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Salvia amethystina subsp. ampelophylla


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  • Pruning

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  • Attracting Hummingbirds

  • Deer Tips

Salvia amethystina subsp. ampelophylla




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Degree of Difficulty
Easy
Degree of Difficulty
This plant is easy to grow in a variety of conditions.

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Description

(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.

Amethyst Sage has deep violet-blue flowers with pronounced white beelines on their lower lips. It is a tall, wide-spreading native of Colombia and Venezuela. In the U.S., this tender perennial grows well as an annual. Give it full sun to partial shade and rich soil that is well drained. Although water-loving, this sage thrives with average supplemental watering based on local conditions.

British botanist James Edward Smith (1759-1828) named the species in 1790. In 1989, University of Oxford researcher John R.I. Wood and Raymond M. Harley of Kew Royal Botanic Gardens authored the scientific name of this subspecies.

We are thankful to University of Buenos Aires agronomy professor and plant explorer Rolando Uria, who collected the seed for our plants in the wild.

Details

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Common name  
Amethyst Sage
USDA Zones  
9 - 11
Size (h/w/fh)  
60"+/48"+/72"+
Exposure  
Full sun to partial shade
Soil type  
Rich and well drained
Water needs  
Average to ample
Pot size  
3 1/2 inch deep pot
Container plant?  
Yes
Our price
10.50

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Here are some guidelines for success with this plant in your garden.
Click on an individual icon for more detailed information.

Exposure

Full sun
Full sun
Partial shade
Partial shade

Garden Uses

Container plant
Container plant
Fragrant
Fragrant

Growing Habit

9 - 11
9 - 11
60 inches tall+
60 inches tall+
48 inches wide+
48 inches wide+
Perennial
Perennial

Water Needs

Average water
Average water
Water loving
Water loving

Blooming Season

Fall blooming
Fall blooming

Wildlife

Deer resistant
Deer resistant

Colors

Salvias and their companion plants pop with color. Sweep your eyes from top to the bottom here for an impression of this plant's color combinations. The first row displays blossoms from primary to less dominant shades and includes any contrasting throat color. The second tier is the main hue of leaf-like bracts or calyxes supporting the flowers. Foliage (one or two colors) leafs out in the bottom row.
Primary color - Vivid Violet
RHS# 99D






Throat color - Vivid Violet - RHS# 99D




Secondary color - Vivid Blue
RHS# 101A



Bract color - Strong Yellowish Green
RHS# 144C

Leaf color - Strong Yellowish Pink
RHS# 37A



Learn more about how we analyze plant colors
See other plants with similar colors
See other plants with split complementary colors
See other plants with triadic colors
Ready for some pruning?

Deciduous, woody stem Salvias

These are species that produce woody stems, but die back to the ground in the winter in all but the warmest climates. In warm winter areas these can become woody shrubs, but they generally benefit from the following pruning methods.

Pruning is both an art and a science. It takes practice, experience and learning from your mistakes to become a proficient pruner. The pruning information about this plant should be considered as a guideline for getting started. Your particular climate, soils, watering and fertility schedules, sun exposure, space requirements and weather are all factors that influence how and when you choose to prune. We’re providing a starting place for you, and over time you will learn the particularities of this plant in your garden. Don’t be afraid to get started – Salvias, in general, are quick to rebound if inappropriately pruned.

Deadheading – the removal of spent flowers, is a practice that will always benefit the plant’s health and appearance. This can be done at any time. Pruning involves removal of entire stems of spent growth. Becoming "spent" means that flowering stems stop blooming and begin going to seed.

Growing Season Pruning

During the spring and summer, you can completely or partially remove any stems that have finished blooming and are becoming unsightly. This often stimulates fresh new growth and increased flowering


Dormant Season Pruning

At the end of the growing season or after first frost, spent stems can be cut to the ground. Some gardeners in cold winter climates say that leaving 3 to 6 inches of the stems intact during the winter improves survivability. They remove the remaining stems before new growth begins in the spring. In warmer areas the stems may never completely die back, but should be cut to ground to allow for new growth.


