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Quick Digs: Zone 5 - 9 Weedbuster Gardens for Average Moisture

Jul 29, 2013

Quick Digs: Zone 5 - 9 Weedbuster Gardens for Average Moisture

Quick Digs is a new serial containing short posts focused on a central issue. The topic for the first series is Salvia groundcovers for weed control, and this is the second article.

Baby, it can be cold outside in Zone 5 during the winter! But the roots of all of these tough sages (Salvia spp.) listed here survive sustained frost and snow, then rise up again in the spring.

To minimize weed growth, the best defense is the good offense of dominating a flowerbed with sages. Although much research is yet to be done, it appears that Salvia plant chemicals and growing patterns deter weed growth. Mixing in an efficient groundcover sage that forms dense clumps of foliage -- such as the lush Adora Blue Meadow Sage -- makes it tougher for weeds to gain ground.

Here are brief profiles of some of our favorite, powerfully fragrant sages that tolerate cold and grow well in full sun to partial shade.

Groundcover
Adora Blue Meadow Sage (Salvia x superba 'Adora Blue') Zones 5 to 9.

  • Deep violet flowers bloom in summer
  • 12 to 18 inches tall, 12 inches wide
  • Full sun to partial shade
  • Attracts butterflies
  • Deer resistant

Border
Jupiter’s Distaff (Salvia glutinosa) Zones 5 to 9.

  • Yellow flowers bloom in summer
  • 24 to 36 inches tall, 24 inches wide
  • Full sun to partial shade
  • Attracts butterflies and honeybees
  • Deer resistant

Lilac Sage (Salvia verticillata) Zones 5 to 9.

  • Lavender flowers bloom spring to summer
  • 24 to 36 inches tall, 42 inches wide
  • Full sun to partial shade
  • Attracts butterflies and honeybees
  • Deer resistant

Balkan Sage (Salvia forsskaolii) Zones 4 to 9.

  • Lavender flowers bloom summer into fall
  • 36 to 48 inches tall, 36 inches wide
  • Partial shade or morning sun/afternoon shade
  • Attracts honeybees and hummingbirds
  • Deer resistant

Himalayan Cloud Sage (Salvia nubicola) Zones 5 to 10.

  • Yellow flowers with purple markings bloom in summer
  • 48 inches tall, 36 inches wide
  • Full sun to partial shade
  • Deer resistant

Mid-summer through fall is a fine time for planting sages. Most of these plants likely won't bloom until next season. However, gardening is an act of faith in beauty to come. Don't hesitate to contact us for information and encouragement.

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