in the kitchen. It wraps us in the warmth as well as the chill of the season.

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Salvia Small Talk: Sage-Crusted Tofu Patties

Posted: Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Synopsis: Sage-crusted tofu patties are a good vegetarian main course for the Holidays.

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Salvia Small Talk: Too Much Sunlight?

Posted: Monday, November 26, 2012
Synopsis: Synopis: In high-altitude, dry climates, some afternoon shade is good for full-sun Salvias.

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Salvia Small Talk: Excel in the Garden

Posted: Saturday, November 24, 2012
Synopsis: An Excel spreadsheet can be helpful in tracking Salvia plantings.

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Channel Island Sages

Posted: Thursday, November 22, 2012
Synopsis: Flowers by the Sea grows a number of native California sages, including threatened species such as the woody perennial shrubs Santa Rosa Island Sage (Salvia brandegeei) and Island Pitcher Sage (Lepechinia fragrans).
Elusive is one adjective to attach to both plants, because they are rare in their native Channel Islands homelands off the coast of Southern California where they are endangered.

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Salvia Small Talk: Botanical Plant Names II

Posted: Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Synopsis: The conclusion of this series on plant names.

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Salvia Small Talk: Botanical Plant Names I

Posted: Monday, November 19, 2012
Synopsis: Latin became the language of botanical plant names more than 250 years ago to clear confusion about scientific reports concerning plants. Theophrastus got this all started in the 4th Century B.C.

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Salvia Small Talk: Researching Before Ordering

Posted: Friday, November 16, 2012
Synopsis: Researching a Salvia before buying it means considering its traits and seeing if it fits your climate and proposed planting site. I know Aristotle did his research!

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Salvias Down South: Tough Texans Sing the Blues

Posted: Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Blue Salvias bring peace to flower gardens. True blues, such as West Texas Grass Sage (Salvia reptans), are especially eye-catching. The same anthocyanins that make berries a healthy dietary choice also give them their colors. Similarly these chemicals create the wide variety of blues, purples and reds in the petals of flowers such as Salvias. Flowers by the Sea offers six varieties of tough Texas sages that can help you create a soulful garden bursting with blue. Drought-resistant and long-blooming, they grow happily in USDA plant hardiness zones 8 to 9, with some flourishing in areas as cool as Zone 4 and as hot as Zone 11.

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Salvia Small Talk: Garden Diary

Posted: Saturday, November 10, 2012
Synopsis: Keeping track of plantings from one season to the next can help you improve choices and repeat successes. One way of doing this is to keep a casual garden diary. No, I don't believe Samuel Pepys kept one.

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Salvia Small Talk: Making Sage Pesto

Posted: Thursday, November 8, 2012
Synopsis: Fresh Sage gives a simple pesto recipe new zing.

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Salvias Down South: Texas Butterfly Favorites

Posted: Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Synopsis: Wildscaping is a way to landscape to attract pollinators. Butterflies are one of the most important. In Texas there are 463 species. Steering some of this herd of Lepidoptera toward your yard is easier if you know what butterflies frequent your region and which plants they favor for nectar and for laying their eggs, including Salvias. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center and Flowers by the Sea all can help Southwestern butterfly gardeners.

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Leaving the Light on for Butterflies at the Leaf Litter Motel & Wood Pile Lodge

Posted: Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Synopsis: If you want to invite butterflies to lodge in your backyard overnight or during winter, building pretty butterfly houses won't succeed. They need all kinds of messy hangouts to ride out a rain storm, sleep through the night safely and endure winter in your garden. You can build a butterfly hostel without hammer and nails.

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Salvia Small Talk: Raised Beds for Sage

Posted: Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Synopsis: Raised bed gardening can help Salvias winter over in cold climates.

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Sacred Sage: Pineapple Sage

Posted: Friday, October 26, 2012
Synopsis: Many kinds of Sage were considered sacred in ancient times due to their soothing, medicinal qualities. Pineapple Sage (Salvia elegans), which is native to Mexico and Guatemala, is still a highly regarded folk remedy for relieving anxiety, depression and high blood pressure. It is also one of America's most popular culinary sages and is a highlight of the USDA's National Herb Garden.

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Salvias in the Cemetery: Meet the Duelbergs

Posted: Thursday, October 25, 2012
Synopsis: Meet the Duelbergs. You may be very pleased to make their acquaintance in your garden some day. They are reminders to tread carefully when visiting rural and small-town cemeteries, because the “weeds” you step on may be treasures disguised by the ravages of herbicides, weed whackers and drought.

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Salvia Small Talk: What Does Half-Hardy Mean?

Posted: Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Synopsis: Half-hardy or tender perennial Salvias are ones that must winter over indoors to avoid frost.

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Salvia Small Talk: Botrytis Blight

Posted: Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Synopsis: If grey, moldy Botrytis Blight attacks Salvia, whole plants may need to be discarded.

