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Salvia arizonica


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Salvia arizonica New!

  • Arizona Blue Sage forms large clumps in shady spots

Time to think about Fall Planting
This plant is
Ideal for Fall Planting
Best of Class
Best of Class
We believe this to be the best shade growing, drought tolerant Sage.

Shipping Information

Description

(Arizona Blue Sage) We are so impressed with this top-performing, drought-resistant ground cover that we have rated it best of class. Arizona Blue Sage is adaptable to a variety of shady conditions and blossoms so abundantly that it seems to have as many rich blue flowers as it has leaves. It is native to dry, shaded areas in mountain canyons in Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.

This softly mounded plant also works well as a patio container plant. Although it grows well for us in dense shade, it does particularly well in spots where it receives morning sun and afternoon shade. Providing regular watering based on local conditions is best, but this hardy perennial tolerates shortages. It also can withstand a wide temperature range, including extreme summer heat and the chill of Zone 6 winters when mulched. It does not do well in very warm and humid areas unless in a very well drained location with good air circulation.

Highly recommended.

Details

Product rating
 
(2 reviews)  

In stock
14 item(s) available

Common name  
Arizona Blue Sage
USDA Zones  
6 - 11
Size (h/w/fh)  
18"/24"/24"
Exposure  
Partial shade
Soil type  
Well drained & rich
Water needs  
Average
Pot size  
3 1/2 inch deep pot
Container plant?  
Yes
Our price
$9.50

Options

Quantity (14 available)

Email me when nearly out of stock  



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

Exposure

Full shade
Full shade
Heat tolerant
Heat tolerant
Morning sun / Afternoon shade
Morning sun / Afternoon shade
Partial shade
Partial shade

Garden Uses

Container plant
Container plant

Growing Habit

6 - 11
6 - 11
18 inches tall
18 inches tall
24 inches wide
24 inches wide
Ground cover
Ground cover
Perennial
Perennial

Water Needs

Average water
Average water
Drought resistant
Drought resistant

Blooming Season

Fall blooming
Fall blooming
Summer blooming
Summer blooming

Wildlife

Honeybees
Honeybees
Butterflies
Butterflies
Deer resistant
Deer resistant
Hummingbirds
Hummingbirds

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 - Strong Violet
RHS# 93C



Secondary color - Brilliant Purplish Blue
RHS# 94C






Throat color - Strong Violet - RHS# 93B




Tertiary color - Light Violet
RHS# 92B



Bract color - Moderate Yellowish Green
RHS# 138B

Leaf color - Moderate Yellowish Green
RHS# 137C



Learn more about how we analyze plant colors
  • Acanthus mollis 'Tasmanian Angel'

    (Variegated Bear's Breeches) Found in Tasmania, this gem is the first variegated Acanthus! 'Tasmanian Angel' offers striking, bold leaves with white margins and mottling. It forms a large clump with 3' to 4' tall ornamental flower stalks of pink and cream in late summer. These flowers are SPECTACULAR!

    This plant is tolerant of most soils, thriving in deep, fertile, moist, and well-drained conditions.  We grow our stock for two years before sale, ensuring a root system that will ensure fast establishment and growth.

    Note for Zone 9 and above gardeners:  This plant grows best in the fall, winter and spring and slows to a semi-dormant state in the heat of the summer.  Blooming here is almost year-round.

    Please note:  Nursery pots of this variety may lack variagation late in the growing season.  These will reliabally grow into the variegated form the next season.

    $10.50

    OUT OF STOCK

    New!
  • Ember's Hot & Cool Shade Planter

    (Ember's Hot & Cool Shade Planter) Arizona Blue Sage (Salvia arizonica ) cools the crimson of Tall Red Colombian Sage (S. rubescens subsp. dolichothrix) and the spicy red-orange of Ember's Wish Sage (S. x 'Ember's Wish') in this specially priced planter kit. It attracts bees, butterflies and hummingbirds.

    Container gardening is ideal for balconies, decks, patios, entryways, and small yards. We make the project easier by offering kits that combine plants with similar needs and coordinate harmonious colors and shapes. Each planter collection has a dramatic focus (thriller) and a lovely complement (filler), which may also be combined with a gracefully spreading and trailing species (spiller), such as the Arizona Blue Sage in this combo.

    Here's more information about FBTS Container Kits. 

