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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.

Products


  • Lepechinia fragrans

    (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 Winter and Spring flowers.

    $8.00
     

  • Lepechinia hastata

    (Pink Hawaiian Pitchersage) Some botanists argue that this shrubby perennial, growing "wild" in many parts of the Hawaiian Islands, may indeed be a human introduction. No matter where it is from originally, it is a surprisingly hardy tropical looking Salvia relative that features large, felted gray arrow shaped (hastate) leaves and intense lavender rose tubular flowers.
    $8.00
     

  • Salvia amplexicaulis

    (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.

    $8.50
     

  • Salvia arborescens

    (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.

    $10.00
     

  • Salvia bullulata 'Pale Form'

    (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.
    $9.50
     

  • Salvia cacaliifolia

    (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.
    $8.50
     

  • Salvia cardiophylla

    (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.

    $11.50
     

  • Salvia caymanensis

    (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.
    $9.50
     

  • Salvia chinensis 'Nanjinga'

    (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.

    $8.50
     

  • Salvia dombeyi

    (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.
    $9.00
     

  • Salvia gesneriifolia x madrensis

    (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).

    $8.50
     

  • Salvia glabrescens 'Momobana'

    (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.
    $11.50
     

  • Salvia glabrescens 'Shi Ho'

    (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.

    $13.50
     

  • Salvia glabrescens 'Yellow & Purple'

    (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.
    $11.50
     

  • Salvia gravida

    (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.
    $8.50
     

  • Salvia guaranitica 'Argentine Skies'

    (Argentine Skies Anise-Scented Sage) The licorice-like fragrance of its foliage and the big whorls of large, sky blue flowers make this a stand-out sage. Topping out at 5 feet tall, it is a tidy background plant, screen or border plant blooming from summer into fall.
    $8.50
     

  • Salvia guaranitica 'Black & Blue'

    (Black & Blue Anise-Scented Sage)  Hummingbirds go crazy for this outstanding variety of Salvia guaranitica. Of all our anise-scented sages, this is our favorite because the black calyxes contrast handsomely with the rich, royal blue flowers.
    $8.50
     

  • Salvia guaranitica 'Blue Ensign'

    (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.

    $8.50
     

  • Salvia guaranitica 'Omaha Gold'

    (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.
    $8.50
     

  • Salvia guaranitica 'Purple Majesty'

    (Purple Majesty Sage) This exceedingly long blooming herbaceous perennial is a cross between Salvia guaranitica spp (Anise-Scented Sage) and Salvia gesneriiflora (Mexican Scarlet Sage).

    $8.50
     

  • Salvia guaranitica 'Sapphire Blue'

    (Sapphire Blue Anise-Scented Sage) The large, sapphire blue flowers of this Anise-Scented Sage glow in the full-sun or partial-shade garden from summer into fall. Similar to Salvia guaranitica 'Blue Ensign', this is a shorter variety of the water-loving species.
    $8.50
     

  • Salvia guaranitica 'Van Remsen'

    (Van Remsen's Anise-Scented Sage) Big and beautiful, this Anise-Scented Sage grows up to 7 feet tall in rich soil and has lavender-to-purple flowers. In our garden, it blossoms from late spring to fall, attracting both honeybees and hummingbirds.
    $8.50
     

  • Salvia haematodes

    (Red Veined Sage) In 1827, John Wilkes referred to Salvia haematodes as "Bloody Sage" in his Encyclopaedia Londinensis, Volume 22. This might seem mysterious when first viewing the sage's upright yet somewhat relaxed spikes of whorled, violet-colored flowers.

    $8.50
     

  • Salvia ionocalyx

    (Violet Calyx Sage) Here's another abundantly blooming sage from the cloud forest slopes of Chiapas, Mexico. Violet beelines mark the lower lip of the crimson blossoms, which are so numerous that it can be difficult to see the foliage at times.
    $8.50
     

  • Salvia japonica

    (Japanese Woodland Sage or Shu Wei Cao) This short, lavender-flowered, ornamental sage has purple-to-green foliage. In Asia, this woodland plant has long been an important medicinal herb, used in the treatment of conditions such as diabetes.
    $9.00
     

  • Salvia koyamae

    (Shinano-akigiri) Japan's largest island, Honshu, is home to Salvia koyamae, a shade- and moisture-loving herbaceous perennial that is perfect for woodland gardens or shady borders. It is notable for yellow flowers, which bloom from late summer into fall, as well as arrow-shaped foliage.

    $8.50
     

  • Salvia longistyla

    (Red Michoacán Sage) No other Salvia has flowers that are such a deep blood red. The 3-to-4 inch long tubular blossoms of this shade-loving shrub are displayed in clusters at the ends of the stems, which have light green, textured leaves that are almost round.
    $8.50
     

  • Salvia lyrata 'Purple Prince'

    (Purple Prince Lyreleaf Sage or Cancerweed) Due to its short height and reddish-purple, veined leaves, Purple Prince Lyreleaf Sage often is descriped as looking like Bugleweed (Ajuga reptans).

    $6.00
     

  • Salvia macrophylla 'Purple Leaf'

    (Purple Leaf Tall Big Leaf Sage) Bright green on top, the long leaves of this distinctive sage are a dark, furry purple on the undersides. Like the more typical green form of Salvia Macrophylla, this variety has cobalt blue flowers that seem to float in airy clusters on 12-inch-tall branching spikes.
    $8.50
     

  • Salvia macrophylla 'Short Form'

    (Creeping Big Leaf Sage) Cobalt blue flowers float in airy clusters above the giant, velvety, green leaves of this South American native. Short and spreading by woody rhizomes, this is an ideal groundcover. As a bold statement in a container, it has no equal.
    $8.50
     

  • Salvia macrophylla 'Tall Form'

    (Tall Big Leaf Sage) Cobalt blue flowers seem to float in airy clusters on 12-inch-tall branching spikes above the bright green, velvety foliage of this South American native. Up to 5-feet tall, tidy and upright in habit, this sage makes a fine background or border planting when massed.
    $8.50
     

  • Salvia nemorosa 'Royal Crimson Distinction'

    (Royal Crimson Distinction Woodland Sage) Grown for hundreds of years in cottage gardens throughout the world, Salvia nemorosa was described by Carl Linneaus in 1762. This variety's large flower spikes bloom a dark violet-crimson, then age to a softer pink.
    $8.50
     

  • Salvia nipponica 'BSWJ5829'

    (Kyushu Woodland Sage) We are in love with this short forest sage from Kyushu, Japan. Its clusters of large creamy flowers pale as fresh-churned butter begin blooming in September. Even when not blooming, its foliage is showy in a shady garden.
    $9.50
     

  • Salvia nipponica 'Fuji Snow'

    (Variegated Japanese Woodland Sage) Irregular white margins surrounding deep green make the triangular leaves of this fine Japanese forest sage lighten the shade. In fall, pale yellow flowers add to the standout effect.
    $8.50
     

  • Salvia nipponica var. Formosana

    (Formosan Woodland Sage or Tai wan qin zhu cao) A native of Taiwan, this Salvia nipponica grows well in hot, humid climates as well as milder locales.
    $10.00
     

  • Salvia plectranthoides

    (Chang guan shu wei cao) An annual or biennial in its native Southern China, Bhutan and India, this plant has been a reliable perennial for us for many years. With its open, airy structure and pale lavender flowers, this sage is best viewed close up or against a darker background.

    $8.50
     



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Reviews


I love the true blue flowers of my Salvia pitcheri grandiflora. The plants arrived in excellent condition in early October and have continued to flower despite cool nights.
Mrs. Alicia Rudnicki
Oct 23, 2014