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 You are here    Flowers by the Sea / Categories / Salvias by Culture / Moisture Loving
Moisture Loving
Moisture Loving

Most people visualize deserts and dry, sandy soil when thinking about sage (Salvia spp.). Although many Salvias are drought resistant and thrive in dry gardens, others prefer regular, and even daily. Some even tolerate persistently damp soil.

The phrases moisture loving and water loving often conjure visions of aquatic and marshland plants, yet there are few Salvias that fit into that group. Bog Sage (Salvia uliginosa) is one, although we've received reports that it also tolerates dry conditions. However, when we say that a sage is moisture loving, we usually mean one that can handle significant dampness but needs better drainage than marsh plants. An example would be the Anise Leaf Sages (Salvia guaranitica spp.). Plants that can swing from average water consumption to enduring severe downpours are particularly valuable in the Southeast.

Persistently wet soil can make it difficult for sufficient oxygen to reach roots. This causes plants to suffocate. It can also cause conditions such as chlorosis in which foliage turns yellow, limp and incapable of the photosynthesis necessary to manufacture food for the plant.

Yet there are lovely Salvias which cheerfully photosynthesize in conditions that would drown their close relatives. Most come from Central and South American rainforests or damp woodlands in Asia.

Flowers by the Sea strives to meet the needs of Salvia fans from widely varying climates, whether dry, wet or in between.

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(Island Pitcher Sage) Native to shady canyons on the coast of Southern California's Channel Islands, this threatened species is highly desirable for its ruggedness, its aromatic furry leaves and its spectacular pink flowers.

$11.50

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(Amethyst Sage) Growing up to 12 inches long, the triangular basal leaves of Salvia amethystina subsp. ampelophylla are the largest we know among sages. They have long silky hairs on their undersides and are fragrant when bruised.

$11.50

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(Stem Clasping Violet Sage)  Like a candelabra lit up with whorls of violet blossoms, the erect, branching flower spikes of Salvia amplexicaulis make this native of Southeastern Europe shine. On the Grecian island of Thassos, it brightens areas near the beach.

$11.50

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(Tree Sage)Whether you call it a shrub or a tree, Salvia arborscens rises up to an impressive 12 feet tall and 5 feet wide. Commonly known as Sage Tree, this Salvia grows well in full sun, but prefers partial shade.

$12.50

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(Rhythm and Blues Anise-Scented Sage)  New for 2017, this variety is a superior version of the older standby 'Black and Blue'.  Easy to grow and rewarding, this hummingbird favorite is our very best Anise Scented Sage.

$11.50

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(Puckered Sage) Gracefully drooping, the two-tone, pale sky-blue and white blossoms of this shrubby South American sage contrast crisply with apple-green calyxes and stems.
$11.50

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(Blue Vine Sage) Blooming from mid-summer through late autumn, this semi-hardy herbaceous perennial is adorned with a profusion of true-blue flowers that arch up 12 to 24 inches above its deltoid, grass-green leaves.
$11.50

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(Heart Leaf Sage) From the rich plains of Northern Argentina comes this delicate looking sage with heart-shaped leaves and pale blue flowers so perfect they seem to be molded in wax. Although a slow grower that requires good garden culture, this Salvia is exquisite.

$16.00

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(Cayman Island Sage) Compact and intensely fragrant, this shrubby sage is excellent for containers or the edge of a pathway. Small blue and white flowers mass about its densely branched foliage. It loves rich, moist soil and warm weather.

$12.50

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(Chinese Sage) Although this is a perennial species, most people in the U.S. who are familiar with Chinese Sage, probably know the annual variety Salvia chinensis . The perennial form is reliable; we’ve grown it for several years. However, little has been written about it.

$13.50

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(Cinnabar Sage) Think of this plant as Pineapple Sage on steroids. It grows 5 feet tall and can be twice as wide and bursts with large, intensely red, furry flowers all winter. Our overwintering hummingbirds adore it. This cinnabar-red sage is hard to forget once you see it in full bloom.

$12.50

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(Columbian Mountain Sage) Deep purple bracts support the small, lighter purple flowers of Salvia cuatrecasana, which is a rare Colombian sage. White beelines mark the flowers of this long-blooming shrub, which is a hummingbird favorite.

$14.50

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(Giant Bolivian Sage) Hailing from Peru and Bolivia, this tender specimen is found at altitudes of 9,000 feet in the wild. This multi-stemmed, woody-based, climbing Salvia needs support. Hummingbirds love its 5-inch-long, crimson flowers, which are the longest grown by any Salvia and flower from late summer through autumn.

$16.00

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(Cabrillo Giant Yellow Sage) Large apricot-yellow flowers are an attraction of this cross between two Mexican species -- Salvia madrensis (Forsythia Sage) and the volcanic sage Salvia gesneriiflora (Mexican Scarlet Sage).

$12.50

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(Makino) The unusual flower color and short, mounding growth of this clone of Salvia glabrascens -- a woodland Japanese native -- make it distinctive. The blossoms are nearly clear yellow with striking purple beelines.
$16.00

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(Pink Makino) The gracefully shaped, two-tone flowers of Pink Makino look like ballerinas in tutus. This shade-loving sage comes from moist, mountain woodlands on the Japanese island of Honshu. In Northern California, it blooms for us in late fall.
$16.00

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(Makino) We would grow this rare clone of the woodland Japanese native Salvia glabrescens even if it never flowered, because the arrow-shaped foliage is so lush, toothed and colorful. As they age, the arrow-shaped leaves transform from yellowish green to dark green.

$16.00

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(Gravid Sage) This tender perennial from Michoacán, Mexico, has large, rich magenta flowers that hang from the arching branches in clusters up to 12 inches long. Growing up to 5 feet tall, this sage offers an unforgettable display when in bloom.

$11.50

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(Argentina Skies Anise-Scented Sage) PLEASE NOTE: A superior variety, 'Elk Argentina Skies' is now available.
The licorice-like fragrance of its foliage and the big whorls of large, sky blue flowers make this a stand-out sage. Tall and wide, it forms a tidy, long blooming background, screen or border.

$11.50

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(Black & Blue Anise-Scented Sage)  Hummingbirds go crazy for this variety of Salvia guaranitica. The black calyxes contrast handsomely with the rich, royal blue flowers. We highly recommend the much improved Salvia BODACIOUS 'Rhythm and Blues' as an alternative to this older variety.

$11.50

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(Green Calyx Anise-Scented Sage) Partly due to its shorter height and moderate spread, this Anise-Scented Sage is the best of any we know for container planting. We love its stunning Cambridge blue flowers, bright green calyxes and the licorice-like scent of its foliage.
$11.50

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(Elk Argentina Skies Anise-Scented Sage)  Developed at FBTS, this new introduction is superior to the old standby, 'Argentina Skies'.  Superior growth and earlier flowering make it a must-have choice for hummingbird gardeners.

$11.50

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(Variegated Anise-Scented Sage) Rumpled and lance-shaped, the spectacular leaves of this sage are yellowish-lime with splotches of emerald. Rub them and you smell anise, a licorice-like scent. The bountiful, cobalt blue flowers cover the plant from summer into fall.
$11.50

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(Purple Haze Sage) The very best purple Anise Scented Sage, period - the result of years of careful breeding aimed at developing a reliable, free flowering and easy to grow variety suitable for growing countrywide.

$11.50

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