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Sacred Sage: Soothing Grape Scented Sage

Posted: Sunday, October 21, 2012
Synopsis: Salvias are well known for their aromatic foliage. However, Grape Scented Sage (S. melissodora) has fragrant blossoms as well that are edible. Both the plants leaves and flowers are used in soothing teas. The powerfully perfumed flowers have been described as smelling like freesia and lavender as well as grapes. In parts of Mexico, Grape Scented Sage is used in herbal remedies to treat diarrhea.

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Celebrity Salvias: Mexican Bush Sage Beauties

Posted: Saturday, October 20, 2012
Synopsis: Mexican Bush Sage (Salvia leucantha) is a garden star, but not a demanding diva. That is why Texas A&M University selected Mexican Bush Sage (Salvia leucantha) as one of its 50 “Texas Superstar” plants, all of which are highly recommended for flourishing in unpredictable weather and drought. The many varieties of Mexican Bush Sage are garden beauties that need little pampering. Native to hot, dry areas of Mexico and Central America, they are accustomed to tough conditions. Flowers by the Sea carries a number of striking varieties.


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Garden to Kitchen: Cooking and Baking with Sage

Posted: Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Synopsis: Thanksgiving is no longer the only time of year when Americans cook and bake with sage. Recipes and suggestions for cooking with fresh Sage abound on the Internet. You don't have to be a meat eater to enjoy the wild, musky, minty aroma of Culinary Sage. America is adding it to quick breads and yeast breads, omelettes, pastas including macaroni and cheese, pesto sauce, sweet potato gnocchi, soups, salads and vegetarian pizzas. Landscaping with attractive varieties of Culinary Sages makes it easier to experiment in the kitchen

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Salvia Small Talk: Well-Drained Soil

Posted: Sunday, October 14, 2012
Synopsis: Well-drained soil for Salvias contains a loose mix of clay, coarse sand and organic matter.

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Salvia Small Talk: Slugs & Snails

Posted: Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Synopsis: Cleaning up leaf litter, weeds and mulch around Salvias can greatly reduce snail and slug attacks.

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Sacred Sage: Giant Bolivian Sage

Posted: Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Synopsis: Of all the mint family's more than 6,500 species worldwide, Giant Bolivian Sage (Salvia dombeyi) has the longest blossoms and tallest growth. Each tubular crimson flower grows up to 5 inches long and has a burgundy calyx at its base.The plant's bright green, heart-shaped leaves are equally long. In South America, the flowers are pollinated by hummingbirds with extremely long beaks. However, Giant Bolivian Sage don't need pollination to flower beautifully for many seasons if growing conditions are right.

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Buying Salvias Online from FBTS: Unpacking & Planting

Posted: Saturday, October 6, 2012

When your order arrives from Flowers by the Sea, open it up right away. What will you see? No plastic wrapping, that’s for sure. At FBTS we think plastic wrap is a poor packaging choice, because it speeds decomposition. Sending you plants that are beginning to mold and rot is the last think we want to do.

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Ask Mr Sage is one of the most popular categories in our Everything Salvias blog. Here are a few of the latest posts:
Ask Mr. Sage: How to Place Advance Orders with FBTS - Flowers by the Sea is a mail-order nursery eliminating craziness from garden planning with advance orders and customer selection of shipping dates. Ask Mr. Sage is a regular feature based on calls and emails received by FBTS. This article details how to use our redesigned preorder process and other catalog tools for making sure you get the plants you want when you want them. Ask Mr. Sage: How to Select Plants for Garden Triumph - Planning for Salvia garden success requires following the rule of selecting the right plant for the right place. Desert sages aren't appropriate for the damp Southeast. Moisture-loving ones aren't right for desert climates where they need lots of watering to survive. Flowers by the Sea Farm and Online Nursery offers tips for selecting plants based on local climate. Ask Mr. Sage is a regular feature of the FBTS Everything Salvias Blog. Ask Mr. Sage: How Should I Prune my Salvias? - Flowers by the Sea Online Nursery specializes in Salvias and often receives questions about how to prune them. Although getting good at pruning takes practice, Salvias rebound quickly if you make mistakes. A key to successful pruning is understanding the varying needs of four main categories of sages. Ask Mr. Sage is a regular feature of the FBTS Everything Salvias Blog. Ask Mr. Sage: Do You Offer Free Shipping? - Like free lunches, free shipping is a myth. Flowers by the Sea doesn't offer free shipping, because it would require increasing plant prices to cover the cost of shipping. Read more to learn how FBTS sets fair shipping prices. Ask Mr. Sage is a regular feature of the Everything Salvias Blog and is based on calls and notes from customers. Ask Mr. Sage: Best Time to Plant Drought Resistant CA Natives - 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. Ask Mr. Sage: What Is Shipping in Boxes Like for Salvias? - 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.