Check the Views from the Garden section of our Everything Salvias Blog for videos that apply to this plant.

  • Salvia cuatrecasana x guaranitica 'Elk Magenta'

    (Elk Magenta Hybrid Sage)  Combining the best characteristics of both parents, this robust, large leafed hybrid has deep magenta and white flowers that delight hummingbirds.

    One of the parents of this new variety is Salvia cuatrecasana, with small flowers of a deep purple.  A collector's plant, it is floppy and blooms somewhat sparingly over the course of the year.  To improve the growth habit, flower size and blooming season we crossed this species with one of our best Salvia guaranitica clones.  The result is a plant with large lush leaves, strong stems and sizable flower displays.

    A tender variety, it is suitable for the southern areas of the US as a perennial.  It qualifies as a good choice as an annual in colder Zones.

    We are very excited to offer this plant for the first time in 2017.

    10.50
    New!
  • Salvia durifolia 'Elk Blue'

    (Elk Blue Hard Leaf Sage) Soft baby blue & white flowers in abundance coupled with strong growth make this an ideal new variety for hummingbird gardeners. the specific epitaph, durifolia, means hard leaf.  We don't find the leaf exactly hard but it is lovely and durable.

    Grow this outstanding variety in full sun or in a bit of shade in hot climates.  In frost free areas it becomes a shrub, blooming almost year round.  In Zone 8 it is a herbacious perennial that returns strongly in the late spring.  In colder Zones its a good choice for a summer annual.  These flowers are true blue.

    It's our bet that this new introduction will become a standard for hummingbird gardens. 

    10.50
    New!
  • Salvia guaranitica 'Purple Haze'

    (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.

    The other popular purple flowering Salvia guaranitica types are hybrids with tender species as parents.  Purple Haze is a true member of this popular species, making it hardy enough to grow in Zone 6 with winter protection . 

    Compared to 'Jean's Purple Passion' and 'Purple Magesty', 'Purple Haze' is more compact in it's growth, earlier to bloom with the same rich purple color.  We believe it is a superior alternative to both of these older varieties.

    New for 2017.

    10.50
    New!
  • Salvia raymondii ssp. mairanae

    (Bolivian Mountain Sage) Neon lilac-pink flowers light up the handsome, furry foliage of this distinctive sage from high in the Andes cloud forests. Its large, textured leaves have dark, velvety purple undersides. Unhappy in dry heat, this is a very showy plant for humid areas.

    In our mild coastal climate, Bolivian Mountain Sage does well in full sun; however, partial shade and ample water are keys to success in hotter, drier areas. It also appreciates rich, well-drained soil.

    In the ground, this sage grows into a shrub up to 5 feet tall in Zone 9 to 11. Or plant it in a large container as a natural focal point on a partially shady patio. It also works well as a seasonal bedding plant. But remember that this water-loving sage particularly appreciates morning sun and afternoon shade.

    In mild climates, it blooms year round, so this is a great choice for gardens where hummingbirds winter over. As with so many Salvias, this one is deer resistant.

    Limited availability.

    10.50
  • Salvia sp. from Smith College

    (Smith College Mystery Sage) This mysterious species came to us via Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. We refer to it as "Mystery Sage" as the origins of this fine plant are unclear.

    This is a subshrub, which means that it combines woody growth with soft, herbaceous foliage. Give it full sun to partial shade, average watering based on local conditions and rich, well-drained soil. Expect it to grow rapidly and bloom profusely.  The flower clusters are golf ball sized, and cover the plant late in the season.  In warmer Zones it can bloom all year long!

    This is an excelent choice for seasonal bedding in colder climates, where it brings an exotic look to the garden.  Honeybees love this heat-tolerant, mid-height sage, but deer avoid it.

    10.50

    OUT OF STOCK

  • Salvia splendens van houttei 'Elk White'

    (Elk White Scarlet Sage) The first tall white Salvia splendens variety, this new introduction from Flowers by the Sea is vigorous and free flowering all season long.