    Container Kit Details
    Ember's Hot & Cool Shade Planter
    Feature Attribute
    Pot Size Medium
    Exposure Partial Shade
    Duration Annual
    Zone USDA Zone 9-11
    Thriller Salvia rubescens subsp. dolichothrix
    Spiller Salvia arizonica
    Filler Salvia x 'Ember's Wish'
    Hummingbirds
    Butterflies
    $25.00
  • Iochroma cyaneum 'Royal Blue'

    (Royal Blue Arbol del Brujo) Slender, violet-blue trumpet flowers hang in clusters from the mid-green foliage of Iochroma cyaneum 'Royal Blue'. This tall, wide-spreading ornamental has large, velvety leaves and tolerates heat.

    Give this sun-loving tropical plant rich, well-drained soil. Royal Blue Arbol del Brujo grows as a shrub in the warmest areas of its range. However, in its cooler USDA zones, you can expect it to act like an herbaceous perennial and die to ground in winter.

    Hummingbirds love this long-blooming plant, but deer leave it alone. It is a useful, colorful screen, background planting or container plant.

    The water-loving Iochroma genus is part of the Solanaceae family, along with tomatoes and peppers. Its species look similar to those of another genus in the family -- Brugmansia

    While Brugmansias are known as Angel Trumpet, Iochroma cyaneum is commonly called Arbol del Brujo or "Sorcerer's Tree." This is likely due to the alkaloids and hallucinogens the plant contains. 

    All parts of Royal Blue Arbol del Brujo are toxic when ingested and can cause skin irritation if handled without gloves. Nevertheless, the genus has a history of use as a folk remedy in its native lands of Peru and Colombia.

    $9.50
  • 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.

    Grow this shrub in rich soil with regular watering in partial shade for a breathtaking blooming every year - or grow it in any amount of shade with any amount of water in all but the very worst soil, and you will still be rewarded for your efforts.

    A California native that catches everyone's eye.  Highly recommended and limited.

    $10.00

    OUT OF STOCK

    New!
  • Leucosceptrum japonicum 'Gold Angel'

    (Gold Angel Japanese Shrub Mint) Partial shade settings or locations with morning sun and afternoon shade are best for this fragrant mint bush that glows in dappled sunlight. It is a Japanese woodland native well suited to areas with chilly winters.

    Honeybees love this perennial's fall-blooming flowers. Leucosceptrum means "white scepter." Depending on your point of view and sense of whimsy, the plant's plumes of pale white-to-yellow blossoms look like royal scepters held erect or common bottlebrushes bursting from golden foliage.

    Although this member of the mint family (Lamiaceae) loves moisture, it does well with supplemental watering based on local conditions. Give it rich, well-drained soil.

    Golden Angel is just right for woodland gardens or shady patio-container plantings. It also looks pretty as a border along a shady pathway. Its finely veined and serrated leaves light up the shade.

    $9.50
  • Salvia amarissima

    (Bitter Mexican Sage) Hummingbirds love this heat-tolerant Salvia, which is one of our best choices for shady, moist areas. The large-lipped, baby-blue flowers with white striations bloom from late summer through fall.

    This compact shrub grows well in the garden or in a container, especially where it will receive morning sun and afternoon shade or partial shade all day. In its native Mexico, it is used as a folk remedy for a variety of ailments. We love its grace and beauty in the garden!

    Highly recommended.
    $9.50

    OUT OF STOCK

    New!
  • Salvia chamaedryoides var. isochroma

    (Silver Germander Sage) With its compact habit, brilliant silver-white leaves and large, sky blue flowers, this is an outstanding heat-tolerant choice for dry, sunny gardens. We consider this to be one of the finest short ground covers for these conditions.

    Grow Silver Germander Sage in full sun and well-drained, loamy soil where you can see it up close.  Expect explosive blooming in the summer and fall when the weather warms and settles.

    We highly recommend this rarely seen variety of the green-leafed Germander Sage.
    $9.50
    New!
  • Salvia elegans 'Golden Delicious'

    (Golden Pineapple Sage) The bright crimson flowers of this extremely fragrant, shrubby sage are attractive to both humans and pollinators. However, it is the glowing golden foliage that most distinguishes it from other varieties of its species.

    In cooler parts of its climate range, such as in Zone 9, Golden Pineapple Sage grows well in full sun. In warmer locations, it is a candidate for the partially shaded garden. A location with morning sun and afternoon shade is good.

