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 You are here    Flowers by the Sea / Everything Salvias

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.

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Here are all of our articles:
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
Synopsis:

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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Cleanup in the Garden: Healthy Pruning and Mulching of Salvia

Posted: Monday, October 1, 2012
Synopsis: Sometimes it’s wise not to get too tidy in the garden. When preparing Salvias for Winter dormancy, moderation is the rule. Regional climate affects how much trimming and mulching are necessary in late autumn.

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Fall Cleanup: Plant Placement and Pesky Problems

Posted: Sunday, September 30, 2012
Synopsis: You don’t usually have to fuss over Salvias to give them what they need. Yet the end of fall and other growing seasons are good times to seek solutions to problems that affect plant vigor. It is a time for a call to attention as well as a cleanup call to action.



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Happy Hybrid Surprises from Salvia greggii and microphylla

Posted: Sunday, September 23, 2012
Synopsis: Sometimes surprises occur in the garden, especially if you plant Salvias. Sages in the Salvia greggii and Salvia microphylla Group are particularly inclined to hybridize naturally.

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Salvia x jamensis: Painting the Landscape with Pastels

Posted: Saturday, September 22, 2012
Synopsis: Planning a flowerbed with pastel bicolored Salvia x jamensis is a bit like organizing a fancy sweet 16 birthday party. It takes finesse and the right guest list of complementary perennials and annuals for fun and harmony. These Salvias are colorful, but not boisterous flowers.

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Seeing Red and Loving It: Hummingbirds and Salvia microphylla

Posted: Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Synopsis: As with so many aspects of life, the hummingbird-Salvia relationship is circular. It is difficult to have one without the other. Unfortunately, many species of hummingbirds are threatened or endangered. By planting Mountain Sage, you invite hummingbirds into your garden, expand their habitat and ensure pollination for abundant blossoming.

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Salvia greggii: Discovering a Riot of Color

Posted: Friday, September 14, 2012
Synopsis: It would be inaccurate to refer to the woody perennial Autumn Sage, or Salvia greggii, as coming in a rainbow of colors, because there is no true blue in the bunch. However, S. greggii cultivars form a riot of lipstick-intense reds, pinks, corals, apricots, oranges, lavenders and purples. Whites, pale yellows and bicolors also are members of the vivid species discovered in the dry, rocky landscapes of Texas and Northern Mexico by 19th century frontiersman, doctor, trader, writer and amateur botanist Josiah Gregg.

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Drought-Resistant Beauties: A Guide to the Salvia greggii and S. microphylla Group

Posted: Monday, September 10, 2012
Synopsis: It can be a long journey from discovery to popularity for a plant. Currently, the most widely sought group of Salvias is the one encompassing S. greggii, and S. microphylla, which are commonly known as Autumn Sage and Mountain Sage. They caught the eye of naturalists traveling the American Southwest and Mexico's Sierra Madre mountains in the mid-to-late 1800s. However, they didn't take root in garden catalogs for well over 100 years.

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Salvia Soothes Eye, Heart and Honeybees in Remembrance Gardens

Posted: Friday, September 7, 2012
Synopsis: In the days following the terrorist destruction of New York’s World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, one article in The New York Times focused on the recovery of 30 acres of gardens of the Battery Park City Parks Conservancy a few blocks south of where the Twin Towers once stood.

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The Power of Scent

Posted: Thursday, August 30, 2012
Synopsis: While it's true that not all Salvias smell, well, pleasant, many varieties are grown specifically for the pungent or even sweet aromas that they release into the air. These ten Salvias are our top picks for the best-smelling varieties in the garden.

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Six Herbaceous Chinese Salvias for Shady Summer-to-Fall Bloom

Posted: Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Synopsis: Creating a flower garden in partial shade is not as challenging as planting in full shade, yet it requires selecting the right plants. Herbaceous Chinese Salvias and one standout Himalayan species, Salvia nubicola, can form a harmoniously composed partial-shade garden that will attract hummingbirds, butterflies and bees as well as your pleased eye.