    Somewhat unusual for this species, 'Elk White grows into a tall but narrow plant, perfectly suited to fill a shady corner.  It excels as a container plant.  White flowered shade plants are rare, and this one is also beloved by hummingbirds.

    Scarlet Sages are native to South America where they thrive in full sun to partial shade.

    In areas with colder winters, Elk White grows easily as an annual bedding plant. It's also a successful container plant and a good choice for a woodland garden. It does fine with average watering based on local rainfall and humidity, but can handle ample moisture.

    Another good piece of news is that deer avoid it.

    10.50
    New!
  • Salvia splendens van houttei Faye Chapel'

    (Faye Chapel Scarlet Sage) A vivid red, the drooping blossoms of this sturdy, long flowering Salvia are large and numerous. Use it singly as a dramatic garden accent or container plant; mass it for a stunning effect. This is an heirloom plant from the Atlantic Coast, where it has been grown as a hummingbird plant for decades.

    Meet its needs and 'Faye Chapel' is easy and rewarding to grow. Plant it in partial to full shade where you can give it rich, well-drained soil and regular watering.  The color is bright red - the truest red Salvia splendens we offer.

    An annual in colder zones, it is a tender perennial in warmer ones.

    Seasonally available and limited.

    10.50

    OUT OF STOCK

    New!
  • Salvia splendens ‘Sao Borja’

    (Sao Borja Scarlet Sage) Three-inch-long, smokey purple blossoms that bloom from spring to fall are a major clue that this heat-tolerant perennial is not your grandmother's Scarlet Sage.

    Even when grown as an annual, Salvia splendens 'Sao Borja' brings a tropical look to any garden by reaching an impressive height of 6 feet or taller in one season.

    This Brazilian native grows well in USDA Zones 9 to 11 where it is a tender perennial that may return yearly to the warmest parts of its range. 

    Sao Borja was discovered in the port city of Sao Borja, which is named after Spain's Saint Francis Borgia. The city is located on the Uruguay River, across from Argentina and in Rio Grande do Sul, which is the southernmost state of Brazil and borders the Atlantic coast.

    To succeed, Sao Borja Scarlet Sage needs partial shade all day or a combination of morning sun and afternoon shade. It also requires rich soil and ample water for a spring surge of growth that needs to be seen to be believed. Use it as a screen, an accent plant or in a container, which will limit size.

    Highly recommended.

    10.50

    OUT OF STOCK

  • Salvia x 'Love and Wishes'

    (Love and Wishes Sage) Deep purple calyxes support the magenta-purple, tubular blossoms of Salvia x 'Love and Wishes'. They contrast handsomely with dark stems and mid-green foliage.

    Retired government worker John Fisher of Orange, Australia, hybridized Love and Wishes from Wendy's Wish Sage (Salvia x 'Wendy's Wish'). He decided that it should benefit Australia's Make-a-Wish Foundation similar to its parent plant.

    Wendy's Wish is an accidental hybrid from the Victoria, Australia, garden of Salvia enthusiast Wendy Smith. Smith found its seedling beneath S. mexicana 'Lolly'. However, the plant's parentage remains a mystery.

    Smith's cultivar and other Wish Collection Sages -- Ember's Wish as well as Love and Wishes -- may be related to Buchanan's Sage (S. buchananii), Scarlet Sage (S. splendens), Chiapas Sage (Salvia chiapensis) and Purple Majesty Sage (S. guaranitica 'Purple Majesty').

    Sales of all Wish Collection sage aid Make-a-Wish in fulfilling the requests of Australia's seriously ill children.

    In coastal areas with moderate temperatures, Love and Wishes grows well in full sun. However, it appreciates a bit of shade in hotter climates. Growing about waist-high, Love and Wishes is a long-blooming, floriferous plant that requires little to no deadheading of blossoms. Its combination of woody and soft herbaceous growth mark it as a subshrub.

    Although Love and Wishes Sage does well with average irrigation based on local conditions, it appreciates plentiful watering with excellent soil drainage. Similar to its parent plant and Ember's Sage, this nectar-rich Salvia is popular with hummingbirds but not deer.