    In areas with colder winters than that of Zone 9, this plant deserves a place in the annual garden where it gives many months of service for a small investment of time and money. Butterflies, honeybees and hummingbirds love it; deer generally avoid it.

    Give this flavorful culinary sage well-drained soil rich in humus. Compact and thrifty, it is an outstanding accent plant in borders, cut-flower gardens and containers.

    Native to Mexico, Pineapple Sage grows at high elevations in Pine and Oak forests. The species is used medicinally -- such as in herb tea -- to relieve anxiety and treat hypertension. Just smelling the leaves makes us happier.
    $9.50
    New!
  • Salvia farinacea 'Henry Duelberg'

    (Blue Mealy Cup Sage) This Texas native species is one of the mainstays of gardens worldwide. Tidy, easy to grow, hardy, long blooming and undemanding, Mealy Cup Sage belongs in almost any sunny garden. Due to the popularity of the species, the number of varieties is staggering.

    Hands down, Salvia farinacea 'Henry Deulberg' is the best blue-flowering cultivar of the lot. The story behind this plant and its closely related, white-flowering mate Salvia farinacea 'Augusta Duelberg', is the subject of our blog post: Salvias in the Cemetery: Meet the Duelbergs.

    Butterflies, honeybees and hummingbirds all find Mealy Cup Sage irresistable, but deer aren't so fond of it.

    The Deulberg cultivars are so drought resistant and heat tolerant that they can grow well in locations that are almost never irrigated. Hence, their discovery in a dusty Texas graveyard. So don't over water Henry or Augusta! Growing them together as a border is a lovely and waterwise plan.

    Plant this sage in the spring and expect a long bloom time from summer through fall. Remember that the Deulbergs love full sun.

    $9.50

    OUT OF STOCK

  • Salvia regla 'Royal'

    (Orange Mountain Sage) Coahuila, Mexico, is home to many fine Salvias, including the smallest variety of Salvia regla that we grow. This one averages about 3 feet tall and wide.

    This fragrant, compact Salvia regla has tidy foliage and large, orange flowers that bloom from summer into fall in USDA Zones 7 to 10. The absolutely unique characteristic of this variety is its bright orange bracts that even turn the heads of longtime Salvia enthusiasts.


    A native of the Chisos Mountains in Southwestern Texas and of Mexico from Coahuila to Oaxaca, Salvia regla is powerfully heat tolerant and fragrant. Although it appreciates average watering based on local conditions, the species does well in waterwise gardens. Give it full sun and well-drained soil. Grow it as a screen, shrub border or background plant. This is a favorite in native gardens and dry gardens.

    Hummingbirds love this species, which has become an important nectar source for their southbound, autumn migration to the tropics. Butterflies also visit. So it's almost impossible to keep this plant in stock when in bloom.
    $9.50
    New!
  • Salvia spathacea 'Avis Keedy'

    (Yellow Hummingbird Sage or Yellow Pitcher Sage) The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden introduced this rare yellow variety of fragrant Hummingbird Sage. Similar to other varieties of this species, Avis Keedy is alluring to butterflies, honeybees and hummingbirds.

    In addition to large clusters of canary yellow blossoms that light up the shade, Avis Keedy has bright green bracts and basal foliage. The flowers age to white, making for a soft blend of colors. The leaves are less lobed than those of the rose-colored species, but are still sticky and richly scented.

    This drought-tolerant, heat-resistant sage is adaptable to light conditions ranging from full sun to partial shade and grows particularly well in morning sun and afternoon shade. It blooms from winter into spring. As with other types of Salvia spathacea it likes the temperatures of USDA Zones 8 to 11.

    Avis Keedy can spread up to 3 feet across by underground runners in favorable conditions. It makes a fine groundcover in woodland, native and dry gardens where it also works well in perennial borders. Plant it in rich, well-drained soil and provide average watering based on local conditions.

    We sell out of this Hummingbird Sage in a heartbeat when we offer them in bloom at our local farmers' markets.

    $10.50

    OUT OF STOCK

    New!
  • Salvia spathacea 'Cerro Alto'

    (Apricot Hummingbird Sage or Cerro Alto Pitcher Sage) Large clusters of warm, apricot-colored blossoms top the tall, thick flower spikes of this sage. It is named after a peak in the mountains behind the crashing waters of Big Sur on California's Central Coast.