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Fall Planting is Superior for Salvias

Posted: Thursday, August 9, 2012
Synopsis: Fall is the best time to plant many Salvias. Read on to find out why . . .

This picture, "Autumn", was painted by Giuseppe Arcimboldo in 1573.

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A New Category - Autumn Sage & Mountain Sage

Posted: Sunday, May 6, 2012
Synopsis: Without a doubt, this group of closely related plants are the most widely grown of the genus. From 'Hot Lips' to 'Texas Wedding', there is something here for everyone.

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What our Salvias look like

Posted: Thursday, April 26, 2012
Synopsis: Value for one's dollar is always something that influences where one buys and how much they spend. We believe our plants represent a very good value. Here are some of the reasons.

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Patio Series Gentian Sage

Posted: Saturday, April 14, 2012
Synopsis: We are very happy to be offering this fine new Dutch series of "font-style: italic;">Salvia patens, developed for containers & small places in your garden.

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New Customer Service Telephone

Posted: Thursday, April 5, 2012
Synopsis: To provide you, our friends & customers with the very best service possible, we have a new telephone number.

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New USDA Zone Map

Posted: Friday, March 30, 2012
Synopsis: Its warmer than you think.

The new 2012 version of the USDA Hardiness Zone Map puts almost everyone into a higher Winter Zone.


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Spring Inventory

Posted: Monday, March 19, 2012
Synopsis: Good news for all "font-style: italic;">Salvia lovers (and everyone else who loves unusual plants). We are now starting to list our Spring inventory, which means larger quantities and wider availability.

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Winter Blooming Salvias (Part III)

Posted: Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Synopsis:

Small Flowered Pink & Purple Species


Part I of this series took up some of the early Winter bloomers, Part II the blue and dark purple flowered varieties. Here we look at four of the small flowered, purple to violet varieties.

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Winter Blooming Salvias (Part II)

Posted: Saturday, December 10, 2011
Synopsis:

The Blue Species


When I think of Winter blooming "font-style: italic;">Salvias, the warm colors – red, orange and pink – come to mind first. Possibly because THE most spectacular Sage of all, "font-style: italic;">Salvia gesneriifolia 'Tequila', is a presence to contend with, growing for us over 16 feet tall and 30 feet across! But looking around our gardens this cool day, there are a number of very fine blue and purple Sages in bloom now. So in Part 2 of the Winter "font-style: italic;">Salvia series, we’ll discuss these fine plants.

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Winter Blooming Salvias (Part I)

Posted: Saturday, November 26, 2011
Synopsis: Some of the most dramatic Salvias bloom in the Winter. Most of these are from Southern Mexico, and are very well adapted to grow in Zone 9 gardens.

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7 Anise Leaf Sage varieties we love

Posted: Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Synopsis: Anise Leaf Sage, Salvia guaranitica varieties, are hardy herbaceous perennials native to Argentina. They also are magnets to hummingbirds.  Which ones are the best growers?  What colors are they?  Here is a simple guide to this lovely Sage.


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9 Reasons for a custom soil mix

Posted: Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Synopsis: Soil mix formulas are probably sold on the black market. Getting it just right means more than just the health of the plant. Consider the weight, mineral content, source, perish ability, impact on the planet.

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9 Reasons for a custom soil mix

Posted: Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Synopsis: Soil mix formulas are probably sold on the black market. Getting it just right means more than just the health of the plant. Consider the weight, mineral content, source, perish ability, impact on the planet.

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Timing plants for sale

Posted: Monday, May 10, 2010
Synopsis: Being a gardener, I know what Spring Fever is. Big time. But sometimes the plants are just not ready. A discussion of timing in the nursery industry, and how home gardeners are affected.

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Timing plants for sale

Posted: Monday, May 10, 2010
Synopsis: Being a gardener, I know what Spring Fever is. Big time. But sometimes the plants are just not ready. A discussion of timing in the nursery industry, and how home gardeners are affected.

Read the Article