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 You are here    Flowers by the Sea / Salvias Down South / Salvias Down South 15 Sages to Pink Up...

Salvias Down South 15 Sages to Pink Up Landscapes

Dec 14, 2015

Salvias Down South 15 Sages to Pink Up Landscapes

Winter is a good time for warm thoughts about rosy colors pinking up the landscape. If by chance you live in a USDA Cold Hardiness Zone where frost is a rarity, you may even have pink Salvias blooming in your garden during winter.

Not only is pink pleasant, but it is soothing. It's the color of bakery boxes filled with treats and cotton candy melting in your mouth as you walk down carnival midways. As psychologists discovered in the late 20th century, it's also the color of calm.

Panacea for Aggression and Stress
Researchers have identified at least one shade of pink -- a vivid color now known as drunk tank pink -- as lessening the aggressive moods of people incarcerated in jails and juvenile detention centers. Pink is a soothing panacea for difficult emotions.

In color theory, primary red is a warm color that confronts rather than recedes from the viewer. However, in an article titled "Garden Design to Reduce Stress" that it published online in 2005, the University of Vermont Extension notes that tints (lighter tones) of warm primary colors soften intensity and are good choices for serenity gardens. So pink is less in your face than red.

Pink Sages from Flowers by the Sea
At Flowers by the Sea, we grow many kinds of pink Salvias. Here are 15 kinds that we have organized based on size from shortest to tallest. The shortest choices listed here max out at 3 feet tall. The mid-size sages reach up to about 4 feet, and the tallest peak at about 6 feet.

Some sages gain size when in bloom due to tall flower spikes. In the range of heights we cite, the second number indicates how tall the plant may grow when blooming.

Short Choices
Rusty Sage (Salvia lanceolata) Zones 8 to 11

  • Rusty rose pink flowers bloom summer to fall
  • 36 inches tall, 24 inches wide
  • Green, lance-leaf foliage
  • Full sun
  • Drought resistant but likes regular watering based on local needs
  • Deer resistant

This South African native is a fragrant groundcover.

Wild Thing Autumn Sage (Salvia greggii 'Wild Thing') Zones 6 to 10

  • Coral pink flowers bloom spring to fall
  • 36 inches tall, 24 inches wide
  • Small, fragrant, green leaves on burgundy stems
  • Full sun to partial shade
  • Drought resistant, heat tolerant, cold hardy
  • Attracts butterflies, honeybees and hummingbirds

Wild Thing, you make our gardens sing whether in patio containers, along sunny walkways or among mixed borders in dry gardens.

Medium-Height Choices
Chiapas Sage (Salvia chiapensis) Zones 7 to 11

  • Magenta flowers bloom spring to fall
  • 36 to 48 inches tall, 36 inches wide
  • Glossy, heavily veined, mid-green foliage
  • Partial shade to full sun
  • Regular watering based on local needs
  • Attracts honeybees and hummingbirds

Although this sage from southern Mexico thrives with average watering, it is a good choice for dry shade, such as under trees.

Fruit Scented Sage (Salvia dorisiana) Zones 9 to 11

  • Magenta flowers bloom winter to spring
  • 48 inches tall, 24 inches wide
  • Fuzzy, fragrant, heart-shaped leaves
  • Full sun to partial shade
  • Regular watering based on local needs
  • Attracts hummingbirds

This is a fine patio plant annual for areas with colder winters.

Raspberry Royale Sage (Salvia greggii x lemmonii 'Raspberry Royale') Zones 6 to 10

  • Raspberry pink flowers bloom spring to fall
  • 36 to 48 inches tall, 36 inches wide
  • Small green foliage
  • Full sun to partial shade
  • Drought resistant, heat tolerant, cold hardy
  • Attracts honeybees and hummingbirds

Tough yet lovely, this natural hybrid is related to Mountain Sage (Salvia microphylla) as well as Autumn Sage (Salvia greggii).

Dark Dancer Autumn Sage (Salvia greggii 'Dark Dancer') Zones 6 to 10

  • Raspberry pink flowers bloom spring to fall
  • 48 inches tall and wide
  • Small green foliage
  • Full sun to partial shade
  • Drought tolerant
  • Attracts hummingbirds

Try this tough hybrid as a groundcover on sunny slopes.