    The flowers darken as they age atop mid-green bracts. Cerro Alto's basal foliage mounds and spreads by underground runners. In favorable conditions, it can spread 3 feet across. The leaves are less lobed than those of the species, but are still sticky and richly scented.

    This drought-tolerant, heat-resistant sage is adaptable to light conditions ranging from full sun to partial shade and grows particularly well in morning sun and afternoon shade. It blooms from winter into spring. As with other types of Salvia spathacea it likes the temperatures of USDA Zones 8 to 11.

    This is the strongest growing, most vigorous clone of Hummingbird Sage we have seen. It makes a fine groundcover in woodland, native and dry gardens where it also works well in perennial borders and containers. Plant it in rich, well-drained soil and provide average watering based on local conditions.
     

    $10.50

    OUT OF STOCK

    New!
  • Salvia texana

    (Texas Blue Sage) This is a cutie and a tough customer once established. It even grows well in caliche soils. Although Salvia texana typically blooms only during spring in Texas, it has a longer season stretching into fall up north.

    Flower colors are in the blue range and include purple and violet. Our strain could be described as having the violet of Scarlet O’Hara eyes as well as pronounced white beelines. Its deep green, oblong leaves and bracts are covered with silky hairs so long that they look like eyelashes.

    Although short at 12 to 24 inches tall, Texas Blue Sage is so charming that we like to crouch down to get a closer look. In Northern California, it thrives in full sun, but in Texas, it appreciates a bit of shade on the hottest days. This drought resistant Texas perennial does well in a dry garden, but also accepts regular watering in well drained soils.

    It can be temperamental outside its native range, so please take special care with this species.  Not a good plant for moist or humid parts of he country.

    Grow it as a groundcover or in borders, native plant gardens and prairie-type landscapes. We agree with the butterflies, hummingbirds and honeybees that visit this beauty: What’s not to love about it.

    $9.50

    OUT OF STOCK

    New!
  • Stachys albotomentosa

    (Hidalgo or 7-UP Plant) I love to ask people what the smell of these leaves remind them of. Almost no one gets it on the first try, but when I say, "7 UP", their eyes light up, heads nod and the resounding answer is, "Yes!"

    This mounding small perennial is native to shady mountain canyons in Arizona and Texas.  The flowers glow on tall spikes above the furry, light green above, silvery underneath leaves.  This is an outstanding perennial for shady spots.  It can stand drought when established, but does very well with regular garden water.  The apricot-coral flowers age to a reddish tint, and are quite long lasting. This plant blooms for us April - October!

    This is another Salvia-like perennial that deserves much greater prominence in our gardens.

    Highly recommended.

    $9.50
    New!
  • Salvia spathacea

    (Hummingbird Sage or Pitcher Sage) No sage we grow is more attractive to hummingbirds than this one. Spectacular in all ways, it is one of our favorite Salvias with its fruity smelling, evergreen foliage and jewel-like flowers and bracts.

    Salvia spathacea is easy to grow, drought tolerant, heat resistant and adaptable to a broad range of light conditions from full sun to full shade. It blooms reliably from late winter into spring, sometimes stretching into summer and blooming again in fall.

    Our strain is a rich rose red and doesn't go dormant in summer. It comes from the northern end of a native range stretching from the Santa Cruz Mountains in California's Central Coast south to Orange County. The flowers of all varieties of this species grow in large clusters on tall spikes that rise up from sticky, basal foliage.

    Hummingbird Sage develops into a mound that spreads gently with underground runners. It's hardy to USDA Zones 8 to 11 and, in favorable conditions, can spread 4 feet. However, average growth is 24 inches tall and wide. 

    We sell out in a heartbeat when we offer these sages in bloom at our local Markets.

    $9.50
    New!
  • Salvia ballotaeflora

    In Spanish, Mejorana means "marjoram”. Similar to oregano-type Marjoram – another Mint family member -- this sage is used to flavor meat dishes. Our cultivar, which is native to Texas and Mexico, has lovely bluish-purple flowers that bloom summer to fall amid fragrant, fine, furry green foliage.

    Don’t give this tough sage fertilizer or too much water. It is adjusted to rocky, gravely limestone soils such as those of the Edward’s Plateau in South Central Texas. However, it can handle a medium loamy soil. In nature, it grows on brushlands, including hillsides and thickets.