    Photo courtesy of Sunset Western Garden Collection

    10.50
  • Salvia x Envy

    (Envy Hybrid Sage)  A natural hybrid found in Peru and Bolivia, the parentage of this special variety is at this point unknown.  The uniquely colored flowers are abundant all season long, and the hummingbirds love it.

    Growing four feet or more in a single season, this shrubby plant is a good choice for colder Zones as a long blooming annual.  In frost free climates it becomes a semi-woody shrub that can be shaped to fit your needs.

    We grew a large number of seedlings of this variety in 2016, and selected this clone as a superior variety.

    10.50
    New!
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I like Amstiad

Hummingbirds love Salvia (sage) nectar and are attracted to it by the bright colors of tubular sage blossoms. In particular, these little whirlybirds can easily spot flowers in the red spectrum, which is prevalent among sages. Here are some hummingbird gardening tips.


  1. Go tubular. Hummingbirds need tubular flowers that are easy for long, thin beaks to access.
  2. Provide lots of color. Think of yourself as a cafeteria manager who needs to provide many tempting choices in order to attract business. Red, pink, orange and purple sages are particularly powerful hummingbird magnets.
  3. Keep your garden blooming. Plant a variety of Salvias based not only on color but also a broad span of bloom times. Many flower from spring into fall. Others are prolific fountains of nectar for shorter seasons. Numerous winter-blooming species are available for areas that are home to hummingbirds year round.
  4. Grow sages native to the Western Hemisphere. Although hummingbirds will take advantage of many kinds of tubular flowering plants, these tiny birds are native to the Western Hemisphere and prefer flowering plants native to their half of the world.
  5. Select Salvia companion plants. Hummingbirds appreciate a variety of favorite tubular-flowered plants.
  6. Plant hummingbird gardens near cover. Trees and bushes surrounding feeding areas provide protection from predators and chilly, rainy weather.
  7. Don't use pesticides. Insects provide protein for hummingbirds, so don't kill these food sources.
  8. Provide water. Hummingbirds frolic in misters and shallow birdbaths.
  9. Supplement plantings with feeder tubes. Change the sugar water every few days and don't add food coloring. Keep the feeders clean, but don't scrub them with soaps or detergents. Here is more feeder care information.
  10. Read more. Our Everything Salvias Blog offers a number of articles about hummingbirds.
Hey, got any greens?

If you live in suburbs or rural areas where deer plunder gardens, Salvias (sages) can be part of your plan for discouraging these hungry visitors. Here are some tips.


  1. Mask smells that deer like with aromatic sages. Deer and other members of the Cervidae family, such as elk, mostly leave Salvias alone. One theory is that they don't like the fragrance or taste of sage chemicals. Strategically planting sages near vegetable gardens or fruit trees -- elixir to deer -- may prevent consumption.
  2. Grow hedges including Salvias. Prickly hedges, including hairy-leafed Salvias and exceptionally thorny roses, can discourage deer from entering your yard. They don't like the mouth-feel of those textures. Tall hedges also hide strawberry beds and other yummy plantings from view.
  3. Don't overplant one species. Grow a variety of Salvias in case local deer take an unexpected liking to one species of sage.
  4. Fence deer out. Install electric fences or 8-foot wood or metal fences around particularly vulnerable areas. Make sure electric fencing is turned on during the peak feeding seasons of early spring and late fall.
  5. Use motion-detection tools. Install outdoor lighting that is activated by movement.
  6. Let the dogs out. Deer are especially wary of large dogs.
  7. Surround and cover. Wrap tough plastic around the trunks of trees that have tasty bark and cover foliage with bird netting when trees and bushes are fruiting.
  8. Change yard ornaments periodically. Objects such as scarecrows, statuary and cordons of monofilament string with strips of shiny foil attached cause deer to shy away.
  9. Make safe choices. Research repellants you plan to use to make sure they aren't poisonous.
  10. Be flexible and ready to share a bit. There is no such thing as a completely deer-resistant garden.