Wild Pink Lemmon's Sage (Salvia lemmonii 'Wild Pink')  Zones 6 to 10

  • Pink-lemonade flowers blooms spring to fall
  • 36 to 48 inches tall, 36 inches wide
  • Veined, mid-green foliage
  • Full sun to partial shade
  • Drought resistant, heat tolerant, cold hardy
  • Attracts honeybees and hummingbirds

This fragrant beauty is native to the rocky canyons of the American Southwest and Northern Mexico.

Wendy's Wish Sage (Salvia x 'Wendy's Wish') Zones 9 to 11

  • Magenta flowers bloom from spring to fall
  • 36 to 48 inches tall, 36 inches wide
  • Mid-green, veined, lance-shaped leaves
  • Full sun to partial shade
  • Regular watering based on local needs
  • Attracts butterflies, honeybees and hummingbirds

Australian gardener Wendy Smith found this surprise hybrid in her home garden. She contributes her proceeds to the charitable Make-a-Wish Foundation.

Tall Choices
Pink Tehuacan Sage (Salvia curviflora) Zones 8 to 11

  • Magenta flowers bloom summer to fall
  • 36 to 72 inches tall, 60 inches wide
  • Full sun to partial shade
  • Heavily veined, mid-green, heart-shaped leaves
  • Heat tolerant; regular watering based on local needs
  • Attracts hummingbirds

Wide spreading, this sage from Southern Mexico makes a fine groundcover or entryway accent.

Gravid Sage (Salvia gravida) Zones 8 to 11

  • Magenta flowers bloom in winter
  • 48 to 60 inches tall, 36 inches wide
  • Fragrant, heavily veined, light-green leaves
  • Full sun to partial shade
  • Water loving
  • Attracts hummingbirds

A trellis works well to support the downward curving flower spikes of this lush sage.

Scandent Mexican Sage (Salvia iodantha) Zones 7 to 11

  • Magenta-to-purple flowers bloom fall to winter
  • 72 inches tall, 36 inches wide
  • Light green, heavily veined foliage
  • Full sun to partial shade
  • Regular watering based on local needs
  • Attracts hummingbirds

If you have hummingbirds that overwinter, this sage is a great source of nectar at that season. Scandent means that it is a climber in need of fence or trellis support.

Big Leaf Scandent Mexican Sage (Salvia iodantha 'Louis Sasso') Zones 7 to 11

  • Magenta-to-purple flowers bloom fall to winter
  • 72 inches tall, 36 inches wide
  • Light green, heavily veined foliage
  • Full sun to partial shade
  • Regular watering based on local needs
  • Attracts hummingbirds

If you have hummingbirds that overwinter, this sage is a great source of nectar at that season. Scandent means that it is a climber in need of fence or trellis support.

Wagner's Sage (Salvia wagneriana) Zones 8 to 11

  • Hot pink flowers in pink bracts bloom fall to spring
  • 60 to 72 inches tall, 72 inches wide
  • Kelly green, veined foliage
  • Full sun to partial shade
  • Water loving
  • Attracts hummingbirds

This wide-spreading sage provides excellent groundcover in mild climates where it feeds hummingbirds during winter.

Pink and White Wagner's Sage (Salvia wagneriana 'White Bracts') Zones 8 to 11

  • Hot pink flowers in white bracts bloom fall to spring
  • 60 to 72 inches tall, 72 inches wide
  • Kelly green, veined foliage
  • Full sun to partial shade
  • Water loving
  • Attracts honeybees and hummingbird

This wide-spreading sage provides excellent groundcover in mild climates where it feeds hummingbirds during winter.

Serenity and Questions in the Garden
Massing pink salvias is one way to create a more placid flowerbed. However, choices that affect whether a garden is soothing to eye and spirit go beyond color, according to the University of Vermont Extension. To create a peaceful setting, the University also suggests:

  • Avoiding major contrasts in heights and textures of plants. Design gardens in such a way that plants are massed with others of uniform height to create soothing horizontal lines.
  • Laying out gardens with curves and rounded lines. Avoid sharp, geometrically shaped flowerbeds.
  • Growing plants with pleasant fragrances and textures. Both are characteristic of Salvias.
  • Adding a water feature. A small pond or fountain is helpful.
  • Limiting the variety of plants to keep the garden simple. Based on Zen principles, the University says, simplicity is calming.

If you have questions about the pink Salvias that we grow at Flowers by the Sea or about any of our plants, please contact us. We'll gladly help you establish peace in your garden.

Updated 11-29-2015

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