    At 72 inches tall and wide, this heat-tolerant, drought-resistant plant makes a fine screen or border in a dry garden or a woodland setting with dry shade. It also does well in full sun. Butterflies, hummingbirds and honeybees love its nectar. Although deer have been known to nibble on Mejorana, it is not one of their favorite foods.

    One of Mejorana’s other common names is Shrubby Blue Sage, but there are also white- and purple-flowering varieties. Salvia ballotaeflora is also known botanically as S. ballotiflora . Rock Sage (S. pinguifolia) is a purple-flowering relative that is native from Arizona into Texas and is sometimes referred to as S. ballotaeflora or S. ballotiflora .
    $9.50

    OUT OF STOCK

    New!
  • Salvia chamaedryoides x ‘Marine Blue’

    (Marine Blue Sage) The name and origin of this fine cultivar has long been in dispute. It may be a clone or hybrid of the Mexican plant Salvia chamaedryoidesvar.isochroma. It is one of the prettiest, strongest sages we grow.

    Our Marine Blue Sage blooms almost nonstop, producing long spikes of small dark blue flowers marked with bee lines that help lead pollinators into the blossoms. The leaves are small, wrinkled and wooly with silver-white tops and greenish undersides. In a sunny spot, the plant forms a tidy mat of ground cover 18 inches tall and 36 inches wide.

    Grow Marine Blue Sage in hot, somewhat dry locations where you can see it up close. It's guaranteed to attract the eye. We predict that the popularity of this drought-resistant sage will increase as it becomes more widely known.

    $9.50

    OUT OF STOCK

  • Salvia chionophylla

    (Snowflake Sage) Wiry, trailing stems of small white leaves make this plant look like fresh snowfall. Numerous, small, sky blue flowers with prominent bee lines further add to the cooling look. This dry-garden plant is native to the mountains of the Chihuahuan desert of North Central Mexico.

    Just 6 inches tall and spreading to 36 inches, this is a perfect ground cover. However, we like it best spilling over the edge of a mixed planter or in a hanging basket.  It can take a bit of shade in hot areas, but is at its best in full sun. Plant it in rich, well drained soil.

    We suspect that this species may be hardy in the warmest parts of Zone 6 when planted in very well-drained soil and winter mulched. We highly recommend it.

    $9.50
    New!
Average customer rating:
 
(2 reviews)  



2 Most useful customer reviews (see all reviews):
Lyn Lloyd-Smith
Jun 13, 2014
This customer purchased the item at our site.
I ordered 15 Salvia Arizonica. They came beautifully wrapped and moist with excellent instructions for getting them ready for planting.
I have planted them in the shade of a line of pepper trees and so far they seem to be taking well. I realise that this is not an ideal environment but had read that this type of Salvia may be able to make it there. So far I am very pleased! Well done, Flowers by the Sea!
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Mr. Al Robinson
May 15, 2014
I had ordered two Salvia arizonicas from Flowers By The Sea last month.
Not only did they arrive in GREAT shape but they were much larger specimens than I had expected!
Additionally, they have both rooted in well and are putting on new leaf growth. Lastly, the blue color is rich and deep! Looking forward to these being staples in my salvia garden!
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Four Top Drought-Resistant Perennials for Dry Shade


Category: Xeric Choices
Posted: Aug 25, 2015 08:16 AM
Synopsis: Searching for shade-tolerant plants is difficult. Finding ones that grow well in dry conditions, especially as groundcovers, is even more challenging. Flowers by the Sea talks about different types of shade and four drought-resistant perennials for these varying levels of sun exposure. It also explains how to search the company's extensive product menu.
Getting Started: Salvias for the Southwest

Getting Started: Salvias for the Southwest


Category: Getting Started with Salvias
Posted: Jun 3, 2015 07:31 PM
Synopsis: Ask anyone to describe the American Southwest, and they're likely to sum it up in three letters : "D-R-Y." Yet precipitation can vary a lot here state by state and even within different parts of the individual states. One thing that is consistent about the story of water throughout the Southwest, is that rain and snow can rapidly swing from famine to feast to misfortune.
Getting Started: How Much Water Salvias Need

Getting Started: How Much Water Salvias Need


Category: Getting Started with Salvias
Posted: Feb 20, 2015 08:33 AM
Synopsis:

Salvias may need little or lots of water depending on species and local growing conditions. Many are drought resistant, getting by on less than an inch a week. Learn about the many kinds of Salvias, also called sages, at Flowers by the Sea. We're an online, mail-order nursery specializing in sages.

Texas and Southwestern Native Plants for Butterflies, Honeybees and Hummingbirds

Texas and Southwestern Native Plants for Butterflies, Honeybees and Hummingbirds


Category: Everything Salvias Blog
Posted: Aug 25, 2014 03:30 AM
Synopsis: Many gardeners and wildlife lovers in states with recurrent drought choose to increase the number of native plants in their yards. This is especially true of Texas, where statewide drought began in 2010 and hasn't yet abated. Native plants appeal to local wildlife, including pollinators. To help gardeners from Texas and the Southwest who want to create wildlife habitat, Flowers by the Sea (FBTS) suggests 25 Salvias and companion plants appropriate for Texas and Southwest gardens.
15 Select Salvias for Dry, Partial-Shade Gardening

15 Select Salvias for Dry, Partial-Shade Gardening


Category: Everything Salvias Blog
Posted: Mar 27, 2013 07:59 AM
Synopsis: Learning how to garden in dry shade requires mediation of the needs of all the plants involved. Dry shade is particularly abundant under trees, because they consume lots of water. Fortunately, numerous drought-resistant Salvias can handle life in dry, partial shade. Flowers by the Sea details basic considerations of dry shade gardening and identifies 15 sages for it.
Salvias Down South: 8 Must-Have Salvias & Companions for the Southwest

Salvias Down South: 8 Must-Have Salvias & Companions for the Southwest


Category: Salvias Down South
Posted: Feb 8, 2013 07:24 PM
Synopsis: Forgive us if we repeat ourselves sometimes, but you don’t have to be a fine artist to create a work of beauty in the garden. By selecting hardy, vibrantly colored Salvias that can withstand Southwestern weather ranging from sullen heat and drought to raging rainstorms, you become a landscape painter. We’re here to help you pick colors for your palette
Salvias Down South: Tough Texans Sing the Blues

Salvias Down South: Tough Texans Sing the Blues


Category: Salvias Down South
Posted: Nov 13, 2012 07:25 PM
Synopsis:
Blue Salvias bring peace to flower gardens. True blues, such as West Texas Grass Sage (Salvia reptans), are especially eye-catching. The same anthocyanins that make berries a healthy dietary choice also give them their colors. Similarly these chemicals create the wide variety of blues, purples and reds in the petals of flowers such as Salvias. Flowers by the Sea offers six varieties of tough Texas sages that can help you create a soulful garden bursting with blue. Drought-resistant and long-blooming, they grow happily in USDA plant hardiness zones 8 to 9, with some flourishing in areas as cool as Zone 4 and as hot as Zone 11.
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.
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterfly

Fragrance as well as color attracts butterflies. However, they don't have noses. Instead, butterflies smell and taste with their antennas and feet. Here are some ways to attract them:


  1. Plant sages with platform-type blossoms. Unlike hummingbirds, butterflies can't hover while feeding. Sages with large lower lips and short nectar tubes, such as those in the Autumn Sage (Salvia greggii) and Mountain Sage (S. microphylla) group, give butterflies a place to stand while gathering nectar and pollen.
  2. Provide lots of color and sunlight. Butterflies need to stay warm and are attracted to a broad range of flower colors.
  3. Include native species. Insects and plants have co-evolved to meet each other's needs within their native regions. Butterflies prefer feeding on their local, native perennials and shrubs.
  4. Grow Caterpillar Host Plants. Butterflies need baby nurseries. Some are extremely picky about the plants on which they lay eggs, such as Monarchs, which need milkweeds (Asclepias spp.). The North American Butterfly Association is a good source of information about host plants.
  5. Don't use pesticides. They kill many beneficial insects, including butterflies.
  6. Keep your garden blooming. Plant a variety of Salvias based on bloom times as well as color and shape. Many flower from spring into fall. Others are prolific fountains of nectar for shorter seasons.
  7. Provide puddles. Butterflies stay hydrated by splashing in puddles located in sunny spots on the ground or raised up in shallow birdbaths. Include rocks for basking; butterflies need to dry and warm their wings.
  8. Plant butterfly gardens near shelter. Butterflies need to be able to flee into trees, shrubbery and woodpiles when predators appear and when windy or rainy weather occurs.
  9. Supplement plantings with rotten fruit. Some butterflies love the juice of rotting fruit even more than nectar.
  10. Read more. Our Everything Salvias Blog offers a number of articles about butterflies.

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.